Sheriff's course teaches emergency response training to churches

WBNS (CBS Columbus) reported recently that Fairfield Co. Sheriff Doug Phelan held a class addressing church secutiry for around 300 people representing 60 churches. During the class, Sheriff Phelan gave tips on how churches can protect themselves in the event of an active killer.

From the article:

“There’s always going to be an element of risk in any church, in any mall, any theater,” Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phelan said. “As long as we live in a free society that is one of the prices we pay.”


“When there’s some type of tragic event, whether it’s at a church, at a theater, the mall…it heightens the awareness,” he said.

Sheriff Phelan says from 2004 to 2013 there were 160 active shooter events in the United States, resulting in more than 1,000 people being injured or killed.

He said with the recent June shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, safety is a top priority for many churches and congregations.

The report goes on to interview some of the class attendees, who themselves have concealed handgun licenses.

Active shooter training definitely piqued the interest of Bob Reynolds who has a concealed permit. He said at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Lancaster, they’ve had plenty of close call situations.

“We have had several instances at our church where we have not had an active shooter, but we have had near violent actions,” he said.

John Burns, who attends Hocking Hills Church of Christ in Logan, also carries. And he’s not alone.

“Our pastor has concealed carry…one of the elders has concealed carry,” Burns said.

Burns says the church allowed members to carry only after the building’s insurance company gave the OK.

“You don’t know who’s going to walk through the door,” he said.

Sheriff Phelan told WBNS the chances are slim, but he knows the unknown is always possible.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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