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LCSO holds active shooter training for places of worship

Posted at 4:11 AM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 11:32:27-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — We've seen more violent acts in the U.S. and around the world, targeting churches, synagogues and mosques.

That's why local law enforcement officers are being pro-active teaching our community how to respond through active shooter situations in places of worship.

Religious leaders and community members gathered at the Leon County Sheriff's Office Tuesday to get training for a situation that no one in a house of worship should ever have to prepare for a shooter.

Deputy Mike Wallace says the goal of the active shooter is to catch people at their most vulnerable like when they are praying so someone in the place of worship has to protect the flock.

"Someone has to be aware of what is going on. Just people being aware makes you stronger and it makes you a hard target for that evil that lurks," said Wallace.

Many local religious leaders say getting more educated about active shooters is something they have to do to protect their congregations.

We've learned here to take a more comprehensive look at it, be more alert, respond more rapidly. And as they stressed here, the more education you have about it the more effective you be in application," said Samuel Pacchioli.

But Tuesday's training wasn't only about the threat of an active shooter.

"There are many more security threats that are very prevalent to our churches, their finances, cyber-security and threats to our children that attend the church and their church schools," said Wallace.

Samuel Pacchioli used to be in law enforcement and of one thing he says he's certain.

"Everyone that deals with multitudes of people businesses, schools, churches should have an effective active shooter plan," said Pacchioli.

Tuesday's event is part of the Sheriff's All In Initiative to empower the community to be and feel safer and more secure where they worship.

LCSO is holding a second Active Shooter Response for Places of Worship training event Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Leon County Sheriff's Office. They've also added a third training on Monday, June 3 at 6 p.m.

Space is limited if you want to attend you can register on the LCSO Facebook page.

And due to the overwhelming response to the training, they are trying to schedule a third event soon.