WPPD sponsors CRASE and ADD class at City Hall

Kennedy Meaders, assistant chief of the West Point Police Department, is offering a CRASE class from 6 - 7 p.m.  tonight, Nov. 28, upstairs at City Hall.
Staff Writer

The West Point Police Department is offering CRASE (Citizens Response to Active Shooter Events) and ADD (Avoid, Deny and Defend) instruction, free of charge at 6 p.m. tonight upstairs at City Hall.

"We hope to have at least 20 people come and participate tonight," Kennedy Meaders assistant chief of the West Point Police Department, said. "We want to raise awareness about what to do during an active shooter situation."

Meaders said he wants the citizens to be informed on how to stay as safe as possible until law enforcement can arrive.

"Avoid, Deny and Defend goes hand in hand with CRASE and helps individuals to know what to do if there is a situation where gun violence is involved" Meaders said. "It is ideal for citizens to be able to take care of themselves until law enforcement arrives on the scene."

Meaders was pleased to say there has been a good deal of interest in not only CRASE training but in obtaining Enhanced Concealed Carry Permits.

"You first must already be in possession of a Concealed Carry Permit," Meaders said. "In order to take the training for the Enhanced Permit. This is what you need in order to be a part of a church security team. That way if a shooter enters a church, the team can legally use force against an intruder seeking to do harm. We hope this never happens in our community, but it doesn't hurt to have the required training."

Meaders said he would love to see the upstairs of City Hall full of citizens wanting to learn the best way to protect themselves and their property.

"Churches used to be considered sacred places 20 years ago," Meaders said. "People still had the fear of God in them and would have never dreamed of attacking the congregation of a church. But times have changed and a lot of people don't have any respect for anything. It's sad but true. That's why we want to offer this training to everyone who wants to learn from us."

Meaders will be offering a day-long Enhanced Carry Permit course from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the instruction at City Hall and the firearms training at the 4 - H Ranch.

"I am a certified instructor for the eight hour enhanced course," Meaders said. "If a church has a team in place, they need to include it in the church minutes to allow the congregation to know there are armed citizens trained for their protection in the church. I wouldn't name anyone, but the congregation needs to know they are there."

Meaders said a safety assessment of churches, businesses and buildings can be done by the WPPD free of charge.

"We can come in, do an assessment and then train the employees what to do," Meaders said. "This is where ADD training is effective. You avoid giving entrance to someone with a gun by locking down the facility. You deny them entrance to where you are if they have gained entrance to the building. If need be you defend yourself. We will provide this training to anyone who wants us to provide it."

Meaders said during the holiday season, everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings and be sure to keep doors and windows locked.

"This is the time of year to be hyper vigilant," Meaders said. "People cannot be too careful. Please don't leave handbags, wallets, purchases or firearms out in the open. We can't remind people enough to roll their car windows up and lock the car. Keep items out of sight in the car."