RIVERDALE, Ga. - Faith leaders are taking part in a four week course offered by Riverdale Police Department, giving them a better understanding of the how the department operates.
Thursday evening, the church leaders were presented with active shooter scenarios. With guns in their hands, they shot back at a screen playing the different scenarios.
“It was going to give me hands-on experience, and the insight of really how the officers operate. And not only that, but what they go through,” said Bishop Brenda English of Greater Anointing Christian Fellowship.
“This little scenario that we were interacting with gave me a different outlook on an officer and how they should respond to things,” said Pastor Harry Riley of Lakewin Christian Center International.
Pastor Riley is also the City Chaplin and said he wants to introduce this course into the classroom at schools throughout the county.
“They need to know a little bit of how the police officers think and how they should react to stay alive a lot longer, because too many of them are getting shot and killed and doing the wrong thing,” said Pastor Riley.
In addition to the active shooter scenario, the course also offered information about the 911 center, street patrols, excessive force and other topics. Riverdale officers said the course is instrumental in saving lives.
"It actually gives the officers as well as civilians a chance to put themselves in a scenario without being in danger and use all of their tools to dictate the outcome of a situation,” said Lt. Charles Cooper with the Riverdale Police Department.
The course also provided church leaders with information to secure their house of worship and know what to do if ever faced with an active shooter.
“If anybody had a thorough understanding of what could possibly happen when a stranger comes out of their pocket with something, then you have more security in place to offset that,” said Pastor Riley.