SMPD Reflects on Fort Hood Shooting

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    SMPD Reflects on Fort Hood Shooting

In the wake of the Fort Hood shooting on April 2, we spoke to San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams to get his take on the event.

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Police Chief Howard Williams has served San Marcos for 11 years now, and said that the city has never seen a mass shooting like what happened in Fort Hood last week. Williams said when he first heard about the event, he had lots of questions and his thoughts went to the victims and their families.

Williams said that although all of his officers are trained for situations like the Fort Hood shooting, there really are not any preventative measures that can be taken.

“How difficult is it for someone to just pick up a gun and go somewhere and start shooting? There’s simply no way to know that people are planning that.”
– Howard Williams

Williams said that many of the recent shootings have come from people who were diagnosed with a mental illness. In the Fort Hood shooting, the shooter was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and claimed to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Williams said that San Marcos has taken steps to try to help those with mental health issues. The police department has created a victims services program and a joint unit with the sheriff’s department to have officers specially trained to deal with mental health patients.

“We have taken a big step forward in trying to address those mental health issues in San Marcos and Hays County, to try to keep the kind of things that just happened at Fort Hood from happening here. Again, that’s no guarantee, but it’s right now the best hope that we have.”
– Howard Williams

Williams says that the shooting incident brings to attention the need of the country to improve it’s mental health care program.

“I recognize the complexity of that problem, and I know that there are some very capable, very intelligent people working to try to resolve and find cures for some of these mental health issues that we see people experiencing, but we have got to do better and we have got to do more. This seems to be just a painfully recurring theme in these mass shootings, and that is mental health problems.”
– Howard Williams

Tara Pohlmeyer, KTSW News



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