Press Release

AFT, KOSE, AFT-Kansas Leaders Call for Better Security Following Shooting

For Release: 

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Janet Bass

WASHINGTON—Statement by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Lisa Ochs, president of the Kansas Organization of State Employees and president of AFT-Kansas; and Robert Choromanski, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, on the shooting of Kansas Department of Revenue agent Cortney Holloway allegedly by a man facing a warrant for unpaid taxes:

“Every employee has a right to work in a safe, secure environment. Some public employees experience an almost constant sense of vulnerability and fear, such as those entrusted with collecting unpaid taxes and seizing property to pay a tax lien. Kansas state agencies are housed in both public and privately owned buildings, and security or other protective measures vary from building to building. And public employees who work in the field can be especially vulnerable. Employees’ fears turned into reality this week when tax agent Cortney Holloway was shot multiple times in his office, allegedly by a disgruntled man facing a warrant for nearly $200,000 in unpaid taxes. Adequate security measures, not currently used in the privately owned building housing the Department of Revenue, might have prevented this tragedy.

“We call on the state to immediately prepare a vulnerability review/threat assessment for every state government building—public or privately owned—and fieldwork environment to ensure that all employees and others are properly protected. This ultimately could provide a uniform set of security policies that include installation of metal detectors and having armed security guards. A possible model would be the review process for identifying and assessing the safety, security and preparedness of Kansas school buildings and grounds. We also request on-site active shooter training for all public employees.

“KOSE members have complained to management that they fear for their safety, but nothing was done. Something must be done. Our goal is to ensure there is adequate security and protection for state employees and everyone who visits state facilities. We send our thoughts and prayers for Cortney Holloway’s full recovery and for the people who witnessed the unspeakable violence in their workplace.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.