Miami Beach Police Chief Speaks Out on Vegas Tragedy - NBC 6 South Florida

Miami Beach Police Chief Speaks Out on Vegas Tragedy

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    NBC 6's Jamie Guirola sits with Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel J. Oates, who shares his experience in dealing with mass shootings.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

    Sunday night’s massacre brought up horrible memories for one local police chief.

    Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates worked for the Aurora Police Department in 2012, when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater.

    “Our event back in July of 2012 was at the time the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. That term begins to have no meaning anymore,” said Oates.

    That mass shooting forced him to re-evaluate law enforcement’s preparedness for that type of enclosed attack. The mass shooting in Las Vegas has him taking another look at their active shooter game plan.

    “There’s this perverse fraternity of communities, police departments, police chiefs, that have been through this kind of thing and you can’t find words to describe the cataclysm that happens to a community when you’re victimized this way,” said Oates.

    Oates says it’s hard to watch news coverage of what happened in Las Vegas, but the automatic weapon massacre changes everything.

    “What this guy did was truly diabolical,” said Oates. “The automatic weapons is a huge escalation. It’s as if each person is trying to outdo the last terrible evil person who tried to commit mass murder.”

    Oates never comments publicly on issues like gun control, and he can’t talk specifics on tactical training.

    “We’re a very open society. That’s not going to change,” said Oates. “And every police chief in America, every leader in America will think differently about open venues where there are high rise buildings nearby.”

    Just as important as tactical training, is training for paramedics and firefighters and coordinating help for the injured. He also requires Miami Beach officers to complete “Stop the Bleeding” training.

    “We recently this year issued tourniquets and gave a half day of training on the use of tourniquets to every police officer in Miami Beach. That’s also happening across the country,” said Oates.

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