A gunman opens fire on an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas. As people tried to escape, law enforcement acted as quickly as possible and that left and impression on local officers.
“It’s a horrific event, one in which, it’s pretty tough to train for. No one ever would consider that someone could inflict that sort of carnage on the general public,” Ralph Evangelous, Wilmington (NC) Police Chief, said.
“Our job is to prepare for the worst. So, you know, we are training all the time, we are trying to prepare for these things,” Ed McMahon, New Hanover county sheriff, said.
If there’s something that comes out of this, it’s education. Both the Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover county sheriff’s office use what happened in Vegas and the the Pulse Night Club in Orlando as learning experiences.
“I think that’s important that we look at what has happened and try to dissect it and learn from it. I mean we should always be learning from one another,” Evangelous said.
They adapt their protocols and make sure officers are aware at all times, if anything were to happen in the Cape Fear.
“Every deputy, every officer has specific training for active shooting, and we also of course have our emergency response team. We have a civil disturbance unit, so you know we prepare and train for these things and we pray that it never happens,” McMahon said.
But they say despite all their training, it’s you, the general public, who help them do their job.
“We have to have your help. We cannot do it alone. You have to be our eyes and our ears,” McMahon said.
“When they see something they need to call. When something doesn’t look right or feel right, call. That’s what we’re here for,” Evangelous said.
Both the New Hanover county sheriff’s office and the Wilmington Police Department want to reiterate to the public: there is no need to worry as they stay vigilant and everyone should still go out and enjoy any events coming up.