Faith leaders in Pine Bluff request active shooter training
Pine Bluff (KATV) —
It's a situation no one wants to find themselves in, but one group in Pine Bluff would rather be prepared than sorry.
Following Sunday's massacre at a Texas church, faith leaders are requesting active shooter training.
On Wednesday, the Pine Bluff Community Coalition Ministerial Alliance along with the Pine Bluff Police Department met to discuss the logistics and how to bring more than 400 churches together to receive this important training.
"We could publicize in such a way to where we can get a greater number of people to come and learn about what we need to know, what we can do, other than sit there and let somebody come into our church and shoot us down just like we don't exist,” said Reverend Jesse C. Turner.
PBPD told KATV they've held 117 classes in the last four years to provide active shooter training.
"They didn't realize the things they could have done to raise their safety, and a lot of it is little small things. Some of it will cost you a little bit of money. Some of it if you want to do it really big, it's going to cost quite a bit, but a lot of it costs absolutely nothing. It’s just changing routine and habits,” said PBPD Lieutenant David De Foor.
One local pastor, whose congregation has gone through the training, said it helped them understand their vulnerabilities.
"One of the most important things is understanding how vulnerable you are and then being proactive to address those challenges, so very helpful in that sense,” said Lead Pastor Gary Bell of Pine Bluff First Assembly. “We saw things with our physical facility we needed to change, educated our leadership, that was important to understand how to respond as they teach us. We're the first responders."
PBPD said they'll train anyone who requests it, whether it be 100 people or just two. Law enforcement also encourages Arkansans to check with their local police department for any active shooter training they provide.