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BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) -
The Wood County sheriff will be training church officials on how to handle catastrophic scenarios, which are increasingly happening inside places of worship. One pastor believes the training could be lifesaving.
According to Wood County SheriffMark Wasylyshyn, there have been 679 deadly force incidents throughout the country since 1999, and all of them have occurred at faith-based organizations.
Although it seems a church is the last place you would ever have to worry about your family's safety, places of worship are becoming targets for crime. As a preventative measure, the sheriff's office will be holding special training sessions in November for church officials. The training will be conducted at Dayspring Assembly of God located on 17360 North Dixie Highway in Bowling Green.
As posted on it's Facebook page, the Wood County Sheriff's Office says, "Our places of worship are increasingly becoming soft and static targets for those wishing to do harm. We felt it was important to make available this information packed training opportunity. We hope that you will attend."
The Protecting Our Places of Worship program will offer classes and training sessions to provide ministry leaders critical tips about what to do if someone ever passes through worship doors with the intent to harm those inside.
"In today's world, that can be something that can be shattered in an instant by someone coming in with a gun or someone getting hurt in church arguments," said Pastor Helen Dukes.
Dukes says the training will help her, as well as parishioners, feel at ease inside places of worship.