To help people be more aware of their surroundings and have a plan of action in dire situations, the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor two active shooter seminars Sept. 5.

The first one will be at American Legion Post 26 in Aberdeen at 10 a.m., and the second will be at Amory High School’s auditorium at 6:30 p.m.

“It really hit home for us due to a recent shooting in California at a festival because it was a chamber-sponsored event,” said Monroe County Chamber of Commerce Community Development Director Kelly Martin of the July 29 shooting at Gilroy, California’s Garlic Fest. “Since then, we’ve had shootings in Southaven and Tippah County. We all want to think this won’t happen here in our community but we never know. It’s in everybody’s best interest to be prepared.”

The chamber held a safety seminar in March stressing topics such as gun safety, church security and active shooter situations and a women’s self defense class before then.

The upcoming courses, being taught by certified instructor Tim Oswalt, is strictly for active shooter situations. Martin said several people requested a seminar specific to that topic.

“It’s for people to have a better understanding if they’re in this situation. It will offer tips to get out or react to that situation. Hopefully some instructions embedded will help you not be frozen in fear,” Martin said.

The courses are catered to a wide range of the general public from teachers and clergy to community leaders and professionals. However, some of the videos to be shown and 911 recordings are graphic and not suitable for children.

The two seminars are open, and there are no registration fees or needs to call ahead. People will be asked to sign in at both events.

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