Texas Church Shooting Has Local Congregations Revisiting Security Plans

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Texas church shooting has local congregations taking a closer look at their security plans.

“It’s pretty much every pastor’s worst nightmare to have something like that happen,” explains Sr. Minister Rev. Benjamin Boswell, with Myers Park Baptist Church.

He says the church does have a security plan in place, but it stops short of having armed security guards or hiring off-duty police.

“I think there’s only so much you can do before you go a little overboard and take measures that seem to be counterproductive,” Boswell explains.

It’s a debate many church congregations are having in the wake of the Texas shooting.

CMPD tells us many churches do hire armed off-duty officers, though you might not always recognize them.

‘Those law enforcement officers bring their weapons, dress in church attire, but they have their weapons with them in case something happens,” says Lt. Steve Huber, with CMPD.

The department offers a free two-hour active shooter training course for churches and businesses.

Officers say it’s important all houses of worship have a plan that starts as soon as the parking lot.

“If your plan starts once the shooter is in your foyer of your church or house of worship, it’s probably going to be too late,” Huber says.

Gus Welborn at CN Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian says his church has been proactive.

“Churches and the situation surrounding churches have changed. They’ve become soft targets for criminals,” Welborn says.

They are working with members of the congregation who have a background in law enforcement.

“We have security people who work every Sunday and every event to help keep our campus safe and secure,” Welborn says.

If you’d like to sign up for CMPD’s active shooter training for churches or businesses, you can call 704-336-2310. Or e-mail mhuber@cmpd.org