Places of worship attend training for active shooter, emergency situations

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Pastor Robert Sutton says it’s time to act to keep his congregation safe at Southwood Baptist Church.

“I have just decided that these things will not take place in our building,” Pastor Sutton said.

Pastor Sutton, along with more than a dozen others, listened to a three-hour seminar hosted by Protect His House in Tallahassee, designed to keep churches safe during an active fire scenario.

“It’s just something that will help educate them a bit more about what’s going on,” Pastor Sutton said. “The thing I hope they get the most is being aware of their surroundings and what might happen.”

Sutton says he hopes that through these courses, his church’s security team will know what to do in an active shooter situation and how to take care of those who may be injured afterwards.

To enhance church security across the state of Florida and enable a quick response in the event of an active shooter, Governor Ron Desantis signed House Bill 259 in 2021 which allows concealed weapons inside places of worship.

Chris Jordan said with mass shootings continuing to occur across the country, churches and places of worship should remain prepared.

“It also includes tactical first aid, casualty care, responding to those who have been injured and need tactical care, stopping bleeding, tourniquets,” Jordan said.

Jordan added that churches should not allow themselves to be easy targets.

“People view churches and places of worship as easy targets,” Jordan said. “Everyone is a target, we just don’t want you to be an easy target. If you’re going to be a target, be a hard target.”

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