MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - It's a growing trend. As more people fall victim to shooting violence, church congregations and business owners are educating themselves on how to stay alive if a shooter were to enter their building.
Clark County Deputy Sheriff Bill Brown says, "I think it's important. The trend needs to continue because the world's not getting any better, not getting any safer."
Marshall Baptist Church member Nancee Snedeker says, "Well, I think a lot of us are a little bit concerned after the shooting in Texas at the baptist church there and so we just wanted to make ourselves informed about what to do if there was an active shooter."
Brown lead an active shooter seminar in Marshall, Illinois Thursday afternoon. A few dozen church members, business owners and others were in attendance.
While the focus of the presentation was not school safety, it began with a look back at the 1999 Columbine school shooting. Participants heard the 911 call and the teacher instructing students to shelter in place by hiding under library tables.
Brown says, "They were there for approximately four minutes before the killers entered the room. They had four minutes to leave that facility and get out. That's what they were trained back then. Now we're enhancing that. We're making it better."
Brown uses ALICE training.
ALERT -- Let people around you know about the danger.
LOCKDOWN -- This is more than just locking a door. Use objects to barricade the entrance.
INFORM -- Call 911.
COUNTER -- Fight back using whatever objects are available.
EVACUATE -- Get out.
Snedeker says, "That we can be prepared and we don't have to necessarily be armed. That was, I think, very informative."
According to Brown, the training has been effective, "We had a shooter in Mattoon, Illinois. Fortunately the teachers and police officer on scene had been through this exact training."
Participants say the seminar was just a first step. Now they plan to work with Brown to assess the needs in their building and go through more hands on exercises.
If you would like to set up a seminar or walk through with Deputy Sheriff Brown you can contact him by phone at 217-822-1188 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.