WARREN (WWJ) – The Warren Police Department will be providing active shooter training to local religious leaders in the wake of a massacre at a Texas church.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts says more than 100 church officials, representing 35 churches in the Detroit suburb will be attending an informational meeting on Wednesday.
Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer explains the focus will be on helping clergy to identify impending dangers to their congregations.
“We’re gonna meet with them, we’re going to give them a good old review as far as threats, what to do as far as if there’s an active shooter in their church,” said Dwyer. “And we’re going to offer the services of the Warren Police Department to come out to the church, temple, synagogue and offer recommendations and training to the parishioners of that particular location.”
Dwyer said the training will include detailed instructions on how to react to an active shooter.
“There’s escape routes, leaving their belongings behind,” Dwyer said. “Sometimes they’ll have to put up a fight so they’re not murdered. And really the necessary action when an active shooter comes in; there’s always that possibility of hesitation, sometimes denial.”
Dwyer said one thing he does not support is allowing parishioners to carry concealed weapons into churches, which would be legal under a bill approve by the Michigan Senate, now being considered by the House.
Fouts stressed that the city wants church leaders to be alert for any threat or potential violent behavior that could lead to another mass shooting.
“We hope this will better protect our houses of worship. In my opinion, it’s better to be prepared than scared,” Fouts said.
Dwyer said police later plan to expand the safety training to local schools.