In the wake of several deadly mass church shootings across the U.S. the Columbus Police Department is doing its part to keep local churchgoers safe.
Representatives with the Columbus Police Department say if you ever find yourself in an active shooter situation there are three key steps to remember. Deny, deliberate and if necessary defend.
“and they do get in there… The first time a shot is gonna ring out..I’m tellin ya..total mayhem is gonna break out,” says Lt. Tim Wynn.
Lt. Time Wynn has been with the Columbus Police Department for more than 30 years. He now leads select trainings, including active shooter seminars for the police department and he’s also served as security for more than a decade at Cascade Hills Church. Wednesday, in the wake of several deadly mass church shootings, including the one in Sutherland Springs, Texas, he led an active shooter seminar, in front of dozens of churchgoers at the Citizen Service Center.
“We’re sitting right here and somebody comes through those doors…I would have a very hard time..I’d have to holler duck…I can hit him from here..but when everybody stands up and starts moving…now I’ve got “friendlies” in the way…I can’t do anything,” says Wynn.
Wynn says, if churchgoers or anyone else finds themselves in an active shooter situation there are usually three stages of a disaster response.
“First thing, when things happen, most people are in denial. They do not wanna accept the fact that….something is going on,” says Wynn.
“Your deliberation…this is where you have to deliberate and think about…ok..what do I do?” says Wynn.
And lastly, making decisive moment, if there comes a moment you have to face, an active shooter. Some churchgoers in attendance mentioned, they already have an active shooter plan in place.
“If we start saying please, please that tells the Pastor or the staff member..we’re about to shoot this dude,” says a churchgoer.
Another part of that plan includes.
“You have to train your congregation. If you’re not on the security team go down on the floor or you might get shot by one of us,” says a churchgoer.
Just to reiterate when it comes to the deny, deliberate and defend part of the plan, officers say, try your best to sensibly deny an active shooter access to you, secondly once you make a safe getaway, maybe behind closed doors, deliberate, coming up with another sensible escape plan. Lastly, police also say, if you find yourself coming face to face with an active shooter, defend yourself using anything nearby, even something as small as a pen.
Columbus police also adds they do not encourage everyone to arm themselves at church. Instead they say, it may be best to have a designated security team armed in case an active shooter situation presents itself.