HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) — The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office will host two information sessions on Thursday regarding how residents can respond to active shooter situations.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis said the men and women of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office want to emphasize that awareness and preparedness are as important as law enforcement training in keeping the community safe.

There have been 72 mass shootings in the U.S this year alone, including one in Lakeland, which is why deputies want the public to arm themselves with knowledge.

The sheriff’s office said that in an active shooter situations, minutes could pass before law enforcement officers arrive, and those minutes are crucial.

There will be two sessions at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday. The first will start at 2:00 p.m. and the second will begin at 6:00 p.m. To reserve your seat, visit the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office website.