R.D. Castilla, a Prince William County Police first sergeant, hopped in his cruiser Monday morning to go visit his neighbors.
Within minutes of his house, is the Sikh Center of Virginia where more than 200 Sikhs practice their faith.
Castilla said he was there to reassure the members, who he considers his neighbors, that law enforcement is there to protect them. There's no reason, he said, for them to believe their place of worship is a target, even in light of a tragic shooting at a Sikh center for worship in suburban Milwaukee, WI on Sunday that left seven people—six worshipers and the alleged shooter—dead.
The Sikh Center of Virginia was the first place he thought about when officers in the department began coordinator efforts to reach out to the Sikh community, Castilla said.
Castilla is the Crime Prevention Unit Supervisor for the county's police department.
The center is on Buckhall Road off Prince William Parkway, right down the road from Castilla's home also located off the main throughfare. The center is just outside the city of Manassas and in his agency's jurisdiction.
He pulled up in the gravel parking lot of the center just as its priest, current president and a member of its board of trustees were on the way to police headquarters to thank the police chief for their efforts.
It was a police officer that killed the alleged gunman in the Wisconsin shooting possibly saving more lives, Surindar Singh Harsra, the president of the Manassas center, said Monday.
He's happy he showed up when he did, Castilla said.
"They were coming to see us and I beat them to it," he said.
Related Content: Photos: Inside Sikh Center of Virginia in Manassas
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