Bad things happen in communities around the world.

Whether it is a disgruntled employee, a student who never seemed to fit in or someone who wants to get back at the government, society has seen what can happen when people have simply had enough.

That can’t happen here, though, right?

Wrong.

The reality is that what is happening in places that seem far away could very easily happen anywhere. The question that needs to be asked is what kind of preparation has been put in place should one of those tragic events unfold in this community?

To help answer that question and to show others how to begin moving toward being prepared a community meeting is being held April 29 at Cornerstone Church in Redwood Falls. That day from 5-7 p.m. an event known as Safe and Sound: Creating Secure Communities is going to be held as a way to discuss a variety of topics such as the awareness of safety concerns, active intervention techniques, the role of mental health, policies and procedures that can be implemented and more.

“A number of concerned citizens saw a need in the community,” said Marcus Kendall, Cornerstone Church pastor and one of the people helping coordinate the Safe and Sound event. “We as businesses, churches, schools and as a whole community need to be prepared.”

No, added, Kendall, this event is not intended to scare anyone.

Rather it is about opening up a dialogue to accept the reality as it exists and to offer ways to take a proactive approach to emergency preparedness. 

The event will also include a panel discussion with an opportunity for those attending to ask questions with a number of local speakers sharing from their area of expertise.

The panel will include Rick Jorgensen, Redwood Valley High School principal; Dana Woodford, Redwood Falls Police Department officer and school resource officer; Marcel Krueger, who is an instructor at River Valley Arms & Ammo with more than seven years of experience in law enforcement who is also trained as an EMT; Lori Kendall, mental health professional, Mike Aude, head of security for Jackpot Junction and Duane Frank, DOC probation officer.

The meeting is open to everyone who has in interest in making their community safer.

There is no charge to attend. This event is a collaborative effort including law enforcement, business, mental health professionals and non-profit entities. Find out more online at cornerstonerf.com.