Local churches undergo active threat training

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Law enforcement officials investigate a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Church shootings are becoming distressingly commonplace, like in the recent Sutherland Springs shooting where over 20 people were killed.

This has led to a new wave of crisis management and in a bid to combat this problem few San Antonio church leaders are providing active threat training to their staff and volunteers.

Strategos International training instructor, Guy Beveridge said, “We don’t like to think about it. We think of church as a welcoming, come one, come all approach. Unfortunately, we’re being attacked because we’re looked at as a soft target.”

Beveridge is training men and women from all corners of the country, from parking lot attendants to ushers and deacons to respond actively to a threat that has made its way inside their church.

Jesse Pullen, a church security leader, believes the training to be a harsh reminder that churches are not safe from threats, including vulnerable children and elderly.

Pullen said: “It lets your local community know that my church in my area is taking things seriously. Yes you can come in here and not have to worry and be constantly kind of listening to what’s maybe creeping behind you, but you can pay attention to what’s being said up there.”

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