Law Enforcement Helps Train Citizens for Worship Place ViolenceBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 23 May 2013 07:16am |
Law enforcement officers from across Mississippi are learning how to respond when place of worship come under attack.
Learning how to prepare and respond to worship place violence is a growing concern for James Jackson, Deputy Supervisor for the State Fire Marshall's office.
"Especially with this new weapon law coming into effect July 1, everybody can carry a weapon on their side, you're going to see more of that, people are going to be slipping in churches especially if you have a distraught member of a church, that's being kicked out of a church for some reason, he or she might decide that they want to come back and do something to the church and by us having this training, we'll prevent that," explains Jackson.
Rick Van Egmond is a Retired Captain of the Hinds County Sheriffs Department. For the past several years he has served as a consultant for police departments on a number of issues including how to prepare for violent emergencies in places of worship. Yesterday in Jackson he shared his concerns during a conference of law enforcement officers from around the state.
"It's very difficult to have an open door policy, you want to be able to minister to them, so what we're trying to do is train our people to be cognisant of the people that are around them and how to respond if something happens," says Egmond.
Be it church, school or other large scale violent attacks many small Mississippi communities don't always have adequate manpower to respond to the situation.That's why Daniel McMullen, Special Agent for the FBI in Mississippi stresses the importance of collaboration.
"It is not simply about that local law enforcement being able to address that crisis situation, that they can call on state and they can call on federal, and as a matter of fact, they wouldn't have to call on them, all of those resources would automatically deploy and support whatever it takes to resolve that issue," outlines McMullen.
During yesterday's training law enforcement officials learned how to collaborate on a number of issues including civil unrest, bomb threats even drug abuse and weapons trafficking.
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