NEWTON, Kan. — Harvey County is seeking federal money to help victims and first responders affected by a shooting at a lawn equipment factory in Hesston earlier this year.
Cedric Ford attacked the Excel Industries plant on Feb. 25, according to police. Ford killed three people and injured 14 before police stopped his rampage.
The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/2dwBtit ) reports that the Harvey County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task Force applied for a $220,000 grant to support a resiliency program that provides resources support programs, mental health therapy and activities for children among others. The money would be used to pay for mental health and counseling services, victim advocate services, education, training and equipment for law enforcement and emergency responders.
“There are programs available for people when something like this happens, but very few people know about them and very few people actually know how to help people access those services,” Harvey County administrator John Waltner said.
The county and the task force will also apply for grants that would provide first responders with education and training on emergency management, mass violence, mental health and victimization. One of the grant applications would help the county cover overtime costs and replenish supplies used to respond to the shooting.
“When people are trained and know what to do, it really goes a long ways in returning to some state of normalcy,” Waltner said. “If that knowledge can get embedded in a lot of people in our county, that information could be utilized.”
Waltner said while the programs won’t make the trauma go away, it gives the community an opportunity to recover and utilize more resources.
Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com