HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Monday evening members of the Hasbrouck Heights Police Department held active shooter training drills after hours at Bible Baptist Church in the borough.
The training session was coordinated by Hasbrouck Heights Police Captain Joseph Rinke and Pastor Eric Dammann, when Rinke reached out to the pastor about using the church for training.
"We want to do anything to help out our community, and it helps out our church," said Dammann, who announced the drills to the congregation during Sunday morning's service. "We care about our police, our fire fighters, and we pray for them regularly here in our church."
"Unfortunately in this day and age, this is the stuff we have to worry about."
Dammann said the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office had assessed the church's security a few years ago, something he "encourages every house of workshop to do."
Bible Baptist Church is one of seven churches in the borough. The Hasbrouck Heights Police Department regular trains in the district's four schools. In his time on the force, Rinke, who lead the training, said he wasn't aware of any training that had been done in the town's houses of worship.
"The tactics don't change," said Rinke. "So it doesn't really matter if it's a school, an office building, a church. The tactics are the tactics."
"This building offers a lot of different scenarios so that we can adapt our tactics," said Rinke. "It's a great opportunity for the guys to train."
Rinke said he was thankful that "Bible Baptist let us come in and use the facility, so that the officers get familiar with the layout."
The officers drilled throughout the building with real weapons but without live ammunition. Depending on scheduling, training at the church would continue throughout the week.
TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro is Hasbrouck Heights, Wood-Ridge and Teterboro’s free daily news source, and is the official newspaper of the Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education and Hasbrouck Heights Borough Council.
Sign up for our FREE daily eNews.