The U.S. Army has begun hiring more investigators and support staff in an effort to correct widespread failures in the investigatory process that came to light last year following a rash of crimes, including murder, that took place at Fort Hood, Texas.
The new head of the Army Criminal Investigation Division, Gregory Ford, said on Wednesday that the division is looking to fill 90 positions, according to the Associated Press.
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The hirings follow an investigation last year that found that the agency was understaffed and badly organized, with not enough experienced investigators. The revelations came with the spotlight already on the CID's shortcomings following the murder of Vanessa Guillen, a female soldier at Fort Hood who had suffered sexual harassment in the days leading up to her death but had remained silent when she saw that the complaints of other soldiers against the accused were dismissed.
Army leadership ultimately fired or suspended 14 Fort Hood leaders who failed to address a culture that permitted sexual assault.
More than two dozen Fort Hood soldiers died last year, some by homicide, while others took their own lives.
Earlier this year, the Army decided to put a civilian in charge of CID, changing the previous policy of having a general officer lead the agency. The switch was in line with the recommendations of how to revamp the command.
"I've been taking a very hard look at our policy and the administrative burden we place on our workforce and have directed a further review to eliminate the duplication of effort and some of the unnecessary policy requirements that may exist," Ford explained.
He also said the level of interest in these positions "surpassed everybody's expectations" and added that a key goal for investigators is to approach these situations "with a sense of urgency" in the beginning stages.
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Tags: News, Defense, National Security, Fort Hood, Army, Military, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment
Original Author: Mike Brest
Original Location: Army begins hiring additional criminal investigators to improve case load