In the wake of the deadly mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the Horry County Police Department wants everyone to be prepared for a possible active shooter in a public place.
The department announced Thursday it will be launching active shooter training courses for churches and citizens in Horry County.
“Attending this training will empower you with the tools and best practice tips to endure an active shooter incident,” said Krystal Dotson, spokeswoman for HCPD. “We know there are several other active shooter trainings that you may attend, and while we appreciate those facilitators, we want to provide you with another opportunity to receive this life-changing and potentially life-saving information.”
On Nov. 21, the department will be holding the training for all faith-based organizations at 1 p.m. at Horry Georgetown Technical College in Conway.
Additional training dates for businesses and the general public will be released on HCPD’s social media pages, according to Dotson.
The training is free of charge and no registration is required.
Pastor Tyler Caines of Wampee Baptist Church in Longs spoke at Thursday’s press conference and explained the importance of the trainings in case it were to happen locally.
“It’s a sad day where we have to have this type of meeting and these type of conversations, but not having them does not take away from them,” Caines said. “I know at our church we use technology and man power to make our place of worship as safe as it can be, and keeping that dividing line where we are warm and we are welcoming to strangers who may come off the streets. I think this training will help us do a better job of that.”
The courses will be taught by Capt. Kris Leonhardt, of HCPD, who is certified to teach citizens how to respond to active shooter events.
“I know we are people of faith and a lot of times as people of faith, we say, ‘well God is gonna take care of us,’ but the Book of Proverbs tells us that a wise man will seek council,” Caines said. “And I believe this is one of the times that we need to seek council and understand we can learn from each other.”
Active shooter training:
Where: Horry Georgetown Technical College (Conway campus) - 2050 U.S. 501, Conway, S.C. 29526
What Building: Burroughs and Chaplin Auditorium (Building 1100)
When: Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m.