"Pastor Eric Amaral says, I never ever thought that a house of worship would be a target of an attack. It's very disheartening to know that our society has gotten to that point where people are going to bring guns in the church and start shooting people."
but even before the mass church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas,
Outreach Community Church in Box Elder made sure
it was adding church security training to its agenda.
Pastor Eric says, "We have to be able to recognize things before they happen and if we recognize them early, we can stop them before anything bad happens."
and since violent incidents have increased by 590% since 2005 and
because many of them occur in churches with less than 10,000 people, according to Strategos, instructors say it's important for people to learn for themselves.
Lt. Chris Misselt says, "In the face of a criminal, you'll never have a police officer, in the face of sudden traumatic injury, you'll never have an EMT.
Pastor Eric says, "I wish they had known about it, I wish somebody in that church had taken action and at the same time, I was greatful that we had already set this training up in hope to reach other churches in the area."
So in part two of the church security seminar,
attendees learned practical exercises such as deescalating situations, disengaging them, and securing the house of worship.
Misselt says, "We need to protect the kiddos, we need to protect the offering and the resources of the church and some will want to talk about things like that so it's just where we are."
For members at Outreach Community,
they'll walk away with more than they knew ...
Victor Smith, a member of the church, says "Shouting out, getting attention, trying to startle your attacker, just try to get more attention on what's happening."
and they say they're glad they were able to be a part of this experience.
Smith continues, "I'm extremely appreciative, and I'm really appreciative that people are willing to come out just to share what they know and help us like this."