WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after his Servicemember Safety and Security Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation that was introduced following the tragic deaths of SPC Vanessa Guillén and others at Fort Hood and requires military installations to review and improve policies and procedures for reporting missing servicemembers and partner with local and federal law enforcement to promote information sharing, was signed into law:
“We must defend the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for our safety at home and abroad,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation will help us prevent tragedies on bases like the heartbreaking deaths of soldiers at Fort Hood by requiring updates to military installation security procedures and by focusing on stronger partnerships between installations and law enforcement. As a parent and the son of a veteran, I’m grateful to my colleagues and the Administration for partnering with me in protecting our nation’s servicemembers.”
Sen. Cornyn introduced this bill following the deaths of SGT Elder Fernandes, SPC Vanessa Guillén, and the other U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Hood.
The Servicemember Safety and Security Act requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a comprehensive review of the Department’s policies and procedures for reporting members of the Armed Forces absent without leave (AWOL) or missing. Each military installation will then be required to review its policies and procedures for reporting missing or AWOL servicemembers and update policies and procedures to improve force protection and coordination with local and federal law enforcement. Installation commanders will be required to create or update protocols for information sharing with local and federal law enforcement agencies in their area of operation. Finally, installation commanders will report these protocols back to each service installation command.