Butler County sheriff: Churches already responding to offer of free CCW training

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is offering free CCW training for county church security team members in light of recent violence in a Texas church. FILE
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is offering free CCW training for county church security team members in light of recent violence in a Texas church. FILE

Two days after a deadly shooting at a Texas church that was stopped by a trained security team member who returned fire and killed the shooter, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones announced he would be offering free CCW training for area church personnel.

The response has kept him busy, Jones told the Journal-News.

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“We’ve had about 100 show interest, and it has only been a couple days. I would imagine we will get close to 200 to 300,” Jones said.

He added his office will pare down the list and begin training led by one of the department’s captains.

Jones said the sessions will not only include CCW training but help for churches wanting to begin a security program. The training will have to be approved by the individual churches.

“Unfortunately, in these days and times, no place is immune from mass shootings, and we want our citizens to go to church without worry and fear, feeling safe and secure to worship with their families and fellow church members,” Jones said.

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Church congregations reach out to the less fortunate and those in need of help, but sometimes those individuals also have a criminal history or mental illness that came make their actions unpredictable, Jones said.

“They just don’t know the complete history of a person and it can be a dangerous situation,” he said.

Many churches already have a security plan and encourage law enforcement officers who come to worship to carry their weapons, Jones said.

“It is a crazy world we live in. We cannot just bury our heads in the sand,” he said.

Those looking to register will have to be involved in an approved church security team. Limited space is available, so interested participants are to send the Butler County Sheriff’s Office an email at ccwclass@butlersheriff.org.