New Hampshire general will oversee Wisconsin Guard changes

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An East Coast general will oversee changes in the Wisconsin National Guard’s sexual assault protocols, Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday.

The governor’s office said Brig. Gen. Laurie Ferris of the New Hampshire National Guard will lead implementation the changes. Farris is the assistant adjutant general for air for the New Hampshire Guard and is responsible for supervising 1,200 officers and airmen.

The National Guard Bureau in December announced it had uncovered multiple shortcomings in the Wisconsin Guard’s protocols, most notably commanders opening internal investigations into complaints rather than referring them to Army or Air Force criminal investigators as required by federal law and U.S. Department of Defense policy. The Wisconsin Guard’s top commander, Adj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, resigned at Evers’ request hours before the NGB findings became public.

Evers issued an executive order calling for the Wisconsin Guard to implement 21 of the NGB’s recommendations for improvement and find ways to prevent sexual misconduct, in part by adopting best practices from other states. The order calls for all the changes to be in place by September and for a general officer to oversee implementation.