Church safety seminar set for March 26

Webster County Sheriff Luke Fleener is hosting a safety seminar for county churches and faith-based organizations next month.

The safety seminar will focus on safety measures, response plans, evacuation routes and overviews of nationwide safety protocol programs in use to help increase awareness of potential intruder threats.

“This is certainly not a law enforcement class to arm everybody,” Fleener said.

The training will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on March 26 at the Bioscience and Health Science building at Iowa Central Community College.

This event was originally scheduled for March 2020, but was canceled when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Iowa.

“Back in 2019, I started getting some requests from local churches and faith-based organizations about what are things that we can do at our church and our sanctuary that would make things safer for the people that come here on Sunday,” Fleener said.

In 2018, he said, there had been a series of shootings — some racially-motivated — in churches in the South. A hostage crisis last month at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, brought the issue back to the forefront, Fleener said.

“Unfortunately, these events continue to happen,” the sheriff said.

Fleener is a certified active shooter instructor and has provided active shooter training to over 5,000 law enforcement officers across the country over the last decade. He said he pulls from mass casualty events that have happened to provide training and learning opportunities.

“To show that if things had been done differently, maybe lives could have been spared,” he said.

The safety seminar will also include an overview of the Stop the Bleed program, which is designed to give civilians the skills, training and confidence needed to assist others when injuries occur.

The safety seminar is free and open to the public.

“It’s all about being educated in the crazy world we live in now,” Fleener said.

If You Go

What: Safey seminar for churches and faith-based organizations

When: 1 p.m. March 26

Where: Bioscience and Health Sciences Building, Iowa Central Community College


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today