Schools and churches labeled as ‘soft targets’ receive protection and safety classes

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After the school shooting in Florida and the church shooting in Texas that resulted in the deaths of 43 individuals, “soft targets” such as schools and churches are receiving protection and safety classes to be more prepared in case of an emergency.

Desert Sun Community Church in Tucson is one example. They hired Landmark Protection to educate church-goers on what to do to stay safe. With a membership of about 300, many have expressed their frustration and sadness at the idea of someone coming into a church with the intent to hurt people.

“I pick seats in the back where I can see the door,” Duane Enos, a police officer who attends Desert Sun, says. “As a police officer, I never really carried as much off duty. It’s become more and more common now that I carry off duty.”

Owner of Landmark Protection Mike Wright says he’s met people who have stopped going to church because they are afraid of violence. He says since the Sutherland Springs shooting, more churches have been requesting their services.

“The goal of anybody who is there and prepared for armed force is to never have the need to do it,” Wright says. “People who perpetrate evil never just copy the last one, they studied it up over the last ten years. We try to bring in all of that and help teach them the principles that will protect them from the next headline.”

ICSAVE – Integrative Community Solutions to Active Violence Events – is another service that teaches the public how to be immediate responders. There are moments in emergencies where there may be delay before trained first responders can get to the injured. The bleeding control program teaches the public some of the medical skills necessary in order to stop bleeding.

“Our utmost concern is student and staff safety,” Principal of Tanque Verde Elementary School Kim Hubbard says. “As we watch events that happen across our country, we just want to make sure we are as well-prepared as we possibly could be. We are a campus of about 600 students, K through 6. We have partnered with ICSAVE, and they are providing the bleeding control training for all of our teachers.”


TED SIMONS: MUCH OF THE DIALOGUE AROUND GUN VIOLENCE INCLUDES SOFT TARGETS, VULNERABLE LOXES LIKES SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS. WE CAUGHT UP WITH ORGANIZERS HELPING SOME OF THE SOFT TARGETS PREPARE FOR THE WORST.

(PKG)

SOT: LEFT 26 PEOPLE DEAD IN A SMALL TEXAS TOWN.

SOTWE HAVE SEEN THE SITUATION HAPPEN. THE FIRST THOUGHT THAT CAME TO MIND, THAT'S US.

SOT: IT IS A SADNESS AND A -- WE SURE HOPE THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN TO US.

GET YOUR NAME ON THE LIST. WE HAD A LOT OF CHURCHES CALLING US SAYING, HELP US. THERE IS A LOT CHURCHES CAN DO TO RECOGNIZE IT IS A PROBLEM BEFORE IT IS A PROBLEM. YOU TRAIN A TEAM OF WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR.

NAT POP: LET US DO WHAT WE SAID, PRAY. LET US ASK THE LORD TO BLESS OUR EVENING TONIGHT.

SOT: WE ARE IN NORTHEAST TUCSON. OUR MEMBERSHIP IS AROUND 300. WE FEEL UNPREPARED. AT A CHURCH, YOU ARE NOT THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU WILL DO IF SOMEONE COMES TO HARM SOMEONE.

NAT POP: HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU THINK DEADLY FORCE HAS HAPPENED AT A CHURCH?

1,690 SHOOTINGS IN 18 YEARS.

SOT: TWO PEOPLE TOLD ME THEY KNOW OF PEOPLE THAT WILL NOT GO TO CHURCH BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID OF VIOLENCE.

SOT: HOW CAN YOU REDUCE YOUR RISK SIGNIFICANTLY? FOCUS ON THE OUTSIDE. THAT IS WHERE 74% OF THE DEADLY FORCE INCIDENTS ARE OCCURRING.

NAT POP: IT MAKES ME FEEL SAD AND TO THE POINT OF BEING ANGRY.

WHEN YOU ARE SITTING IN CHURCH, THE DOORS BEHIND YOU ARE WIDE OPEN.

SMALL COUNTRY CHURCH AND A TERRIBLE VIOLENT INCIDENT OCCURRED. IF YOU ARE LIKE ME, YOU SAID, THAT IS WE. I DO NOT WANT IT TO BE US.

THE CONCERNS I HAD WERE AMONGST THE PEACE OFFICERS HERE.

SOT: I CAN SEE THE DOORS IN THE BACK. AS A POLICE OFFICER, I NEVER CARRIED AS MUCH OFF DUTY. IT IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE THAT I CARRY OFF DUTY.

