Local law enforcement agencies react to Orlando mass shooting - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local law enforcement agencies react to Orlando mass shooting

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Orlando Police Department officer's Kevlar helmet hit during shooting. Orlando Police Department officer's Kevlar helmet hit during shooting.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Local law enforcement agencies are reacting to the mass shooting that happened at an Orlando nightclub on Sunday. Many told Channel 3 training is the key to being prepared for a situation like that.

A picture of an Orlando Police Department officer's Kevlar helmet has thousands of likes and retweets on Twitter. It was hit with a bullet during a shootout with the gunman at a nightclub in Orlando.

The helmet saved the officer's life, but at least 49 other people died from the shooter's actions.

"Your first thought is always the tragedy to the human lives involved, the families that'll be impacted. The son, father, the wife, the children that won't come home," Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said.

Hammond said his office uses situations like the one Orlando for in-service training. The Sheriff's Office does have a SWAT team and said training and equipment can be the key for a quick response.

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However, Hammond told Channel 3 he did have one concern.

"Right now, my personal thought is we are not dealing with ISIS and radical Islam the way we need to or radicalization no matter where it comes from. We're not responding in a way to see this stop," Hammond said.

While Sheriff Hammond hasn't had any formal talks with his deputies, he said it's been brought up. Hammond said the shooting reminded him of a few things.

"I've been in the Navy. I lived three years in the Middle East. I've listened to the bombings. I've seen the bombings. I saw the incident that happened here last July in our own city when the military was attacked, these young men," Hammond said.

In Dalton, Georgia, their police chief, Jason Parker, said the situation has been talked about amongst officers, but it hasn't resulted in any training procedures. He agrees equipment like the Kevlar helmet can help.

"Just imagine what it would be like if the officer had not been wearing that equipment. Certainly he or she would have been likely killed," Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker said.

Moving forward, Parker said they're hoping to understand more of the tactics the shooter used and what techniques officers used.

"For police departments, we're just trying to determine what's the best way to train, what's the best way to prepare for that and also what's the best way to react when it does happen," Parker said.

Both agencies told Channel 3 they use past instances along with looking at other agencies to help develop their training. Both said they train their deputies or officers to be alert in any situation.

READ MORE | How to help Orlando victims and families

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