FORT WORTH, Texas – The military must make sure supervisors have access to soldiers’ personnel records and be aware of signs of potential workplace violence, the Defense Department said Friday in its final report on the Fort Hood shootings.

The report’s recommendations address some government failures and other problems uncovered in the Pentagon probe launched after the Nov. 5 shootings that left 13 dead and dozens injured on the Texas Army post.

Soon after the Pentagon report’s January release, Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered a comprehensive weapons policy for military bases and addressed other pressing issues.

The Defense Department report released Friday addresses the remaining matters but says more studies are necessary in certain areas.

Medical and mental health screening policies “do not provide a comprehensive assessment of violence indicators,” the report said. Another policy “lacks the clarity necessary to help commanders distinguish appropriate religious practices from those that might indicate a potential for violence or self-radicalization,” the report found.

The report recommends improving communications between government agencies and military installations regarding potential threats and expanding military bases’ emergency response capabilities.

An Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Hasan, has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. In October he faces an Article 32 hearing, similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, in which a judge will hear witness testimony to determine whether the case should go to trial.

Hasan’s attorney, John Galligan, said that the Defense Department’s report is vague.

“This whole report is designed to tell people we need to start looking for internal threats, but it doesn’t say what those threats are and calls into question people’s privacy and constitutional rights,” Galligan said Friday.

House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., said he was optimistic that the revised policies “will improve the safety of our force in measurable ways for years to come.”

Leila Hunt Willingham, whose brother died in the shootings, said she’s not sure what could be done to prevent similar violence.

“I don’t hold a lot of blame for the military because I think it was one man’s decision to do an evil thing,” she said Friday.


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