Reports on last fall’s Washington Navy Yard and Los Angeles International Airport shootings detail how both situations could have been handled better—the former with preemptive action and the latter with more efficient emergency response.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon released their review of the Navy Yard shooting in which 12 people were killed, concluding that the Navy had not properly evaluated and reported concerning behavior from Aaron Alexis, the gunman. Alexis was a former Navy reservist.
The reviews identified troubling gaps in DOD’s ability to detect, prevent, and respond to instances where someone working for us—a government employee, member of our military, or a contractor—decides to inflict harm on this institution and its people.
The planned response includes continuous evaluations of personnel granted access, establishing a center for examining threats that may originate from inside the DOD, centralize authority for personnel security under a single employee, and augmenting the agencies technological infrastructure for vetting individuals against various government databases.
Hagel also said the Department is considering reducing the number of secret security clearances by 10 percent, and working to destigmatize seeking treatment.
On the West Coast, the results of an independent review of last November’s LAX shooting found a number of problems with emergency responders, particularly with communication.
The airport and Police and Fire Departments had incompatible radio systems, making communication impossible. Addiitonally:
It took nearly an hour before multiple command posts between Police and Fire Departments were coordinated. Almost no communication had taken place between command posts, which lacked basic tools like airport maps and aerial photographs, and the airport’s emergency operations center, which was staffed by an untrained midlevel manager. The report also criticizes the location of the command post, which it said could have endangered responders.
Airport commissioners and officials presented with the report said that they would develop better training programs for employees, many of whom criticized that they were not properly taught how to handle emergencies.