Setting a plan, fighting, and escaping are some of the ways the Washington County Sheriff’s Department is telling church members how to handle the possibility of an active shooter.

It is a situation nobody can imagine being in, but the Washington County Sheriff’s Department wants to give people the knowledge and tips on what to do during an active shooter situation. 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department started the church safety training sessions after the string of mass shootings in churches and holy places over the years.

“Kinda scary that we have to have it for a church environment, but it’s also very helpful I think, it helps me make the right decisions to make sure our church is secured,” said Justin Roxer, St. Marks church-goer. 

One of the biggest points Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore, wants people take away is whether you are at church or not always have a plan in case of an active shooter.

“It’s either get shot or do something, but you have to plan that in your mind, and be able to react in those situations,” said Mullendore. 

The Washington County Sheriff’s office has been giving gun safety training’s to churches for a few years now, Mullendore said he never thought he would have to go to churches to talk about this topic.

“We have to educate our community and prepare our community for not if it’s going to happen, but when and be prepared on how to react when it does happen,” said Mullendore. 

Attendees of the event learned multiple ways to counter potential shootings, such as creating human chains to lock doors. This was eye opening to some. 

“It’s not just fighting, it’s being able to lock yourself in, make sure you are barricaded, how to lock certain doors, if you don’t have a physical way to lock it,” said Roxer. 

The Washington County Deputies say if there’s one thing to remember from the training, it is to always observe, orient, decide and act.