SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Organizers held an interfaith meeting Thursday night to help neighbors dealing with the loss from Tuesday’s shooting. Many admitted they have never thought about how to cope after such a violent tragedy.
Brent Wilhite was one of the organizers of the event, which included religious leaders from different faiths around the area.
Wilhite said the meeting was about healing, but also informing people how to deal with this type of trauma for both adults and kids. Wilhite said even he was surprised about what he discovered in how kids cope these situations.
“We’ve learned that they may have a delayed reaction to some of this stuff,” said Wilhite. “While they receive great counseling at the school we need parents to understand how to watch for certain signs that their kids are going to go through to help them process all of this.”
Cameras were not allowed in the meeting, but faith and city leaders hoped to answer questions community members might have.
Sandy Police Chief Kevin Thacker was one of the people who spoke. He admitted even in their line of work this incident has taken a toll on his officers.
“I’ve been with Sandy City for 34 and a half years I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything affect our department the way this has,” said Chief Thacker.
The Chief notes officers do experience traumatic incidents as a part of their job, but have learned ways to help deal with it. Chief Thacker notes a person talking about how they feel is sometimes the best method for healing.
The tactic has proven so well his officers now speak after any major incidents. That’s why he’s glad to see it happening in the community.
“That’s proven very effective and I think as a community coming together it helps start that healing process that’s so important in something like this.”
The major message from experts is that it’s okay to seek help, and not always feel good.