Crime

Homeland Security trains churches for active shooters

When you’re sitting in church, the last thing you are thinking about is the danger you might be in.

That’s why the Department of Homeland Security offers active shooter training for those who serve on church security committees in houses of worship across the state.

“When we go out to the churches, we try to get them to understand that yes, you’re carrying a firearm,” said DHS Director of Operations James Brenson. “But not every situation requires you to pull that firearm.

Brenson said that a church’s response to something that could happen should be preparation.

“How you place people, watching who is coming in and coming out,” said Brenson. “Actually establishing a security platform in your church is a place to start.”

Preparedness is the number one technique Brenson said they teach to the church.

“Set up programs so you can see who is coming in the church, who may be trouble, acting funny, know how to talk to them,” said Brenson. “And always notify your local law enforcement if you have any inkling of a situation to get them involved.”

Brenson said even with a prepared church group, law enforcement professionals should be called to assist a situation.

“It isn’t uncommon for a church to get someone mentally unstable,” Brenson said. “And you’ve just got to know how to talk to them.”

For training tips, or to speak with the Department of Homeland Security regarding their training, visit their website.

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