PERRY -- City Council agreed Monday to allow active shooter reaction training for city employees.
But a recommendation to allow volunteer employees to go through police training to carry a gun was rejected, at least for now.
Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said he liked the idea for training employees how to react but was concerned that if employees had guns, police officers responding to a situation might think an employee with a gun was the shooter.
The council members nodded agreement with his suggestion to go forward with the reaction training but not the weapons training. However, after the meeting Faircloth said the city may still consider allowing employees to have guns, but he wasn't ready to agree to that immediately.
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"It's just something I want to get more information on," he said.
In the council's regular work session, Police Lt. Chris Sutcliff made the presentation, with a focus on City Hall. But Faircloth said the city has other locations, including public works and fire stations, where employees should also undergo the training.
Sutcliff said he had been in contact with the Department of Homeland Security about the best way to respond to an active shooter. He said people in a building have basically three options, which are to run, hide or fight back.
Sutcliff asked that employees who undergo the same weapons training as police officers be allowed to carry weapons. The training would include a psychological exam, training on use of force, shooting training and acquiring a state carry license.
"No one may want to do it," Sutcliff said.
Sutcliff noted that citizens who have a state license can bring a gun into City Hall but employees cannot.
He said active shooter situations happen quickly, and are typically over within five minutes. About 60 percent of the shootings, he said, are over before the police arrive on the scene.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.