Church leaders team up with LVMPD to keep their congregations safe
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
As security and active shooter training continue to be taken seriously, leaders and members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church teamed up with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Sunday, Dec 16, to prepare for worst case scenarios.
“I am naturally the second, third, or fourth responder, because who is the first responder? You are you are the first one to deal with whatever you have,” explained an officer with LVMPD.
“We want to talk about safety," Leon Brown Sr., president of the Nevada-Utah Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, said. "We also want to talk about active shooter drills. We want to prepare for all of these things."
Brown oversees over 50 churches, and he says that after the brutal massacre that unfolded inside a Pittsburgh synagogue in October, he knew he had to do something to ensure the safety of his church members.
“The last shooting that happened in Pennsylvania was an eye-opener for me. I was sitting at home, and I was thinking, I'm responsible for 10,000 members, and I thought to myself, we've got to wake up. We can't wait for something to happen. We have to do something today,” Brown said.
That synagogue shooting killed 11 people and left six others injured.
Since then, synagogues across the valley have stepped up security, and LVMPD Captain Peter Boffelli says every place of worship needs to do that same.
“We have to ensure we have the religious community trained and their people knowing what to do if something like that event happens,” said Capt. Boffelli.
During the meeting, officers demonstrated different scenarios with mannequins and simulations to show people how to react and how to keep themselves safe until authorities arrive.
“It ensures that the people that are here and the people that are basically monitoring the services here are trained. They're going to know what to do with their congregation and get them moved to a safe place,” explained Capt. Boffelli.
Of course, LVMPD officers stress the most important piece of advice they have to keep any venue safe: If you see something, you need to say something.