Brownwood police share tips for active shooter response
BROWNWOOD, Texas - Sunday's massacre in Sutherland Springs has forced Roland Bowen of Austin Avenue Church of Christ in Brownwood to question how to best protect his congregation.
"Satan is alive and active and he is trying to stop the message of Christianity," Bowen, a minister for the church since 1996, said on Tuesday.
Bowen said the church's elders discussed on Monday creating some type of shooter protocol after getting approached by church members who work in law enforcement.
"They came to us and said we want to develop an active shooter policy so we know how to act if it were to take place," Bowen said. "We hope it never does but we need to be prepared."
Consulting with Brownwood Police Chief Terry Nichols is an option the Austin Avenue Church of Christ is seriously considering. Nichols helped create ALERRT - Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.
The program is the standard used around the globe for responding to active shooter situations.
"We offer a civilian response active shooter events course free to any civic group," Nichols said. "Call us, we'll be happy to come out."
Nichols offers three tips vital to the ALERRT program: avoid, deny, defend.
People should first and foremost try to avoid the shooter. If that isn't possible, then deny the shooter access.
If both fail, Nichols said people should use all means they have available to them to defend themselves.
"This is the kind of stuff we talk about in these courses, to bring people awareness about what you should do. How do you pre-plan for some tragedy like this," Nichols said. "Not to be paranoid, but be prepared."
If anyone is interested in signing up for an active shooter response course, please call Brownwood Police Chief Terry Nichols at 325-646-2525.
Nichols also recommends visiting avoiddenydefend.org for more information on how to best take action in these situations.