SCSO adding active shooter training to Church Safety Conference

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is gearing up to host its bi-annual Church Safety Conference at the First Baptist Church of Columbiana from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20.

According to SCSO Community Outreach Officer Debbie Sumrall, the conference was originally going to only focus on disaster preparedness, but they decided to also cover active shooter situations in light of the recent shooting that took place on Sunday, Nov. 5, at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas.

“Because of the recent events in Texas, and because of the requests we’ve received from local churches, we’ve added active shooter training to the agenda,” Sumrall said. “We had already planned on doing disaster preparedness training, like fire safety and weather safety.”

During the conference, Sumrall said the SCSO will utilize materials from the ALiCE Training Institute, which will teach adults and children how to respond in the occasion of an active shooter situation.

“ALiCE addresses how to tell our children what to do,” Sumrall said. “That’s especially important for us.”

Sumrall said the conference is generally geared toward church leaders and safety team members, and representatives from any church are invited to attend. Because of the shooting, Sumrall said she expects that more church leaders will be interested in the conference.

“We’re expecting a larger than normal turnout. We’ve already had a number of churches ask us to come out and go over spacing and escape routes,” Sumrall said. “If you’re willing to drive to the location, you’re welcome to come.”

Sumrall encouraged interested parties to register by contacting her at dsumrall@shelbyso.com or by contacting the Shelby Baptist Association at 669-7858 or diane@shelbybaptist.org.

The event is co-sponsored by the Shelby Baptist Association and the Shelby County Law Enforcement Chaplains Association. Lunch and refreshments will be served.