Charlotte Church Hosting Security Conference to Educate Other Groups

From by Torie Wells, July 25, 2013

When visitors walk into Calvary Church in south Charlotte, they are greeted by security.

Some of it is visible, like security officers and cameras, but most of it is not.

Security Director Donald Sanchez said he wants members to know safety plans are in place.

“They come to church, they want to pray, worship, they want to hear a message of encouragement, they want fellowship. The last thing on their mind is a guy walking through the door with a gun,” said Sanchez.

But Sanchez points out that violence and other crimes have happened at religious organizations across the country.

In February, Eyewitness News told you about one security expert that tracks these crimes nationwide, including some in the Charlotte area.

On New Year’s Eve in Monroe, police said an armed robbery happened at a church during mass.

Just this month, Eyewitness News reported on two church arsons, one in south Charlotte, and the other in the Hemphill Heights neighborhood.

“I want to get the word out that these dangers are real, there’s a possibility,” said Sanchez.

That is why he decided to open security training in August for his church and to other religious organizations.

“We’re not here to spread a spirit of fear, that’s not what we are doing. We’re trying to spread of message of preparing,” said Mike Clumpner, a security expert and president and CEO of Threat Suppression.

Clumpner’s security company will be teaching the conference.

He said it will be focused on concerns churches and other religious organizations could face during services and throughout the week, like violence, medical emergencies, weather and domestic issues.

The course will look at ways to create a plan to deal with possible issues.

Clumpner said having a plan doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

“We want churches to forward think, to look at what could happen, plan and prepare and react,” he said.

During Eyewitness News’ investigation in February, some churches said they didn’t have a set plan because it’s against their faith to shut anyone out.

Sanchez agrees it’s a difficult balance to strike.

He said his church works hard to make sure people are able to feel comfortable and welcome, but he also wants to them feel safe.

The conference is Aug. 7 Channel 9 was told it’s free to religious organizations in the area of any faith.

Published in: on July 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

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