BRANSON, Mo. -- Millions of people visit Branson each year. With so many people packing so many places, Branson police want to make sure businesses are ready to respond if someone walks in with a gun or other deadly weapon and has ill intent.
At Ripley's Believe It or Not, folks come to see the unusual, but safety is just as important as the entertainment.
"We try to keep someone inside the show at all times and monitor things to see what's going. You have your employees' safety to worry about. You have your guest safety to worry about. Anything you can do to enhance those, it's just that much better," said John Dixon with Ripley's.
The tourist destination often has lots of people at the same place at the same time. Branson Police want to make sure those businesses know what to do to keep guests from becoming easy targets.
"Not being prepared is the worst thing you could do. We are going to assume the worst in the active training that a shooter has entered your place of business," said Branson Police Chief Kent Crutcher.
It's based on a Homeland Security format. Police will cover the three basics on what to do if someone shows up with a gun. Run if you can. If not, hide. Then as a last resort fight.
"Safety is always a concern for any community whether you are tourism or not. So any information that we can get that gives us more knowledge, I think it's a good thing," said Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley.
"I will attend and any of my employees that would like to go. I'd love for them to go. It's a great thing. But it sure opens your eyes to think it could happen to anybody. I think everybody should be prepared and protect themselves if that does happen," said entertainer, Clay Cooper.
The free sessions will give advice to armed and unarmed business owners. It all starts next week. The sessions are filling up fast. Police ask that you RSVP. If the two sessions fill up, police will likely do more in the future.
Both sessions will be at Branson City Hall
Friday, February 22nd 9:30 A.M. to 11 P.M.
Monday, February 25th 3 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.