On November 5th of this year, a crazed gunman calmly walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and killed 26 people.  26-year old Devin Patrick Kelley had a history of mental problems and was convicted of domestic violence in a 2012 Air Force court-martial.  Kelley had been having a dispute with his mother-in-law who attended the church.

Though we are all becoming accustomed to hearing news about mass shootings, our churches have always been viewed as havens from the dangers of the outside world.  If anything, this tragedy in Texas has relieved us of this illusion.  Gun violence can strike unexpectedly anytime, anywhere.

In response, the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Department is offering special awareness training for churches, synagogues, and mosques.  According to the Department's press release the free course is "designed to help places of worship and the public prepare for an active shooter event."

Three courses are being offered on the following dates:

  1. Tuesday, December 12, 2017--Southwood High School Auditorium, 9000 Walker Road in Shreveport, 6-8 p.m.
  2. Thursday, December 14, 2017--Northwood High School Auditorium, 5939 Old Mooringsport Road in Shreveport, 6-8 p.m.
  3. Tuesday, December 19, 2017--North Caddo High School Auditorium, 201 Airport Drive in Vivian, 6-8 p.m.

The free training sessions will cover Louisiana law pertaining to concealed-carry in churches, procedures for concealed-carry inside a religious facility, suggestions for church security practices, and church emergency plans.

To register for one of these free classes, contact Deputy Andrea Claiborne at 318-681-0735.

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