Bridgeport police stand ready in wake of California massacre

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

The Bridgeport Police Department briefed its officers Friday to be vigilant in the event of a mass shooting in the wake of the California massacre.

Chief AJ Perez says the latest massacre in California, which left 13 people dead including the gunman, has prompted him to meet with the emergency services unit to make sure the department is ready in case of an attack.

Perez says it's not enough for law enforcement officials to stand in unity with other agencies and with the families of victims after a mass shooting.

The chief says that training, combined with access to assault rifles, makes him feel confident his officers are prepared to respond to an armed attack.

He says the officer who was killed in California had nothing more than a simple sidearm, and the outcome might have been different had he been armed with an assault weapon.

Sgt. Jeffrey Long says when Bridgeport police were given the opportunity to buy assault rifles for use on the job, virtually everybody did so, and as a result, his department is now better prepared should something an attack happen here.

"We normally carry our firearms, which is OK, but when you're getting shot with something like this or being shot at with something like this, you need to have something that's equal to the power that they're using," Long says.

Bridgeport officers have been specifically trained to deal with former military personnel, just like the California shooter.

"We pride ourselves on knowing that we're ready to defend and protect the good people of the city of Bridgeport and we'll continue to do so," says Perez.

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