PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – The Plainfield Police Department is passing along safety techniques to places of worship.
This comes after someone vandalized the local Islamic center nearly 3 months ago. The incident was an eye opener for local mosques, synagogues and churches, and it sparked a conversation about safety, specifically about an active shooter situation.
“You never know if anything is going to happen” Islamic Society of North America spokesperson Faryal Khatri said.
The Islamic center was the target of vandals back in February. Authorities released video showing three men spray painting graffiti laced with racial slurs and obscenities on the side of the building.
The case drew outrage from the community at the time.
“I don’t think it’s representative of the people that live here,” a resident said at the time. “We’re in this together. They’re a part of this community.”
The incident made people at the Islamic center reconsider their safety plan.
“I think we really realized that maybe we need some more security measures, and I think it’s really a positive thing that came out it.” Khatri said.
“I’ve actually been an active shooter instructor for over 12 years. I’ve been instructing other police officers how to respond to an active shooter event.” Plainfield Police Department Sgt. Tom Kinman said.
But now he’s instructing places of worship like the Islamic center, churches, and local businesses too.
“I’ve done some risk assessments at warehouses; just walked through the buildings with some of the supervisors and give them some suggestions on how to make it safer for them. The basis of it is avoid, deny and defend,” Sgt. Kinman said.
The goal Sgt. Kinman said is to make sure the police get there as soon as possible.
As for the vandalism case, no arrests have been made. But the Islamic center is trying to stay positive. They said had the vandalism not occurred, neither would the meetings.
“I think it’s a really positive thing that came out of it. It brought the community together because it was an interfaith event and we opened it up to not just mosques but all places of worship,” Khatri said.
Sgt Kinman will meet with the Plainfield Town Council next week as well. He said the goal is to let everyone know what he’s teaching and why.Town leaders say they support what he’s doing.