Western Mass. Church Coalition Looking At Church Security

Nov 27, 2017

Recent shootings at houses of worship have led a coalition of churches in western Massachusetts to take a look at how they handle security. 

On November 5, 26 people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a Texas church. The same day, a shooter killed his estranged wife and himself in the parking lot of a church in California. 

In the wake of such violence, Archbishop Timothy Paul of the International Communion of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church is considering security measures that never before seemed necessary.

"[It] seems like the church has become a place where there’s a loss of sanctity," Paul told NEPR. "So we need to prepare for these kinds of events."

Paul is president of the Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts, which is holding a summit on church security on Monday.

Law enforcement and members of the approximately 300 churches in the council will gather to talk about how to train congregants to respond to an active shooter situation, Paul said.

They'll also talk about whether to take measures like installing security cameras, or even hiring armed guards.