Local churches reviewing security plans after shooting at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal
NORTHPORT, Ala. (WBRC) - The church shooting in Vestavia Hills earlier this week may have some local churches reviewing their security plans. A pastor in Northport is doing just that. He’s praying for peace but he’s also wanting people to be prepared.
“Our hearts have gone out. They will continue to go out,” Pastor Greg Strickland with Northport Church of God said.
Strickland offered words of encouragement to the families of the victims after the deadly shooting at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
“We’ll pray and it’s not an empty word when we say we’ll pray. We’ll pray,” Strickland said.
Strickland has also been reviewing his church’s security plans.
“I got on the phone with my emergency response team leaders and said ‘heads up, these things are happening and if you are seeing areas where we kind of have gotten relaxed, raise the standard back up to where it needs to be,’” Strickland said.
A few years ago, Strickland held a secure church training conference at his church which put together workshops to help churches form security teams and learn what to do in an active shooting or other crisis situations. He says churches need to be proactive when it comes to keeping their members safe.
As the shepherd of his church, Strickland wants to protect his flock not only spiritually but physically. He says someone is always watching over his church.
“Obviously they’re not in tactical gear or anything like that. They are just like everyone else, but they are prepared and God, I hope we never have to test them,” Strickland said.
Strickland is encouraging more churches to have a security plan.
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