Warsaw police officer worked with Las Vegas police, recalls training practices
WARSAW, Ind. -- Las Vegas continues to pick up the pieces, after the deadliest shooting in the nation's history. In the midst of Sunday night's events, one Michiana police officer is remembering his old team.
It's a morning that many, including Warsaw police officer Roy Navarro, will never forget.
"At 3:30 this morning, I got a text from an old coworker that I used to work with, and he's telling everyone to stay away from the strip. As soon as I open up my Facebook, my Facebook screen goes blue and I see my picture pop up, asking if I was safe," recalls Navarro.
It's the morning the country woke up to more than 58 people dead, and more than 500 hurt.
They were all attending a country music festival in Las Vegas.
"For a Sunday night on the strip, you're not expecting anything like that," says Navarro. "It's a very calm evening."
A calm evening that is typical in between waves of tourists.
For Navarro, it hits a little too close to home.
He spent time in the entertainment capital of the world, working security for the casino industry, and as a police officer with the Las Vegas Metro Police.
"We were the first in line of defense when it came to incidents that could happen on the strip," says Navarro proudly.
He recalls training constantly.
Once a month drills that would help the force make sure the city stays safe.
"There's just a big team effort. And that's because in the big scenarios that we train over there, there will be three to four thousand victims." Navarro explains. "There's a lot of things that they do to see where they're weak. The only trouble is that it's just training."
Because the department knew, something could happen.
"The amount of visitors that come to Las Vegas on a yearly basis, you have to be prepared for anything," he adds. "They train a lot and work hard at making sure the city stays safe."
Another American city is now shattered.
But Navarro is confident, the city will come back back, stronger than ever.
"Las Vegas is a very resilient city," he says. "With time, I'm hoping that people will feel like it's safe to go back out there and visit again."
He always keeps a piece of Las Vegas with him, in the form of his old police lanyard, around his neck.
And now more than ever, his heart is out west.
"I wear it because, it's a little bit of my history and I appreciate my time out there with them," Navarro explains.