NATION

Navy Yard shooting: Security clearance overhaul pushed forward by officials

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(WJLA) - The United States Navy is intent on having the Office of Personnel Management obtain all available police records connected to potential employees or contractors that it's performing background checks on, officials say.

Several incidents in Aaron Alexis' past, including shooting out tires of a vehicle in Seattle, never came to light. Photo: FBI

Naval officials say that the proposal, which must be approved by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, is one of three recommendations the organization pushed forward in an effort to step up security procedures.

The recommendations come in the wake of the Sept. 16 shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, during which Navy reservist and contractor Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people.

Questions have been raised in the wake of the shooting, including why several incidents in Alexis' past did not come to light until after he was killed. These include an unreported arrest, blemishes on his credit report and other incidents.

Two other security recommendations have already been approved by Ray Mabus, the secretary of the Navy. Those requests include having command security responsibilities assigned only to executive officers and requiring senior-level accountability on the evaluations and fitness reports of everyone in the Navy.

Naval and government officials have been trying to figure out since the shooting how Alexis received a secret security clearance despite the aforementioned incidents. In one unreported portion, Alexis shot out the tires of a construction worker's car several years ago.

However, it was only reported that Alexis had "deflated" the tires, and during a 2007 interview with OPM, firearms were never mentioned. No charges were filed.

The Navy Yard shooter also went AWOL during his stint of active duty in the Navy because he was arrested and spent time in jail after being cited for disorderly conduct outside a nightclub.

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