OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - The Jewish Community Center opened its doors Wednesday morning for the first time since Sunday's deadly shooting.
The Overland Park Police Department increased patrols at the center, which is restoring confidence in many members and visitors.
"I was dropping my son off at daycare, and I wasn't sure how I would feel; I thought I might be nervous about it," JCC mother Rebecca Katz said. "But there was an officer sitting right in the circle drive, which is also right outside my son's classroom. I just went over and I said 'thank you' because it means so much to us to have their support, and just to know that they are all watching out for us and to make sure that something like this will not happen."
Katz said seeing the parking lot completely empty in the days after the shooting made her feel hollow and sad. Wednesday, the parking lot was full, which assured Katz that the community will get through this difficult time.
"I said 'thank you' to our preschool director Maxine, and she just looked at me and said 'we have to be here because that's how we win,'" Katz said.
The center will host an interfaith prayer vigil on Thursday at 10 a.m. Religious leaders and members of all different faiths will come together to pray for the victims’ families and for peace in the community.
The event is open to the public.