Planning For The Worst At Church

In Newberry county tonight community members learned more about possible threats their churches face and how they can react.

Newberry County, SC (WLTX) - Community members learned more about possible threats to their churches Monday night in Newberry County.

"We didn't bring you here to scare you. We brought you here because there is a problem," Chief Deputy Todd Johnson said.

Robberies, mass shootings, suicide, missing and lost children, sex offenders along with fire, weather and medical emergencies at churches were the topics of discussion as about 100 people filled the Newberry County Sheriff's Office.

"A lot of churches are completely under attack by active shooters, active threats and other situations that it was imperative to give people information to equipped them to prepare their own plan," Johnson said.

"A medical emergency is the most likely event you're going to face in your church, yet many churches don't have any medical equipment, no first aid kit, no AED device or anything else and those are the practical things that we do every Sunday as a worshipping experience," he said.

Tips included: know the locations of your exits and emergency devices, designate 911 callers, protect your perimeter and ask people in the neighborhood to be watchful of the church, especially after hours.

"A lot of things you just take for granted that goes on and happens all around us every day and a lot of the things that you think that may not happen are actually happening," Ron Clark said.

Clark attends Seekwell Baptist Church and said he is going to share those security tips with the other members of his church.

"Really kind of think that we are a little slack maybe in our church and it put that into perspective. We try to welcome everybody in our church and you want to welcome everybody there, but you never think that somebody is going to come in there and harm you," he said.

Once a plan is in place Johnson said to practice it, with the hope that it will never have to be used.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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