From Staff Reports
From Staff ReportsIn the wake of the tragic Nov. 5 shootings that left 26 parishioners dead in the First Baptist Church in rural Sutherland Springs, Texas, the …
From Staff Reports
In the wake of the tragic Nov. 5 shootings that left 26 parishioners dead in the First Baptist Church in rural Sutherland Springs, Texas, the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is stepping up its continuing focus on community safety, with an event scheduled Thursday.
As part of this initiative, BCSO has developed training
materials that will help faith-based and civic organizations create security plans to keep
residents safe, according to Sheriff Eric Watson.
The law enforcement officer stressed, “Our goal is to help train security personnel for places of worship and to develop security
plans designed to minimize harm done in the event of an active shooter incident.”
He added, “When you’re a sheriff, you have to be prepared for many different types of events in
order to effectively protect the residents that you serve. In light of last week’s tragic
attack in Texas, the sheriff’s office has received multiple requests to provide training at
churches and other places of worship to ensure their facilities have the appropriate security
measures in place.”
BCSO has continuously developed materials over the years
for all churches in the area to use for training that will teach churches’ staffs and members
how to attempt to prevent critical incidents, and how to react if a critical incident occurs
during a gathering.
“Our agency’s training isn’t just a generic active shooter PowerPoint presentation,” Watson stressed. “It’s actual hands-on training that’s specific for the church environment or
any public forum organization. This training allows an opportunity for attendees to
receive training from local law-enforcement personnel who will be the actual first responders if an active-shooter situation should ever occur.”
Topics discussed in the training materials include conducting a security-risk assessment; developing a place of worship security plan; what to do during the critical incident; what to do immediately after the critical incident; the need to provide crisis intervention stress management afterward; hands-on defense training; and simulating weapon defense.
“The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to providing quality training to improve
public safety across our county,” Watson said. “As a community we must ensure places of worship remain
a safe haven and a place people feel comfortable to attend, which is the main reason our
agency has constantly held church security training seminars over the past three years.”
On Thursday, Nov. 16, at 6:30 p.m., training materials will be distributed to all interested pastors and/or their representatives, in addition to any civic organization leaders who
attend the meeting. The session will be held at the BCSO offices on Blythe Avenue.
For more information, contact Communications Director James Bradford at 423-728-7320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s actual hands-on training that’s specific for the church environment or any public forum organization. This training allows an opportunity for attendees to receive training from local law-enforcement personnel who will be the actual first responders if an active-shooter situation should ever occur.” — Eric Watson
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