LMPD hosts safety forum for local places of worship
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- LMPD held a forum Thursday night to teach places of worship what to do if tragedy strikes during services.
"The sad truth is no community is safe, and it's important that we do what we can to make Louisville as safe as we can," LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said. "Tonight is about helping the houses of worship here in our community do what they can to try to minimize the risk of being the scene of the next tragic mass shooting."
Dennis Addison, who helps manage security at Breaking the Chains Ministry, said he never thought he'd see something like this, "especially at a church."
But Addison, along with about 170 other worship leaders, came to learn how to better protect their congregations.
"Just how to be safe, what to do if we have someone come into the church and open fire," Addison said.
The forum was prompted by recent tragedies across the country and here at home.
"I think the shooter in J-town, 10 minutes before he killed two people at Kroger, he tried to get into a church," Conrad said. "An hour before he tried to do that, I'm told that there was a service on going in that church."
A local expert is teaching the churches how to handle active shooters and other safety threats.
"A lot of times, churches deal with much smaller things than the active shooter," said Ron Aguiar with Oasis Safety. "They deal with divorce situations, domestics."
Addison hopes the forum will help him come up with a clear plan to keep people safe during services.
"We don't want the whole church to start coming weaponized," he said. "We don't want everybody in the church to coming with all kinds of guns and everything like that."
Since the response to Thursday's forum was so overwhelming, LMPD will be holding another on Nov. 29 at the Mayor's Gallery.
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