SALISBURY, Md. - It can seem as though no place is safe now-a-days. The shooting at a church in Texas earlier this year is a strong reminder of that. That's why the Wicomico Sheriff's Office hosted the first of several active shooter training seminars Wednesday night.
Executive Pastor of Allen Memorial Baptist Church, Bruce Glisson, said, "The Sheriff's Department is hosting a training for active shooters and trying to help churches and businesses in the area to know what to do if an active shooter comes into their location."
Sheriff Mike Lewis added, "We will never stop mass shootings, we will never stop these types of events from occurring again in the future. They're going to happen but what we can do is prepare and we can train."
Local church goers told 47ABC they felt eager to jump on the unique opportunity to learn how to better protect themselves and their community from an active shooter situation.
Mersha Bailey, an attendant, said, "I think it's a good opportunity to actually learn some things, learn what to do and what not to do in order to protect yourself and your loved ones, your family members, you know?"
The top lesson from the night? If you are ever in an active shooter situation, your best options are to either run, hide or fight. Run if there's a safe way out. If not, hide in a safe place where you're out of sight. If neither of those are options, team up and try to take down the shooter.
Bailey said, "I think it's important that everybody, the members, everybody, anybody that attends church should be aware of what to do and when to do, so there's not mass chaos and panic."
Event organizers said they hope these seminars raise awareness and make people feel more educated and prepared moving forward.
Sheriff Mike Lewis said, "I want everyone to walk out of here with a renewed sense of self protection and what they can do to protect themselves and their families."
Overall, officials hope our community never has to put these lessons to the test.
Glisson said, "I just pray that nothing ever happens and you know the biggest thing of all of this is we need to be praying for our citizens and for our community in making sure that everyone stays safe."
If you missed tonight's seminars, don't worry, there will be more seminars down the road.
Sheriff Mike Lewis told us they will be hosting their next seminar sometime in January. We will update you when we learn the exact date.
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