One local pastor, responding to the violence in Texas, pledged this weekend to bring active shooter training to his congregation.
Reverend Darius heads up True Bethel Baptist Church, which has 3 locations in Western New York. He invited Buffalo police to come into his churches this week to assess their vulnerabilities and come up with an action plan for church members.
This coming Sunday, those officers will speak to parishioners during the four regularly scheduled worship services about what they should do in the event a gunman open fire in the church.
Pridgen says members of True Bethel Baptist's security team have already had active shooter training, but after what happened in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas and Charleston, South Carolina, he believes people in the community also need to be trained.
"You're potentially talking about two to three thousand people who are gathered on a Sunday morning, who have no idea about what they would do if there was an active shooter," admits Pridgen sadly. "And not just churches, I'm concerned about, in our areas but any places where large groups of people gather. Our community centers...is there a protocol set up in our community centers where our children are? It might sound rather facetious, but grocery stores and other places...we don't know what's next. And if we don't know citywide, 'What should I do if there's an active shooter?'"
Reverend Pridgen is also the President of the Buffalo Common Council. He also plans to propose active shooter training for city hall and the council, since a number of people work and visit there every day.