VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – On the heels of the deadliest shooting massacre in modern history, local authorities tell 10 On Your Side that they have security plans in place for large gatherings.
“We have a very definitive plan, we always have a definitive plan for every event at the Oceanfront,” said Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera. “We do worry about copycats so we do up-staff as best as we can.”
Cervera stated that the department will be increasing staff at events this weekend, including a country music beach party scheduled for Sunday.
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He said the department has always had tailored security plans in place at schools and other venues, too. Their procedures involve coordination with fire officials, EMS and other law enforcement agencies.
“We have a very robust connection with all the federal agencies to see what is going on around the country in an effort to try to mitigate a problem before it even hits,” Cervera said.
For security reasons, Cervera wouldn’t break down their specific strategies, but he did state that citizens can count on first responders to be, “the ones who are going to put themselves in harm’s way, God forbid should it go in that direction.”
He told 10 On Your Side that his department strives to learn from law enforcement responses to chaos across the nation.
“We’re a learning organization, we’re a learning profession,” he said. “We learned from the Boston case, we learned from the Charlottesville case, we learned from what happened down in Orlando, and we will learn from what happened out in Las Vegas.”
He added that Las Vegas is an “excellently run” police agency and that Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo is a personal friend.
Cervera encourages citizens to report suspicious activity and to follow the “RUN.HIDE.FIGHT.“ model if ever in an active shooter situation.
In the aftermath of mass shootings, he said, “the best thing that we can do as a society is continue to go forward.”
Citizens we spoke with on Monday agreed, stating that the Las Vegas tragedy won’t discourage them from attending festivals or concerts from here on out.
“We can’t just lock ourselves up and keep ourselves away,” one woman said.
Although, she worries that the type of carnage that occurred further west can occur anywhere, and at any time.
“It’s never gonna end.”