San Bernardino Mass Shooting Hits Home for Connecticut Police

The images coming out of San Bernardino after a deadly mass shooting are tough to escape and  that's no exception for police officers in Connecticut. Even though the mass shooting is unfolding roughly 3,000 miles away, for many the tragedy hits home.

“Unfortunately this has become a reality for law enforcement,” Cpl. Stanley Parizo of the Willimantic Police Department said. “It goes back to the Connecticut lottery shooting, the HDI and the tragedy at Sandy Hook.”

Cpl. Parizo says with each tragedy comes a lesson that is vital as police departments prepare for the unthinkable. The Willimantic Police Department debriefs on every mass shooting and will discuss what happened in California in the coming days.

“It’s about what we can do as law enforcement nationwide to make sure if this does happen here, how we can do it better,” Corp. Parizo said. “The days of it can’t happen here are over.”

Since the school shooting at Sandy Hook, there is more training for police officers in Connecticut including active shooter drills to SWAT team challenges. Police officers in Willimantic attend active shooter training on a monthly basis, and were one of about dozen departments who attended training in Groton Wednesday.

Gov. Dannel Malloy says Connecticut has learned a number of lessons from the school shooting at Sandy Hook. He called California Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday to offer his help.

“We have a level of expertise on handling these mass shootings that we have been asked to share with people in the past,” Gov. Malloy said.

As a precaution, Governor Malloy has called for more state police patrols outside of Department of Disabilities facilities in Connecticut.

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