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Ohio Senator: Veterans Affairs Police Need Broader Authority

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has requested Veterans Affairs police be designated as law enforcement officers with authority beyond VA property, citing an Ohio case in which a shooter fled a medical center.

Ohio's Democratic senator asked VA Secretary Robert McDonald for the change in a letter Thursday. Brown says VA police currently don't have authority to pursue immediate threats beyond VA property and that could hinder their ability to respond.

Last year, a former VA employee responsible for Dayton VA Medical Center shooting fled the facility. Brown's office says VA police had no authority to immediately pursue him off the property. He was arrested later by other law enforcement officers and pleaded guilty to an assault charge.

The VA says it will review Brown's letter and respond to his office.