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500 attend church security seminar - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

500 attend church security seminar

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Churches are thought to be safe havens to pray, but that notion was challenged a month ago when a gunman opened fire in Emanuel AME killing nine people.

Thursday night hundreds, attended a free security seminar at Trident Tech looking for techniques to make their own sanctuaries safer.

"If someone comes into your church, you need to know how to protect them,” Lt. Frank Jackson of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office said.

Jackson is a minister but he’s also been in law enforcement for almost 30 years.

"Many people think that a house of worship is a safe area where violence and emergencies cannot affect them,” Jackson said. “However, violence in such facilities is not a new phenomenon."

Jackson stressed the importance of being prepared.

"We need to develop and emergency plan,” Jackson said. “Something that if something happens people don’t go running with a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off."

He said security cameras provide and extra set of eyes, but it's important to stay watchful.

Jackson has hosted the class since 2003 and plans to offer it again in the future.

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