GCSO urging community to prepare for active shooter scenarios

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GREENVILLE, S.C (WSPA-TV) – Do you know what to do if you are caught in an active shooter situation?

This is the tough question Greenville law enforcement is asking the public in a renewed push to make the public more aware.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s office held active shooter training for the community, Thursday, including neighborhood watch crews and church security teams.

“Things happen now across this world. You got to be prepared,” said Ray Seigler.

When Seigler was a boy, he said his church was a safe haven.

“You used to think that was the safest place in the world, but the way it’s looking now, sometimes it’s a dangerous place,” he explained.

For this reason, he helped implement a security response team at his church, Trinity Baptist Tabernacle. The Charleston church massacre in 2015 hit too close to home.

“We have a list every week of who is standing guard and where they are standing guard and what to do if anything happens,” said Seigler.

Thursday, Seigler, his security team and many others packed out the active shooter training. Instructor, Captain Tom McConnell, said people can’t get too comfortable in their surroundings.

“It’s keeping your eyes open to what’s going on around you, knowing your surroundings and where you’re at, knowing how to get in and out of these places,” said McConnell.

Touting the “run, hide, fight” method developed by homeland security, McConnell said citizens in active shooter situations must keep a level head.

He said people should ask themselves, “Can I get out? Can I help people? What details have I seen that could help law enforcement when they arrive?”

McConnell also said people need to be asking themselves ahead of time what they would do if a shooting happened at their home, business or church.

“Don’t live in a state of paranoia, but it will help prepare you and let you function a lot better when that day comes,” said McConnell.

He said this renewed focus with the arrival of Sheriff Will Lewis hinges on saving lives and serving the public.

“We want people to come out and start talking about this and be prepared,” he explained.

Thursday’s training also hit on what to do when law enforcement arrives, especially if you have a gun on you and have a concealed weapons permit. He said put your hands up, speak clearly that you are armed and have a CWP.

If you’ve fired your weapon at the gunman, they say lay it on the floor after firing.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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