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Increase in shootings force local law enforcement to revamp

By ALLISON NORLIAN

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) The shootings that occurred in Washington on Monday remind local first- responders to always have their guards up and brings back frightening memories for one local town and their Police Chief.

When the Herkimer/ Mohawk shootings occurred it shook the community and all first- responders. Herkimer Police Chief Joseph Malone said, " You think it doesn't happen here and it did so now we are changed police force...it all changed for us in March before then we were under the impression it would happen somewhere larger, somewhere not here."

However, it did occur locally and the Navy Yard shootings bring back memories and the realization that it could happen again. Malone said, " I think it brings back memories not only us in law enforcement but to the people here in the Villages of Herkimer and Mohawk and in this area still fresh in our minds from a few months ago. Its just proof this is becoming more common and more and more events like this are occurring."

Which is why Malone said that area police squads are receiving a bit of a make-over, "This year the states opening up grant funds to improve training and equipment for squat teams because of the events in Webster, Herkimer and Mohawk and because these are becoming more and more prevalent throughout the country. They realize we need better training better resources to respond to these."

Sheriff Robert Maciol said law enforcement officials need to change with the times, "Society is a little bit different and I think that's what causes law enforcement to be better prepared."

Both law enforcement officials said their hearts go out to the victims in Washington and their families.

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