Church defense courses in Columbus hope to encourage safety for members

Keeping Columbus places of worship safe

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As the new year begins, some places of worship across the Fountain City are thinking of safety and security.

Law enforcement and representatives with U.S. Lawshield are bringing safety courses and demonstrations to Shooters of Columbus to educate and inform community members on how to stay safe in certain circumstances, and how to deal with the legal aftermath of an incident.

“To keep people safe, to keep houses of worship safe," says Director of U.S. Lawshield Lana Bryan. "We want everyone to be able to come in just as they walked out and unfortunately in our world today it’s not like that anymore.”

Bryan says it is crucial to train churches on the ins and outs of safety teams and what could happen in the event of an active shooter or life-threatening circumstance in a place of worship.

They say this comes after a number of shootings at synagogues and places of worship across the country over the year.

“The two to three or maybe five seconds used to defend their lives, that could lead to three to five years in the legal system,” says U.S. Lawshield representative Eldred Hightower.

“Individually, they have to be careful about the civil lawsuits and the criminal lawsuits that could arise if they had to defend their church or their members. So that’s why we step in and U.S. Lawshield can step in and take care of them,” says Hightower.

Representatives for around fourteen places of worship were represented at this meeting. Each of them working to either have better security plans implemented or working to install security measures for the safety of their members.

“Because there are people out there that want to hurt people but the people in the church and we are being prepared to hopefully stop some of that,” says Hightower.

The course took place at the Shooters of Columbus on Milgen Rd.

A representative with Shooters says they are also planning to have other safety courses in the near future to ensure safety for all of those in Muscogee County. They say they are hoping it can save lives.

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