Kosciusko County officers train local churches on security and safety

(Carli Luca / News Now Warsaw)

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department is continuing to train local churches on place of worship security & safety. Last night an area church became the 9th to receive the Indiana Sheriff Association training from Sheriff Rocky Goshert and Lieutenant Don Wiesehan.

The training is a way for churches to have a plan in place in case of an active shooter.

Sheriff Goshert gives an introduction tothe church safety training (Carli Luca / News Now Warsaw)

Sheriff Goshert kicked off the evening by discussing community efforts to become better prepared for emergency situations. He shared that most active shooter situations take place over a 12 minute time-span, while first responders can take 18 minutes to arrive on the scene.

Because of that discrepancy, Goshert is hoping to move forward with the “School Guard” app which would allow teachers and students to notify authorities of an intruder with the push of a button. Goshert says that the app developers are also working on a “Church Guard” program with would operate the same way for church members.

Lieutenant Wiesehan presented the majority of the curriculum for the training course, and emphasized that trying to escape is always the best option if there’s an active shooter. He says that even if you must hide or fight, the ultimate goal is to escape the situation.

For Wiesehan, church safety is a personal matter. He opened up about his own experiences in church and gave the attendees ideas for how they can create a safer building by making just a few improvements.

“Before it happens you want to train it, though you hope you never have to use it,” he explains.

“No different from a fire drill, tornado drill, you have somebody have a heart attack…those are all trained for prior to that happening.”

The evening ended with church members brainstorming some ways they can increase security during their worship services.

The Indiana Sheriff Association worship security & safety program is available to all churches. The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department already has several more of the trainings scheduled.

To have them come to speak to your church, you can contact the non-emergency number during business hours at 574-267-5667.

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