Long Island law enforcement officials are assuring resident they are on high alert following the massacre of 31 people in two separate mass shooting incidents over the weekend.
The first shooting happened at a Walmart at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, just after 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3 local time (and 1 p.m. Eastern time). In that incident, 22 people were killed and 26 injured.
Twelve hours later, at around 1 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, another gunman opened fire in the historic Oregon District in downtown Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people and injuring 37.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said that although there are no known imminent threats in the area, the department's Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Unit is working with federal, state, and local authorities to ensure a cohesive exchange of information.
The department, he said, has also intensified patrols around malls, public events, and other areas of concern.
"The public is reminded if they see any suspicious activity to call 911 immediately," the department said.
Suffolk County Chief of the Department Stuart Cameron said his department is also beefing up security, especially at areas featuring popular nightspots and large shopping area, but that one of the most important things is for residents to be prepared themselves.
To help, the department offers several classes under their SHIELD program that offers seminars on what do in the case of an Active Shooter; Safety in the Sanctuary, for steps to take in the event of an attack at a house of worship, and finally, Bleeding Control Basic, which is a class designed for civilians to learn how to recognize and control life-threatening bleeding associated with massive wounds before EMS arrives.
Cameron also warns residents to be aware of their surroundings, such as, where are there extra exits besides the front door; does someone or something seem wrong, and to have a family or personal plan.
The chief said once the shooting is over is when the real work begins, especially with mass casualties and rescuing those left behind.
"Don't be a deer in a headlight," he said. "Have a plan."
But, he added, don't fixate on the issue. Don't be in fear all of the time, but be aware.
Most importantly, he wants residents to know that the department is always training and learning from each incident and is ready to respond within seconds if possible.
And of course, "If you see something, say something," he added. "If something makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, then something probably isn't right."
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