South Georgia law enforcement shaken by Las Vegas massacre

South Georgia law enforcement shaken by Las Vegas massacre
Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul (Source: WALB)
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)
Albany Police Chief Michael Persley (Source: WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Senseless killings, like the one in Las Vegas, are changing the job of law enforcement personnel dramatically.

Although it was thousands of miles away, the horrific shooting is impacting officers here at home.

"Every time our children see an event like this, it traumatizes them even more," explained Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul. "There's just so many issues out there we have to be acutely aware of and try to prevent or train up people as much as we can."

Two thousand miles away from terror, where the lives of 59 people were taken by one man, law enforcement officers are having a tough conversation.

"It's something to give us something else to think about," said Albany Police Chief Michael Persley.

Sheriff Sproul said a lot has changed in the world since he first put on a law enforcement uniform 36 years ago.

"It didn't seem like there was that many evil people with that many evil thoughts. Now it seems like it's just multiplying," said Sproul.

Sheriff Sproul and Chief Persley said the violent events we see worldwide force them to make changes in their departments.

"We're always training. We're always prepping our people. We're always staying on them and telling them don't become complacent, understanding your surroundings at all time," explained Sproul.

Often times they said these events can't be predicted.

"A lot of times people talk about what you can do to prevent it or deter it. There are things we can do to deter it, but the biggest thing is what will our response be?" said Persley.

For now, law enforcement leaders are trying to keep this community at peace.

"Interacting with the community and communicating with individuals that care about our community is vital," explained Sproul.

One way of doing that is being a part of the 'Stop the Violence' group that meets weekly in Albany.

Both the Sheriff and Police Chief help run the meetings along with the Dougherty County Coroner.

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