North Dakota law enforcement learns tactics during Sandy Hook police training

By  | 

Dickinson, N.D. - The North Dakota Peace Officers Association Conference is in Dickinson this week.

Today, law enforcement from around the state were trained on how to handle a crisis like the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.

Redding, Connecticut police chief Doug Fuchs was on scene the day of the shooting, and his department dealt heavily with the aftermath as well.

"it was a wake up call to many, that we have to train more rigorously in our schools," said Redding Chief Douglas Fuchs.

Fuchs' training with North Dakota law enforcement explained how to prepare for the unimaginable.

Victim family management, handling grief, and rebuilding a community in the aftermath were parts of the lesson.

"it is very difficult to prepare for a tragedy like this, and I think there's always going to be some things that we're going to miss, but for us right now one of the things we need to review is to make sure we have our reunification plan," said superintendent Doug Sullivan.

Fuchs says Newtown is about the same size as Dickinson, so many of the lessons are applicable.

"hoping that we don't make some of the mistakes there and just get us better prepared. We plan for the worst and hope for the best," said Stark County Sheriff Terry Oestrich.

Fuchs says he hopes the biggest takeaway from the training is emotional aftermath of a tragedy.

"We can train a great deal about what to expect. But if you don't know what you don't know about the emotional aftermath, then you have no idea," said Fuchs.

Fuchs says it is important for law enforcement to also seek help and speak with a professional after a tragedy.