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Instructor Kills Student During Training
In recent times, the importance of church security has been underscored by various incidents that have occurred across the nation. Training security teams is a crucial part of ensuring the safety of congregations. However, training exercises can go horribly wrong if not conducted with the utmost care and professionalism. This article discusses a tragic incident where a retired police lieutenant fatally shot a library officer during a training exercise and offers insights on how to prevent such accidents in church security training.
The Incident: A Fatal Training Exercise
On August 4, 2022, Jesse Porter, a retired D.C. police lieutenant, was conducting a training session at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library. The training was focused on using handcuffs and batons. During a seemingly casual moment, Porter pointed his handgun at 25-year-old library officer Maurica Manyan and shot her in the chest, leading to her death. Porter had mistakenly replaced his orange, plastic training weapon with his actual firearm. He was later sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and unlawful discharge of a firearm.
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The Importance of Reality-Based Training
Reality-based training (RBT) is a method that simulates real-life scenarios to prepare individuals for actual events. It is crucial for church security teams to undergo RBT to be well-prepared for any situation. However, the following principles must be adhered to:
The first rule of any training exercise should be safety. All weapons should be checked and double-checked to ensure they are not live. In Porter's case, a simple weapon check could have prevented the tragedy. Weapons of any kind should never be present during scenario training and all efforts should be towards preventing a weapon from entering the training area. This includes checkpoints and the searching of students and instructors.
Clear Guidelines and Supervision
There should be clear guidelines on what is allowed and what is not during training. Additionally, a safety officer should be present to oversee the exercise and ensure that all safety protocols are being followed.
Regular Audits and Reviews
Regular audits of training methods and safety protocols can help identify any gaps or areas for improvement. This can prevent accidents and improve the overall effectiveness of the training program.
The tragic incident involving Jesse Porter and Maurica Manyan serves as a grim reminder of what can go wrong during training exercises. Church security teams can learn from this incident by adhering to the principles of Reality-Based Training and prioritizing safety above all else. Let us ensure that our efforts to protect our congregations do not end up causing harm instead.