Washington Co. Sheriff’s Office offering class to teach churches about security

For the first time, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is teaming up with a consultant to teach churches in the Tri-Cities area how to protect their congregations.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- For the first time, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is teaming up with a consultant to teach churches in the Tri-Cities area how to protect their congregations. The eight-hour seminar will review several topics, including how to form church security teams and how to identify weaknesses in the building.

“I think it’s going to give them a guideline to go by, the dos, the don’ts it’s going to be a big responsibility for the church,” said Captain Bryan Horton with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The department decided to team up with J&P Welch Law Enforcement Training and Consultants after several churches reached out looking for help. Sheriff Ed Graybeal said, “We’ve had so many calls from churches wanting us to do something for them and it was just overwhelming.”

Sulpher Springs Baptist Church Pastor Jon Reed has had a church security team in place for a few years and thinks it is important for the morale of the congregation. “I want them to know that we really do care about what’s going on in their lives and I think for that to happen when they come in they have to know that they’re safe,” Pastor Reed said.

The Pro-Active Approach to Security for Faith-Based Organizations seminar will take place at 9 a.m. on April 23 at Boone Creek Christian Church located at 305 Christian Church Road in Johnson City. Any church is welcome to attend,

The eight-hour seminar will include the following topics:

– How to make your facility safe without turning it into a fortress
– Steps to take to form security teams
– How to recognize high risk areas in your organization
– How to prepare for an emergency
– Conducting a physical security survey
– Establishing action plans for emergencies

The cost is $50 per person. To get an application go to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website and go to FAQs in the dropdown box. The application needs to be returned to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office by April 15. Checks should be made payable to John Welch.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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