Sherman PD offers active shooter class for local church staff

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) The Sherman Police Department hosted a first-of-its-kind training class Saturday, geared towards tighter security in local churches.

Twenty-six people were killed and more than a dozen others were injured when a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas back in November.

"These gun-free zones are where these people are going to strike. That's just the way it is now a days," said Mitcheltree.

Churches nationwide took immediate action by reviewing their safety plans.

That's what Andrew Mitcheltree says brought him out to Saturday's training program at Sherman Bible Church.

"A lot of what we talk about is getting out of the area, they also talk about trying to conceal yourself or hiding. A lot of places will say as the last resort to fight back," Lt. Hampton said.

Saturday's class, sponsored by Sherman Police Department, featured videos of different scenarios. Including an active shooter in a warehouse and in an office building.

Showing that each situation is different depending on the environment.

"Each church is a different building and so what works at one may not work on another. So this will give them the information they need to go back and formulate a plan on how they need to tailor it towards their specific needs," Lt. Hampton said.

The class was open to civilians but was particularly geared towards pastors, elders, deacons and church staff in Grayson County.

Cox Firearms also offered a free Texas License To Carry course for church leaders.

Mitcheltree is licensed to carry himself and says he doesn't carry while he's at church. But he still believes a class like this is important.

"Everybody, if they want to carry a gun in their car or not, which is legal in Texas now, they ought to go to a class anyway. Whether they're going to carry or not," said Mitcheltree.

"We want to do a community outreach for all of the denominations and all the places of worship that we do have and have them have the ability to get the information that could save a lot of lives," said Lt. Hampton.