LAWRENCE — Local police departments across Massachusetts are taking extra precautions after a man went on a shooting rampage in the Bronx, shooting at and wounding a total of two officers in a police van and inside the police station.
Some local police departments are responding to this situation in case it happens here.
In Lawrence, the first thing you see when you walk into the police station is bullet proof glass and a door where you can't get further until you get buzzed in.
From there on, it’s an open area where officers are exposed to some of the most dangerous criminals, not knowing if they have any weapons on them. All of the officers around them are exposed.
“Disgusting. You know as a police officer, there are risks on the job,” said Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque.
Chief Vasque said after the recent Bronx police station shooting, he is making sure his 150 police officers are on alert, especially since his department is one of the busiest in the state.
“We are dealing with a 1957 police building,” he said.
Most recently, a bullet proof window has been installed.
“This was a drive-thru window, I would call it. This would slide? They could jump the counter,” Vasque said.
That’s not the case anymore.
Last weekend, Robert Williams is accused of shooting two NYPD officers in a police van on Saturday night, wounding one.
Then, the next morning, authorities say Williams walked into a Bronx precinct and opened fire, hitting a lieutenant.
“The area was not protected. Not bullet proof glass, one of the first things was secure the front desk area and put this bullet proof glass in,” Vasque said.
As a Boston 25 news crew walked around the police station, like many, you need a code to get in.
“God forbid if they were able to get into this point, the situation would be minimized down here. They wouldn’t be able to penetrate any further into the building because of the security doors,” Vasque said.
Over at the Natick Police Department, Lt. Cara Rossi showed Boston 25 what’s in plan for the police department.
“The dispatchers who are unarmed civilians are trained to get themselves out of harm’s way,” Rossi said.
The civilians take shelter in the booking room.
In the end, “you could never be too careful, head on a swivel, pay attention. Don’t become complacent,” Rossi said.
We checked in with other area police departments to see what they’re doing. Methuen’s police chief said they have been doing more ambush training with their officers. Other departments have sent out internal memos reminding them to always go back to their training in case something like this happens.
In the end, it’s the police officers who have the tough job, and they are never 100 percent protected.
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