After the deadly mass shooting in Orlando early Sunday morning New Haven police said they are paying close attention to public gatherings and LGBTQ venues.
Fifty people were killed after a man opened fire inside a gay nightclub in Orlando. The gunman, identified as Omar Mateen, was killed in a gunfight with officers.
On Sunday, New Haven Police Chief Dean M. Esserman ordered officers to focus on gathering places in the city, like nightclubs, concert halls, LGBTQ venues, theaters and public spaces.
“Our community is a greatly diverse one and we are a police department that sees everyone equally,” Esserman said in a statement.
New Haven Police Spokesman and Officer David Hartman told Eyewitness News the Elm City has the largest population of LGBTQ in the state.
"We are standing in solidarity with them in pledging our protection of venues that include LGBTQ events as well as theaters and nightclubs of which we have quite a few," Hartman said and went on to say, "although we are 1,100 plus miles away from Orlando, we feel the pain and see the need for alternate protection."
As of Sunday night, police said there is no threat of violence to New Haven or other Connecticut communities, but they are “responding with an abundance of caution.”
"We pray this is the terrible act of one individual at one place," Hartman said. "But, we caution that before the tragedy that befell Newtown in the state of Connecticut several years ago, no one could have expected that that would have happened either and we let that sit very heavily on our minds daily as we plan and upgrade plans regarding counter-terrorism and make plans as well."
In New Haven, Hartman said Esserman has spoken to his counterpart the special agent in charge of the FBI.
"We are responding to not just policing our communities as we do on a normal basis, but in this case we're policing fear," Hartman said. "We need to do whatever we can to assure people that the city is well covered and that we're prepared to handle anything that comes our way, god forbid it does."
Hartford police officials said they are working with federal partners to make sure the region is being monitored.
????HPD analysts working closely with our Fed partners this morning. Monitoring our region. Monitoring our safety. ????— D/C Foley (@LtFoley) June 12, 2016
We all must be observant guardians of each other— D/C Foley (@LtFoley) June 12, 2016
????If you see something. Say something. ????
For more on the Orlando nightclub shooting, click here.
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