Active Shooter Incident Training for Houses of Worship

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting that occurred at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region, and the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento have brought together faith leaders to discuss strategies to deal with active shooter incidents in houses of worship.

The Active Shooter training day on December 11 featured a lecture by FBI Special Agent Glenn Norling that explained to attendees how to be better prepared, recognize reaction options when faced with a critical situation, and what to expect from a law enforcement response.

The last hour of the training featured a panel consisting of U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott, FBI Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn, FBI Special Agent Glenn Norling, and Sacramento County Sheriff Lieutenant Orrlando Mayes.

Speaking at the event, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott stated, “Any time an individual decides to attack those gathered in the peaceful exercise of their religion, the congregants are the true first responders. Today’s training brings together community leaders to discuss these tragic events and to learn how to prepare their congregations for an incident that we hope and pray will never happen in our district. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working with the community and its law enforcement partners to prevent such attacks and to taking appropriate action if such a tragedy occurs here.”

“The FBI is committed to providing information to houses of worship to better prepare congregations for security planning to prevent violent incidents and for active shooter response if and when a violent incident occurs,” said Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “Today’s seminar is only one facet of our outreach and commitment to the community. As part of our ongoing efforts, the FBI conducts hundreds of seminars, workshops, and training sessions annually for local law enforcement, minority and religious organizations, and community groups to promote cooperation, reduce civil rights abuses, and provide education about civil rights statutes.”

William Recht, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region stated: “In light of the Pittsburgh massacre of 11 Jews in October, the Jewish Federation wanted to move into action and provide practical tools and training to our synagogue and organizational leaders to make sure we are taking every precaution to keep our community safe. We are grateful for the leadership and partnership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and law enforcement representatives.”

Edrine Ddungu, President of the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento stated: “Crimes motivated by a hatred of a religion are particularly chilling. Through programs like today’s Active Shooter Training, we can plan for the unthinkable and make sure our churches, synagogues, mosques and gurdwaras are free of violence. We are committed to working with law enforcement agencies to prevent or respond to attacks on our places of worship.”

Read more at DoJ

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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