SOT: THE GOAL OF ANYONE THERE PREPARED FOR ARMED FORCES IS TO NEVER HAVE A NEED TO DO IT. PEOPLE THAT PERPETRATE EVIL DO NOT JUST COPY THE LAST ONE. THEY STUDIED UP WHAT THEY CAN DO AT ANOTHER SOFT TARGET. WE TRY TO BRING IN ALL OF THAT AND TEACH THE PRINCIPLES TO PROTECT THEM FROM THE NEXT HEADLINE.

SOT: WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE THE PUBLIC IMMEDIATE RESPONDERS. THE BLEEDING CONTROL PROGRAM OF MEDICAL SKILLS WE PROVIDE ARE ESSENTIAL TO SAVE STAFFED WITH VOLUNTEER FIRST RESPONDERS WHO PROVIDE THE TRAINING FREE TO TEACHERS. WHEN EVENTS LIKE THIS HAPPEN, PEOPLE GET HURT. THERE MAY BE A DELAY BEFORE WE PUT HANDS ON A PATIENT. WE ARE THERE FOR EVERYBODY. OUR PRIORITY IS GOD WILLING, ALL OF THE SCHOOLS IN PIMA COUNTY.

SOT: THIS IS UNFORTUNATELY, THE NEW NORMAL FOR US.

SOT: IF WE CAN STOP THE BLEEDING, THEY HAVE A CHANCE OF LIVING.

SOT: OUR CONCERN IS STUDENT AND STAFF SAFETY. AS WE WATCH EVENTS HAPPEN ACROSS OUR COUNTRY, WE WANT TO BE WELL PREPARED AS WE CAN BE.

SOT: THIS IS THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. WE ARE 670 STUDENTS KINDERGARTEN THROUGH SIXTH GRADE. WE ARE FOCUSING ON THE RESPONSE TO BLEEDING. WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES LIFE-THREATENING BLEEDING AND WHAT DOES NOT.

SOT: THEY ARE PROVIDING STOP THE BLEED TRAINING FOR OUR TEACHERS.

SOT: WE HAVE THREE MODALITIES, DIRECT PRESSURE, TOURNIQUETS AND WOUND PACKING. WE ARE WALKING THE TEACHERS THROUGH AND LET THEM PRACTICE ON THEMSELVES AND EACH OTHER.

SOT: WE WILL TALK ABOUT TOURNIQUETS, SHOW YOU THE PARTS; LET YOU DO IT ON YOURSELF AND EACH OTHER.

NAT POP: WE HAVE TAKEN MULTIPLE FEMA CLASSES. THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT HAS PROVIDED SHOOTER TRAINING TO STAFF. WHERE WE DO NOT WANT TO CONSIDER ANYTHING LIKE THAT HAPPENING, THERE IS POWER IN PLANNING FOR IT.

NAT POP: IT MAKES YOU MORE AWARE -- AND MORE WORRIED, I WOULD SAY.

SOT: OUR SCHOOL IS OPEN. WE ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE. IT MAKES US FEEL BETTER THAT HERE IS A POSSIBILITY. THIS IS WHAT WE CAN DO. I HAVE FOUGHT FOR 42 YEARS. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT TRAINING IN SHOOTING.

SOT: IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO PLAN FOR ANY EVENT. WE HAVE RECEIVED A LOT OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK FROM NOT ONLY PARENTS BUT ALSO STAFF. THEY FEEL BETTER THAT THEY ARE MORE PREPARED.

NAT POP: IF WE ARE PUTTING THIS ON OURSELF, WE WANT TO PULL THE HANDLE TOWARD OUR MIDLINE. I FEEL MORE CONFIDENT WITH MY CHILDREN AT SCHOOL.

SOT: IT IS LIKE HAVING AN EPIPEN AND STUDENTS HAVE A REACTION. I AM AFRAID WHEN OR IF IT HAPPENS, EVERYTHING GOES OUT THE WINDOW.

SOT: TEACHERS ARE UTMOST CONCERNED, HOW DO I PROTECT OUR STUDENTS?

SOT: THEY MAY HAVE INJURED STUDENTS HALF AN HOUR BEFORE FIRST RESPONDERS CAN GET TO THEM. A LOT OF TIMES YOU SEE A LIGHTBULB COME ON WHEN THEY REALIZE THEY CANNOT TRAIN THAT. I HOPE THEY GET EXPERIENCE AND EQUIPMENT AND NEVER NEED IT.

TED SIMONS: THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I AM TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Mike Wright: Owner, Landmark Protection
Duane Enos: Police Officer
Bruce Whitney: Director, ICSAVE
Kim Hubbard: Principal, Tanque Verde Elementary School

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