U.S. Army says armed citizens may "create additional security ri - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

U.S. Army says armed citizens may "create additional security risks"

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Members of the Marine Corps League Detachment 957 join "armed citizens" outside the Armed Forces Career Center in Princeton on Friday. Members of the Marine Corps League Detachment 957 join "armed citizens" outside the Armed Forces Career Center in Princeton on Friday.

(WVVA) A U.S. Army spokesman tells WVVA that "armed citizens" at military recruiting centers like the one in Princeton may create an additional security risk.

Between one and four armed men have been "standing guard" at the Armed Forces Career Center on Stafford Drive all week in response to the four Marines and one sailor killed at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A Department of Defense policy limits and controls the carrying of firearms by military and civilian personnel at military installations in non-combat zones. 

Lt Col. Joe Buccino, a U.S. Army Spokesman, released the following statement to WVVA:

Security of our recruiting stations is the responsibility of Army officials and law enforcement who have sufficient security measures in place.  We have increased our vigilance, are strengthening our ties with local police and the FBI, and are reviewing our security measures.  While we appreciate the concern and support of our communities, armed citizens unaffiliated with the police may, in fact, create additional security risks at these facilities.  Local communities can help by reporting suspicious activity around our recruiting centers.

The "armed citizens" in Princeton have not identified themselves to the media. They tell us their presence has been welcomed by the community. Some people have even brought by refreshments. Friday morning, they were joined by members of the Marine Corps League Detachment 957.

"The only thing that concerns us as a police department is if we were happened to be called-down there of a shots fired and we get down there and they are shooting and we don't know who's the good guy and who's the bad guy. That is the only problem we have with it," says Sgt. Tommy Bailey with the Princeton Police Dept. on Thursday. 

It is legal to carry a weapon openly in West Virginia. 

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