VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office is set to teach an active shooter response training class for a local church.
Deputies will teach a “Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events” (CRASE) class on Saturday at 10 a.m., for members of the congregation of Asbury Christian Fellowship Church.
This training class comes in response to the many church shootings that have happened nationwide during the past decade. The Sheriff’s Office is offering the free class to "educate and empower" churchgoers to protect themselves and the people around them in a worst-case scenario.
“Church should be a sanctuary, but recent events have shown that our places of worship can be targeted by people with evil intent, and we want our congregations to be prepared to protect themselves if the unthinkable occurs,” said Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle. “While we hope they never have to use this training, we are proud to give them the tools to react if an active shooter shows up during a service.”
Certified officials will teach the curriculum which is based on the FBI’s “Run, Hide, Fight” model and teaches people to “Avoid, Deny, Defend.” The deputies will demonstrate each of the steps and lead the students in a hands-on exercise.
The sheriff’s office has previously taught active-shooter response to staff at the Virginia Beach Courthouse and members of the news media; however, this will be the first CRASE class taught by the VBSO.
The class will include Pastor Calvin Smith and Trustees Fay Allen and Chasta Mangum, who is a VBSO investigator and former VBSO deputy. Mangum came up with the idea to invite VBSO to her church.
“This world is changing so fast, and I wanted my church to know how to protect themselves from an active shooter if they were ever in this situation,” Mangum said. “I thought about how my Sheriff’s Office could help me to help the local churches to have some type of knowledge of how to handle an active-shooter. Kudos to Sheriff Stolle, the administration and training division for helping to make my vision come true.”