Local churches prepare for active shooter situations with class - FOX Carolina 21

Local churches prepare for active shooter situations with class taught by Laurens Co. Sheriff

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LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Another mass shooting has churches across the country rethinking their security, and Upstate churches are no exception.

The Texas church massacre shook the country earlier this month, when Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire on the congregation at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Kelley killed 26 people, including an unborn child, making it the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history.

On Tuesday night, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office held a meeting to help local churches plan and prepare for crisis and active-shooter situations.

“The same things can happen in this county that happen everywhere else,” said Laurens Co. Sheriff Don Reynolds.

Sheriff Don Reynolds said it’s important for church leaders to know what signs to look out for.

“Be aware of your surroundings when it comes to the people in the church because quite often, they’re displaying some type of action that we’re maybe not paying attention to,” said Sheriff Reynolds.

Sheriff Reynolds encouraged his community to follow ALICE training protocol.  The program stands for alert, lock down, inform, counter and evacuate, and specifically designed for active shooter situations.

According to the ALICE program, church leaders should alert their congregation and other parts of the church when a threat occurs, lock down the room, create a barrier between the shooter and the victim and wait until it is safe to evacuate.

Local pastor, Roland Sigman pastors Poplar Springs AME Church in Laurens County and attended the meeting Tuesday night.

“The reality exists that there are challenges that we have in our congregations and we want our persons to be safe,” said Sigman, “This allows us to be prepared if anything should occur.”  

Sheriff Reynolds said the Sheriff’s Office will have another church safety meeting in the next few weeks.

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