Law enforcement agencies work to allay public's fears after Orlando shooting

Published: Jun. 13, 2016 at 9:49 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2016 at 10:50 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Following the tragic mass shooting in Orlando, Midlands law enforcement agencies have been in constant communication with the FBI and Homeland Security.

As they work to protect the public first, officials are also looking for ways to calm the fears of the public.

Mark Keel, Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, said there are currently no threats to our state related to the Orlando shooting.

However, SLED said it is extremely important that the public help law enforcement by keeping an ear and eye open on anything suspicious and reporting any unusual behavior. Although every scenario presents different challenges, they train on a variety of real-life situations in an effort to be prepared for anything.

"Of course, we train our officers to do the investigations, the tactical part, as far as going into a situation like this," Keel said. "We train our special response teams, our SWAT teams. We are in constant training to prepare for incidents like this and be able to respond and try and do everything to mitigate the loss of life."

Still, Chief Keel believes our law enforcement agencies are prepared as best they can be for an event like a mass shooting.

"I would tell you in South Carolina, we have as good of a relationship with our law enforcement partners in any state," Keel said. "We have folks that come from out of state into South Carolina and are always amazed at the way our agencies get along together. So, certainly, we are going to be the best prepared that we possibly can be."

Chief Keel said it only took a few hours following the incident in Orlando for SLED to get in touch with their federal partners.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department is working with the Columbia Police Department on tactical discussions following the shooting.

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