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Hillsdale Police Chief Scott Hephner stated Hillsdale law enforcement is working to ensure a quick response if a terror-driven tragedy should occur in Hillsdale, fol­lowing the mass shooting Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday evening.

A police patrol vehicle.
Thomas Novelly/Collegian

Speaking at a City Council meeting on Monday, Hephner said both police and fire depart­ments are trained to respond to these kinds of events and that both depart­ments attend annual training ses­sions specif­i­cally des­ig­nated to educate law enforcement on public safety pre­paredness.

“I want to assure our com­munity that our per­sonnel are trained to respond should it occur,” he said.

The Hillsdale Police and Fire depart­ments have scheduled joint training with local Emer­gency Medical Ser­vices for a mock mass casualty drill later this fall, Hephner said.

“We know if it’s a mass casualty, we need as many people as pos­sible,” he said.

Local law enforcement depart­ments are also involved with schools, par­tic­i­pating in lockdown drills and training for pos­sible mass casualty events there.

Addi­tionally, Hephner said the city will be insti­tuting inter-depart­mental training, as well, citing the Fire Department’s plans to teach the Police Department how to attach a hose to a hydrant as an example of the city’s plans to inte­grate first response tactics.

“Right now, everyone is pro­tective of his orga­ni­zation; we need to get past that,” he said. “When it comes to our com­munity, if it hap­pened once, we need to antic­ipate that it could happen again. We need to make plans and train for that.”