Church security training open to public at the Golf Course Road Church of Christ

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - It's been three months since the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs that killed 26 people. Since then, one church security organization received a high demand for church response training all over the world, even here in the Basin.

So could shootings or attacks happen here? The answer is it could happen anywhere. That's why Strategos International, a law enforcement and faith-based organization is training churches all over the world to respond if an intruder walks in.

"The Bible says without a vision the people perish," said Barry Young, Vice President of Church Security Ministries. "We've got to make sure people get past denial and realize, 'Yes, this is God's house, churches need to be a place of hope and possibility.' But sadly, there are violent people who view churches as a target."

Young said the reason churches are easy targets is that everyone's back is turned where they're unable to see the suspect enter. Two, everyone's focus is away from the suspect. Three, there's the cash offer.

"The majority of churches think it just can't happen to them," said Young. "But that's what the suspect wants."

In just 2016, there were reports of 246 church attacks in the US. However, the company said law enforcement has never stopped a church attack due to the response time from the time the attack happens and by the time officers respond, which is usually 4 to 9 minutes. That's why they're training the public to show people how to close that 4-9 minute gap.

"In churches, we want to train every church the three outs," said Young. "First, it's lockout. The second is get out. If there's  a threat, we train churches to get out. If they can't lock or get out, they have to be prepared to take out the threat."

A church is your place of worship where you shouldn't expect to take your last breath. But with training, they hope if the wrong person walks through the wrong doors, there's a quick reaction to opening the right door to save lives.

The training is open to the public and is $99 at the Golf Course Road Church of Christ in Midland today, Feb. 23.
Although it starts at 8 a.m., the organization said you can walk in at any time. The training ends at 4:30 p.m.

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