ALBERT LEA, Minn. – According to the Center of Homicide Research, the amount of shootings at churches is going up.
In response to the growing statistic, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office is holding free classes for places of worship and businesses to learn how to protect themselves for a worst-case scenario.
“Because once it happens, that's too late,” Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag said. “You're going to be overwhelmed and not going to know what to do, where to go…you have to prepare."
The instructors will be teaching the run, hide, fight method.
“Run is, where are you going to run to…what protection is it going to afford you,” Sheriff Freitag explained. “If you can’t run, you have to hide. If you’re going to hide, you have to be prepared to fight."
Sheriff Freitag also wants people to be open to the idea of having firearms in a church. He explains many congregations may have veterans or retired law enforcement officers who know how to handle firearms.
“That’s a resource that churches can tap into if someone’s willing to take on that responsibility,” he said.
Not everyone is open to firearms in a place of worship, but he still encourages everyone to come to the free courses.
“Come and gain some education, come and get some knowledge, maybe better protect your family and some friends,” Sheriff Freitag said. “You got nothing to lose.”
There will be a morning and evening class. Both are free of charge and will be at Crossroads Church.
Sign up for the 10 am class here.
Sign up for the 7pm class here.