Local Sheriff Teaches Church Security

FRITCH - Sunday's church shooting proves mass shootings can, and do, happen just about anywhere.

That is part of the reason why demand for active shooter training classes has skyrocketed over the last few years.

A local sheriff who specializes in church security said houses of worship can be easy targets.

Much like schools, churches are considered what you would call "soft targets."

That is because those are places you would not normally find people packing a firearm.

Hutchinson County Sheriff Kirk Coker helps churches beef-up their security.

He uses the Sheepdog Response in teaching churches and their members how to deal with an active shooter situation.

Sheriff Coker encourages parishioners with concealed carry licenses to join their church's security team.

He added this kind of security has been needed even before the increase in mass shootings.

Sheriff Coker said churches are also the scenes where domestic incidents play out and security is needed for that as well.

"We have had situations where divorce and child custody and people trying to get children out, and if we're aware of it, we're there for that also," said Sheriff Coker.

Sheriff Coker is also an associate pastor at Celebration Family Church in Fritch.

He told us most people do not even know who is on the security team of if they are armed.

The sheriff said people may look at churches as a place where you should not take a gun, but he said times have changed and anyone looking to do major damage will look for so-called soft targets like churches and schools where people are hesitant to take their guns.

Sheriff Coker will hold his next class at the Living Way Fellowship Church here in Amarillo next month.

He had that training class scheduled before Sunday's shooting in southeast Texas.


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