Posted on Jan. 4, 2024 by Niki Nelson

Active shootings in general have been on the rise in recent years, and that includes churches, temples, mosques, and other houses of worship. The uptick in active threats has made people understandably uneasy, with some places of worship adding armed security.

One of America’s deadliest mass shootings took place in Sutherland Springs, TX in 2017 at the First Baptist Church. Tragically, 26 people were killed when a gunman opened fire. An article by USA Today listed fairly recent attacks on houses of worship:

  • Congregation Beth Israel synagogue, TX – January 2022
  • Chabad of Poway synagogue, CA – April 2019
  • Two mosques in New Zealand – March 2019
  • Tree of Life synagogue, PA – October 2018

The variations of location and religion show that this type of attack can happen anywhere and to any place of worship. It may be unknown if the acts are driven by hate, mental instability or a combination of both, either way, it is an unfortunate reality.

Simulation Training for Active Threats

VirTra’s “Mass Chaos” scenario was released in October 2023 for the V-300®, and now it is available for the V-180® and V-100® as well. This is another addition to our existing library of active threat scenarios, such as those that involve an active shooter at movie theaters and schools.

Mass Chaos is a scenario that will truly bring users’ heart rates up. In this scenario, 911 calls are reporting an active shooter situation at a local church. When entering, there will be an immediate engagement with an active threat. As the officers move through the church, there will be other engagements including hostages, fleeing civilians, and opportunities to make quick decisions.

There are several training points in Mass Chaos such as hostage negotiation, stress inoculation, situational awareness, and communication. Due to this, the scenario has also been broken down into three additional smaller scenarios available in all 3 simulators.

  • Church Crisis – User must quickly and effectively engage threats with deadly force, as well as make split second decisions on whether someone is a threat or not.
  • Holy Hostage – Officer will face a hostage situation that must be quickly resolved.
  • Holy Moly – Officers and church security must work together to clear a church during an active threat situation.

These scenarios are brand new and will be added to your library during your next service trip. If you’d like to learn more about the new content or update your service plan, contact a specialist.

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