Church safety training gives peace of mind amid recent shootings

Retired Eugene police Lt. Tom Eichhorn has helped train more than 2,000 people across the Willamette Valley.

Posted: Dec 30, 2019 5:42 PM
Updated: Dec 30, 2019 5:44 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With two acts of violence during two different religious ceremonies, houses of worship are once again asking how they can defend themselves.

For the past five years, retired Eugene police Lt. Tom Eichhorn has been the Safety Training Director for New Hope Church in Eugene. He trains parishioners how to engage with potential threats. He said they have trained more than 2,000 people across the Willamette Valley.

RELATED: TEXAS CHURCH SECURITY TEAM MEMBER WHO SHOT GUNMAN HAD 'EYES' ON THE MAN AS SOON AS HE WALKED IN

"I've always said it. If through our training, through our intervention program, we can save one life, then everything that we've done is worthwhile. Everything," Eichhorn said.

Eichhorn said that there are different levels of training. The most common one people request is the basic level in which Eichhorn trains churchgoers how to spot a potential threat and talk them down.

"We have awareness training we give all of them. It teaches people what to look for, how to denote when someone is in crisis," Eichhorn said.

MORE: 5 STABBED AT HANUKKAH CELEBRATION IN RABBI’S NEW YORK HOME

For pastors like Dewayne Peters of New Hope Church, Eichhorn gives him a peace of mind there is a team watching out for him and his congregation.

"It's such a benefit to us and this body at New Hope Eugene," Peters said. "We are just thankful for our team, and we love our team."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19366

Reported Deaths: 328
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah449793
Washington284923
Marion269268
Umatilla206024
Clackamas142136
Malheur67610
Deschutes5408
Lane5233
Lincoln3959
Jackson3941
Union3882
Yamhill38611
Jefferson3113
Morrow3051
Polk29612
Linn25410
Klamath1961
Wasco1703
Hood River1690
Benton1576
Douglas1341
Josephine1071
Coos850
Clatsop820
Columbia790
Crook431
Baker330
Lake320
Tillamook300
Wallowa191
Sherman150
Curry140
Harney80
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Few Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 71°
Corvallis
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 71°
Roseburg
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
North Bend
Few Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events