FBI holds training for Huntsville worship leaders

The FBI has done this training in other areas, but this marks the first time they have come to the Rocket City.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 7:05 PM
Updated: Jun 25, 2019 10:43 PM

On Tuesday, the FBI helped local worship leaders form active shooter plans, in case of an emergency.

The FBI has done this training in other areas, but this marks the first time they have come to the Rocket City.

"I'm fortunate that we take security very seriously at my synagogue at B'nai Sholom and we have plans in place. This reinforces the importance of having plans in place and taking security very seriously," said Eric Berk, Rabbi of Temple B'nai Sholom.

Eric Berk is a rabbi at a temple in Huntsville and said all religious leaders should have an active shooter plan in place.

"The attendance here tells you that this room is full. It's not just a minority community like a Jewish community that takes this seriously. It's every house of worship. It's every religious institution here in Huntsville is taking this matter very seriously," Eric Berk said.

The FBI partnered with the Department of Homeland Security and Infraguard to show church leaders how to develop active shooter plans and address hate crimes.

FBI Director Paul Daymond oversees the training session and emphasizes just how important it is.

"If you've watched the news in the last couple of years, you see Charleston. You see San Diego, Milwaukee and the list continues, and so it's preparation and prevention that's the focus for today's program," Paul Daymond said, a spokesperson for the FBI of Birmingham division.

Berk plans to attend future training sessions and said he can never learn enough about keeping his fellow members safe.

"I've learned a tremendous amount. I've learned that every facility and organization needs its own security plan that's tailored to their own unique special needs," Eric Berk said.

The training was attended by 115 worship leaders. The FBI says they plan to host the training again in Huntsville sometime in the future.

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