CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thursday’s drill at the Walden Galleria is one of several that take place each year. Stores gates are a part of the drill, because during the case of an emergency stores are instructed to lock up.
Following the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, police in Cheektowaga are on high alert. Shopping malls like the Walden Galleria are considered soft targets.
“After every major incident we’ll sit down and figure out if there’s any changes we need to make,” said Cheektowaga Police Assistant Chief Jim Speyer.
cheektowaga police and mall security have lockdown drills each quarter to make sure they have an up to date plan in case there’s ever an emergency situation.
“There’s active shooters, there’s bombings, any kind of vehicular attacks that you’re seeing now,” said Speyer.
Police have a communication system in place to let stores know what the threat level is, that also allows police to respond faster.
“We will know if anybody in the store needs help and if they do need help, how bad the situation is in each one of these stores,” said Speyer.
Some mallgoers say these drills bring them comfort.
“Safer yes they used to do them at my son’s school too so it completely makes me feel completely safer,” said Carrie Becht of Cheektowaga.
“Hoping we never have that kind of a problem here,” said Bill Bergler of Cheektowaga.
Assistant Chief Speyer says if you should ever God forbid find yourself in an active shooter situation, you should do these 3 things in order: run, hide, or fight.