Pastors Pair Up With Police Chief in Rural City

ENGLAND, Ark.-- In one small, central Arkansas town pastors and police paired up refusing to let fear keep people out of their pews. 

England's police chief and local pastors met less than a day after the deadly mass shooting at a church in Texas.

Chief Danna Powell said officers plan to step up Sunday patrols, it will team up the Lonoke Co. Sheriff's office to provide active shooter response training. She mentioned training some church members to become auxiliary officers at every church. 

The Texas tragedy has clearly shaken up the small city of England. It has less than three thousand residents. 

Pastor Jeremiah Sanders sat inside Landmark Baptist Church. 

He said, "It just if it doesn't affect you? I mean check your pulse."

Pastor Sanders preaches at a church down the road. 

Pastor David Inzer said,"It's just hard to fathom."

Inzer preaches at the church where we met Sanders and England's police chief on Monday. 

Inzer said, "Now for it to hit in a rural area like that's similar to our area, yeah it brought it home real good. Sure did."

Both pastors talked with us about Sunday's deadly mass shooting at a small town Texas church. 

Sanders said, "It was kind of like a flashback. The first church I pastored was in a town of 400 people."

The rural, tight-knit, Arkansas community does not feel big enough to be about 7 times the size of Sutherland Springs, where tragedy hit Sunday. 

Inzer said, "We don't' know what to do."

Local pastors met with England's police chief on Monday to come up with a plan. 

Chief Danna Powell said, "That's just the world we live in. I mean Satan's not going to give up."

She said officers plan to pump up Sunday patrols and she will work with the Sheriff's office to help teach every and any England church how to respond to an active shooter situation. 

Powell said, "What we are going to ask (is) that each church sends 3 or 4 people from each one of their churches to get the training. Then they can take it back to their churches."

Both pastors will work with and learn from law enforcement to keep their congregations safe. 

"Oh absolutely. It reminded us that it could hit here just like it hit there," Inzer said. 

The pastors send their love and prayers to Texas. 

Sanders said, "Every single one of those people is somebody's somebody."

The police chief told me that she has not set an exact date for the training. England churches interested should contact the police department. 


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