WACO, Texas (KWTX) A Central Texas bank that encourages employees to arm themselves, is putting staffers through active shooter training.
TFNB Your Bank For Life hosted “company guardian” active shooter training at Ridgewood Country Club Thursday night.
"Be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to customers coming in, ya know, something that sets you off, your signals” said Johnny Price, Owner and Lead Instructor for Big Iron CHL and Active Shooter Training. “Then if something happens…it’s getting your mind into the fact that 'I've got to realize this is real, it’s happening,' and the faster you get to the action, the less people that die."
President and CEO of TFNB David Littlewood said banks have historically been targeted.
"You get caught up in your day to day life and you get comfortable, but the reality is that banks have money and banks are a target,” said Littlewood. “We care about our employees, we care about each other, we care about our customers, and so it's imperative that we be prepared for anything that happens."
Around eighty employees participated in the training.
“For at least a decade now we’ve encouraged our staff and their families, if they choose and they’re comfortable, to pursue a concealed handgun license, and if they do, we’ve encouraged them to bring their handguns to work,” said Littlewood.
They’ve done similar trainings in the past but with an uptick in mass shootings and a recent increase in staff, Littlewood said it was time for another.
Price says while banks pose a specific threat, mass shootings can happen anywhere.
"We didn't think it could happen in Sutherland Springs, small town, sleepy town of Sutherland Springs, and it did,” said Price. “You just realize, it's a fact that there are bad people out there that they're going do this kind of stuff and you're prepared so if you happen to be caught in it, you can respond a lot faster."
TFNB plans on posting signs outside of its banking centers letting customers and the public know their tellers and other employees might be armed.
Price strongly supported the idea.
“The signage that says ‘come on in here, we believe in our Second Amendment, you license-holders come on in here,’ that’s a big deterrent right there because the predator already is a coward, they’re looking at that saying ‘uh oh, there’s guns in there,’” said Price.
Price said most of all, people need to trust their gut and pay attention.
“That’s the biggest thing you can do is be aware,” said Price.