CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office held an active shooter training session for civilians Monday night.
The goal of the training, now the fourteenth session held in the county within the last year, is to teach community members how to stay safe and be prepared for emergency situations, like an active shooter.
“Just devastating what happened [in Texas]. We don’t want that to happen to our church,” said James Atchison, one of the dozens attending Monday’s training.
Atchison says the mass attack in Sutherland Spring, Texas, felt more personal to his church in East Tennessee. Nearly the same size in a small town, he says, it’s hard to ignore the similarities.
The training used real 911 calls from modern mass shootings like Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary to illustrate how quickly emergency situations can change, even with preparation.
Chief Deputy Bill Ashley at the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says this is a new normal, and preparing for even the most urgent situations is a good start for communities.
The sheriff’s department is planning to host other sessions at local churches, hospitals, and even schools.