Shiawassee County sheriff holds 8 hour long church security class

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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (09/08/2018) - How would you handle an active shooter situation?
In places once deemed safe, and gun free zones like churches and schools, now often seem to be home to these terrifying situations.

But Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole wants to do something about that.

"Of all places, in a church while you're praying you need to feel secure and I know that there are some people that had some real concerns," said BeGole.

That thought helped kick start the Shiawassee County Sheriff's Office church security session they held Saturday.

With the rise of active shooter instances in places like schools and church, the Sheriff's office wants to train people how to handle a threat and the things that come with it.

"The last church that I was at, in my previous area I lived in we had issues with someone there,” said Sgt. Brian Smith of the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office. “It's something that people don't think about that happens more often that you believe."

The eight hour program also included Laingsburg and Perry police departments. Officers believe that due to the declining number of police across the state, it's important to teach safety to civilians.

"It's important for the people to be able to take care of their own,” said Perry Police Chief Kyle Bawks. “So if we have people willing to go through the training and get themselves equipped to take care of fellow congregates then we need to take advantage of that."

Laingburg Police Chief Dan DeKorte said the best advice is to expect the unexpected.

"Nothing is set in stone, you always have to be thinking outside the box because there's different scenarios what ifs that you can come up with all day long," said DeKorte.

This being the first class of its kind in the county, Sheriff BeGole was asked if they'll do it again.

"We're going to see what the response is to the program,” said BeGole. “None of the church surveys we've even done have been anything that we've advertised, it's been word of mouth. So i think this will probable catch on as well and if the people want it, we'll be happy to provide it."