Second church-security training session Tuesday

By ALLEN MINCEY
Posted 11/20/17

So many  people attended the church security and safety training presentation last Thursday that an additional training session has been scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m at the Bradley County …

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Second church-security training session Tuesday

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So many  people attended the church security and safety training presentation last Thursday that an additional training session has been scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m at the Bradley County Judicial Complex (Bradley County Jail).

The overwhelming response to last week's training session, in which some had to be turned away at the door because the North Training Room's capacity had already been exceeded, led to the Bradley County Sheriff's Office scheduling the second session. 

“Our agency’s seminar had an incredible response and filled up very quickly," said Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson, who led the training. "We  always hate to turn people away for classes, but in some cases, our space is limited. As a result, a special second seminar will be held for those who were not able to take part.” 

Watson introduced last Thursday's presentation by detailing some tragic events that have occurred in churches over the past few years. It became an even more urgent issue to many after the killings at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Twenty-six parishioners were left dead in the Nov. 5 shootings in the church.

As part of this initiative by the sheriff's office, the organization has developed training materials that will help faith-based and civic organizations create security plans to keep residents safe, according to Watson. Those materials were passed out at last Thursday's presentation, and they will be again during Tuesday's second event.

Though the Bradley County Sheriff's Office has had security plans in place, the Sutherland Springs shooting led many to seek information on how to address such events, what to watch for that might indicate someone presents a danger, and what to do should this type tragic event occur. It also helped with pointing out security and safety measures that churches, large or small, could put into place at minimal costs.

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.

 "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," the sheriff said. "In light of (Nov. 5'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."

District Attorney General Steve Crump and various officers with the Bradley County Sheriff's Office are scheduled to attend Tuesday's training.

Representatives from civic organizations are also invited to attend the training. If similar to last Thursday's meeting, the presentation should last until around 8 p.m.


 Inset Quote:

"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. In light of (Nov. 5'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." — Sheriff Eric Watson


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