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Veterans' safety a concern at facilities across the country

Report: Dept. of Veterans Affairs needs to review, revise risk management policy

ROANOKE – Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers and facilities remain the target of violence, threats, and other security-related incidents, but what's being done to protect the people who visit for doctors appointments every day?

10 News has been working for you highlighting security concerns for the last two years and uncovered new information that safety is a concern here at home and across the country.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is responsible for providing a safe and welcoming environment for staff, patients, and visitors at nearly 170 medical centers, including the Salem VA Medical Center.

"The 9 million veterans that the VA serves every year have been through a lot. Many of them have mental challenges. Many of them have substance abuse problems and another thing we hear from VA is these individuals many of them have been taught how to use firearms and they're comfortable with firearms so they pose an additional kind of challenge," said Lori Rectanus, U.S. Government Accountability Office.

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There are eight categories of threats VA police are supposed to review as part of vulnerability assessments including, assault, physical threats of violence and illegal weapons.

But a new report says the Department of Veterans Affairs needs to review and revise its risk management policies, and develop an oversight strategy to make sure it's being followed.

Tonight on WSLS 10 at 6, what this means moving forward to keep veterans safe and how soon you could see changes across the country.


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