Churches should be aware of certain security measures

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- Churches all over Eastern North Carolina have security plans in place. According to Gary Pastor, former Greenville police officer and current private investigator, churches need someone that isn’t familiar with the property to help with a security plan.

“Don’t wait until its too late, have an independent person come in and evaluate your church,” Pastor said.

Security measures should be thorough and overly cautious to be effective.

Pastor said, “it starts in the parking lot when folks come in and wave and say good morning. That’s a security personnel and it goes all the way until everybody is outside the building.”

The plans that churches have in place need to be specific and detailed so that everyone is protected. Pastor describes it has working together. He told WNCT that communication needs to be between individuals inside and outside of the property. Kenneth Hammond, the pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Greenville, has a plan for his church and tries to keep people informed.

Hammond said, “measures that involve directly the congregation in terms of access and those kinds of things they are shared with the congregation so that they would be aware.”

Despite the tragedy in Charleston, St. James United Methodist Church is sticking to their original plans. Facilities manager, Don Harvey, said the church is more vigilant, but they haven’t changed any security plans because they already had measures in place.

Church security is not only for active shooters, it can be for disruptions, medical emergencies, and fires as well. The key is to be proactive rather than reactive.

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