Monday, March 09, 2009

Experts: Churches Need Security Plans

Churches need security plans, experts say

(CNN) -- Churches can stop a shooter or anyone else intent on harming church members with the proper security measures in place, an expert on protecting places of worship said Monday.

Police say the attacker walked into First Baptist Church of Maryville, Illinois, on Sunday and began firing.

"A church is not helpless when they have a plan, and properly trained security," said Jeff Hawkins, the executive director of the Christian Security Network.

First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois, had a security plan in place when a gunman walked into services Sunday morning and killed Pastor Fred Winters, said Tim Lawson, another pastor at the church.

Lawson told CNN he was not prepared to disclose details of his church's security plan on Monday.

But Maryville police Chief Rich Schardam said Winters was keenly aware of the security issues, had sought out police advice and had identified police and medical personnel in the congregation who could help in an emergency.

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