Hattiesburg Police Department Hold An Active Shooter Seminar
HATTIESBURG, MISS. - When an active shooter is on the hunt, you need to think quickly. Hattiesburg's Police Department taught a special active shooter class today to train civilians how to properly react when a mass shooting happens. "With all the stuff that is going on around churches, how do we protect ourselves," Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church's pastor, Carlos Wilson asked. "How do we build a strategy just in case something goes wrong while we're worshiping?" Wilson says it's time for his church to integrate a plan of action to ensure the safety of his congregation. "The Bible says to turn the other cheek too, but I tell you what... When Nehemiah was building a wall, the Bible says they worked with one hand and had a sword in the other," Wilson said. "So, maybe we are in the day and time where you have to work, and pray, and be prepared to fight all at the same time." In recent year, churches have become one of the chosen targets for an active shooter, causing pastors to start taking new measures. "We will go and deal with some permits in terms of firearms," Wilson said. "We will also deal with some training, which they emphasized over and over. It's practice, practice, practice, practice." HPD's Assistant Director of Police Training, Lt. Chris Johnson says there are three easy steps anyone can take to increase their chances of surviving a mass shooting. "There are three things they can do. They could either avoid the threat, deny the threat, or defend themselves from threat," Lt. Johnson said. Avoid the threat, by running away and hiding. Deny the threat, by barricading oneself away from the threat. Last, defend, by protecting themselves through whatever means necessary. It is through these three steps A.D.D, that Hattiesburg's Police Department believes civilians can be survivors of a mass shooting, rather than a victim.