Webster County Sheriff Luke Fleener is hosting a safety seminar for county churches and faith-based organizations next month.
The security seminar will focus on security measures, response plans, escape routes and overviews of nationwide security protocol programs used to help raise awareness of potential intruder threats. .
“It’s definitely not a law enforcement class to arm everyone with,” said Fleener.
The training will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on March 26 at the Biological and Health Sciences Building at Iowa Central Community College.
This event was originally scheduled for March 2020, but was canceled when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Iowa.
“In 2019, I started getting inquiries from local churches and faith-based organizations about things we can do in our church and sanctuary to make things safer for people who come here on Sundays,” said Fleener.
In 2018, he said, there was a spate of shootings — some racially motivated — at churches across the South. A hostage situation last month at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, brought the issue to the fore, Fleener said.
“Unfortunately, these events continue to occur,” said the sheriff.
Fleener is a certified active shooter instructor and has provided active shooter training to more than 5,000 law enforcement officers across the country over the past decade. He said he was leveraging the high casualty events to provide training and learning opportunities.
“To show that if things had been done differently, maybe lives could have been saved,” he said.
The safety seminar will also include an overview of the Stop the Bleed program, which is designed to give civilians the skills, training and confidence to help others when injured.
The safety seminar is free and open to the public.
“It’s about being educated in the crazy world we live in now,” said Fleener.
If you are going to
What: Safey Seminar for Churches and Faith-Based Organizations
When: 1 p.m. on March 26
Where: Biosciences and Health Sciences Building, Iowa Central Community College