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Interest builds again in active shooter training offered by Washington County Sheriff's Office

Posted at 7:16 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 05:09:25-05

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Okla. -- The deadly mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas is once again making many in Green Country question their own safety. 

Since the tragedy, the Washington County Sheriff's Office expects for more groups, churches and businesses to contact deputies about the the active shooting training that they can provide to the community. 

"We definitely believe that this type of program and getting information out there," Sgt. Jon Copeland said, "people developing their plan of action will help bring those fatalities down." 

The sheriff's office began offering the classes soon after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. Sgt. Copeland's calendar has been booked ever since then, speaking to about 150 different groups throughout the county. 

"Even as little kids, you go through fire drills and tornado drills, especially here in Oklahoma," he said. "This is another drill to prepare for." 

During the classes, the deputies talk with people about a three-part survival technique called "run, hide or fight." That strategy stuck with Joyce Golding more than a year after she went through one of the classes at her church in downtown Bartlesville. 

"Get out if you can," Golding recalled Monday from the sanctuary at the First Presbyterian Church. "Fight if you have to. Hide if there's no other place, nothing else to do." 

Golding said it's important for everyone to prepare for the unthinkable. 

"Nobody wants to sit and think about these things because it's kind of crazy to sit and think about it," she said, "but, in our day and time, you at least have to be cognizant of the fact that this could happen." 

Anyone interested in active shooter training can contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office, or you can check with law enforcement for availability in your area.