Local authorities on alert after mall shooting in Oregon - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Local authorities on alert after mall shooting in Portland

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The mass shooting in Oregon has local law enforcement exploring some frightening what-ifs.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police say it's something they're well trained for.

Throughout the year, but especially during the holidays, police work with mall security to ensure the safety of the guests.

They even enact their Jingle Bell Patrol and utilize their mounted horse unit to patrol the mall parking lots.

WTOC spoke with a former police chief and security expert who has experience with shooting incidents at local malls, including an officer involved shooting. He says while police may not be able to predict an attack like Tuesday's, there are keys to preventing one.

"You have to respond immediately," said Chuck Simmons, director of special operations at Norred and Associates. The Atlanta security firm that staffs security at major retailers.

"We had, as they had in Oregon. They responded in a minute. You have to engage as soon as possible to limit your victims. The people who are shopping today have to be more aware of their surroundings and if they see things that are odd, move away and notify somebody."

"We have always been prepared," said Julian Miller, public information officer at SCMPD. "We have special operation are always in place. The SWAT team is always in training and is always trying to stay up to date."

Police said one of the best prevention methods is for people to call 911 if they see something that looks suspicious.

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