Dayton to attend meeting on military security issues

Gov. Mark Dayton says security issues at National Guard recruiting centers will be discussed during a meeting with other governors this week in Washington, D.C.

The previously-scheduled meeting of the Council of Governors follows last week’s fatal shootings at two military sites in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Asked today whether he plans to upgrade security at Minnesota National Guard recruiting facilities, Dayton told reporters that he’s sure those policies are being reviewed. But he said such matters should be handled by federal officials.

“We certainly want to provide the kind of security that allows service men and women men to do their work there safely, and whatever they believe is necessary,” Dayton said. “It’s really more of an issue for the Congress and the Presidents than for the states. But we certainly want our military men and women here to be safe and protected.”

Dayton is among ten members of the Council of Governors, which was established to advise federal officials on issues related to the National Guard and homeland defense. The meeting is Thursday.

The Minnesota National Guard was taking steps before the Tennessee shootings to prepare for the possibility of an attack on one of its facilities, according to a spokesman.

Col. Kevin Olson said in a written statement that security measures will continue to be evaluated and enhanced as deemed necessary.

“At this time, our force protection measures will not include arming soldiers and airmen whose regular duties are not security-related,” Olson wrote.