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Fort Hood officers, hailed as heroes, losing jobs

By Cox News Service
Aug. 8, 2011 at 11 p.m.

FORT HOOD - The two Fort Hood police officers celebrated as heroes for responding first to the 2009 shooting massacre at this Army post were told recently they would lose their jobs as part of broader military budget cuts.

Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, who is credited with taking down suspected shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan, have both left Fort Hood in advance of the end of their jobs. Fort Hood officials said other civilian police officers on the post who were hired on a year-to-year basis will likewise not see their employment renewed.

"We all hold Fort Hood in our hearts and never thought we would be facing cutbacks," said Munley, who has taken an unpaid leave of absence.

Fort Hood officials said the civilian police officers will be replaced with military police soldiers, or MPs, in a sign that the wartime posture of the Army's busiest deployment hub is slowing down.

Officials said Fort Hood increased hiring of civilian officers in 2003 as military police soldiers were increasingly deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, a trend that is reversing.

"As more MP soldiers are available at Fort Hood, we return to the use of MPs for law enforcement," Christopher Zimmer, deputy director for the Directorate of Emergency Services at Fort Hood, said in a statement.

It was unclear how much Fort Hood's garrison budget had been reduced. Fort Hood officials referred budget questions to the Army's Installation Management Command, which referred questions to Fort Hood.

Todd and Munley were the first law enforcement officers to arrive at a busy medical processing center after a gunman killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others on Nov. 5, 2009. According to testimony in a pretrial evidentiary hearing for Hasan, Todd fired the shots that paralyzed the Army psychiatrist from the chest down and ended the rampage. Munley testified that her gun malfunctioned and that she was shot three times by the gunman.

The two police officers were widely celebrated after the incident, being named National Law Enforcement Officers of the Year by the American Police Hall of Fame.

Munley, who had knee replacement surgery after the shooting and continues to recover, said she worried the cutbacks would make Fort Hood more vulnerable to attacks.

Todd resigned from the Fort Hood police force and took a job as an overseas contractor in July, according to Fort Hood officials.

Todd could not be reached for comment.

According to the pretrial testimony, Todd's actions outside the soldier readiness processing center probably saved more lives. Investigators said Hasan had 177 unspent cartridges on him when he was gunned down.



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