Washington D.C. Shooting Hits Home For Many Locals, Officials - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Washington D.C. Shooting Hits Home For Many Locals, Officials

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WMDT 47 News – While Monday's tragic events in Washington, D.C. may not pose any current threat to the Eastern Shore, many have family and loved ones living and working in the area.

"Right away I texted my daughter because she lives ten minutes from that area," says Patty Heberling, an Ocean City vacationer. "It's scary, everything is scary."

Local law enforcement and emergency management officials say they went about their normal business on September 16th, but they were more watchful than usual.

"Our officers were briefed for situational awareness purposes, and we told them to remain vigilant," says Captain Steve Kolb with the Salisbury Police Department.

Despite the fact that there were no active local threats on Monday, Kolb admits that this kind of situation can happen anywhere.

"I don't think any type of community is immune to this unfortunately."

Joe Theobald, Emergency Services Director for Ocean City, says that while the shooting was an unfortunate and tragic event, it is not the first event like this he has seen in recent years, and unfortunately, will probably not be the last.

"The issue in Washington should be used as a wake up call to everyone," says Theobald. "Bad things do happen."

Theobald says they cannot always control the actions of others, but they do the best they can to keep the public safe at all times. Like all local emergency services, they have an "emergency operations plan," but Theobald says in order for it to be successful, the public also needs to prepare.

"The public has to be a part of the solution too, they need to be vigilant, take actions for their own preparedness, and have family plans together in case they cannot contact one another. Anytime there is a large congregation of people, anything can happen at any time."

The local Coast Guard in Ocean City says they are on high alert, but that is part of their normal security protocol since September 11th. The Baltimore sector set up a temporary safety and security zone in the waters around Washington D.C. after the shooting, and although Ocean City Coast Guard officials were not called in to help, they said they were ready for action at any time.

"We always train to have the highest guard."

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