CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After two recent attacks on houses of worship, Charlotte-area churches and law enforcement are preparing for the worst.
- Places of worship are stepping up security measures following recent attacks throughout the country
- Members and staff are undergoing active shooter trainings
- Also seeing the addition of alarms, security cameras, and member security teams in many places
The staff at C.N. Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church says they’ve stepped up all aspects of security in recent years. They’ve added alarms, security cameras, and a member security team.
Members and staff have also gone through active shooter training with law enforcement, and member Gus Melborn says it’s better to be prepared for the worst than not prepared at all.
“It could happen here just as much as anywhere else. That was pretty much our perspective about it. Why wait for something to happen? Prepare, and hopefully we can prevent something like that from happening by having people provide a security presence,” he says.
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve seen an increase in people taking the course. Deputy Sgt. Ashley Conner also says more churches are hiring officers to be at the church during services.
“With churches, places of worship, and even businesses, those are considered what they say soft targets. So putting people there or putting the establishment there that people are armed, or you have law enforcement present, that makes it a harder target,” Deputy Sgt. Conner says. "They know that the threat that’s coming in is going to meet a resistance, and they don’t want to meet that, so they will go a different way.”
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, CMPD, and other law enforcement agencies offer active shooter training. All you need to do is call their office, and schedule a time for officers to come to the church.