MIAMI (CBSMiami) – People screaming and running for their lives as officers scrambled to save lives – an image too familiar to Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates.
Referencing Sunday’s Las Vegas shooting, CBS4’s Vanessa Borge asked Oates, “What was your first thought?”
“Here we go again,” responded Oates.
Chief Oates was the former Aurora Police Department chief, when on July 20, 2012, a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in his city.
“It has this feel now that each event, whoever is involved, is trying to outdo whoever went before,” said Oates.
Twelve people were killed and 70 others were injured in Aurora.
On Sunday night, at least 59 people were killed and 527 others were injured in Las Vegas.
It is an event that has brought up a controversial debate – gun control.
“People want to ask the law enforcement official, who is in front of microphone, ‘What about gun policy?’ And my response is we should all be asking ourselves that question,
said Oates. “We should tackle those issues well before there is a shooting.”
One question Chief Oates has tried to answer, before it is too late, is “How do we protect our residents against mass casualty shootings?”
Following the Aurora attack, law enforcement officials re-examined their response tactics.
Law enforcement and fire rescue work together now during these mass casualty situations to help get victims get out. They don’t wait on ambulances. Police cruisers transport victims.
“Everybody with a pulse lived. We saved a whole lot of lives,” said Oates.
After Sunday’s shooting, those tactics need to change again, given how the shooter attacked his victims from the 32nd floor of a hotel.
“We may have to do unusual things in regards to high rises…what inspections we do before a major event takes place,” said Oates.
But there’s a question that beckons an answer – how do we as a society feel safe again?
“You have to be determined to live your life. You can’t give in to this kind of threat,” said Oates.
On Monday morning, after Chief Oates saw the news about Las Vegas, he got to work and immediately ordered another mass shooting training in January for the entire Miami Beach Police force.