LANETT, Ala.- In mid-July, News 3 reported of a training squad that would be coming to Lanett to teach people how to dismantle explosive devices.
Tuesday night, residents of the community gathered at Fredonia United Methodist Church to speak about the training. Members of the town say that only 20 people show up to their community, but Tuesday saw close to 100 turn out.
The meeting started with the director of Sehoy Tactical, the organization doing the training’s director, Dave Williams who worked on the World Trade Center Bombing case in 1993 and the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. He provided the group with information of previous bomb explosion cases he worked on. Some felt this was unnecessary. One resident got up and left during his presentation saying that she does not need to know there are bad people in the world. She said she wanted to learn how this would affect her community. When she got up to leave, another resident said “She does not have to leave if she does not want to.” The one leaving said, “I already know this information.” A different resident stood up in response to her and said, “I thought you were leaving. Don’t let the door hit you.”
After the exchange, News 3 caught up with those who had no problem with the training and those who felt the training would hurt the environment.
Eugene Blair is a resident and council member, he has no problem with the training. “It can help volunteer fire departments, the county as a whole,” Blair said. “We have somebody here with bomb experience close by. I wouldn’t foresee any bombs set here by any terrorists or anything. But they’re here close by if we need ’em.”
On the other side, Chris and J.J Frickert feel that this training could be done elsewhere besides their town.”So many places that are not rural, that have farming communities, and forests and pristine wildlife,” J.J. Frickert said. “There are many places that are deserted and people don’t live there. Why choose the peaceful town of Fredonia?” They also said the town’s Heritage Festival in mid-November usually brings in 4,000 people but they feel that number will be affected by the testing.