NORTH CHARLESTON - (WCSC) - The Christian Security Network reports 75 percent of churches do not have a safety and security plan. A safety conference is working to change that worldwide. Threat Suppression, Incorporated is teaching people how to make their place of worship more secure.
Church staff across the area came together for the seminar at Mount Moriah Baptist Church.
Keith Hale is the Family Life Center director at the church.
"Everybody believes you know entrust in God and he'll protect us, however he also said be wise," Hale said.
Threat Suppression, Incorporated hosted two Active Shooter Seminars. One for first responders and another for church staff. Dr. Mike Clumpner is the CEO of the company and he teaches about 40,000 thousand people on safety worldwide.
"I'm not here to spread a message of fear, it's a message of preparation and resilience," Dr. Clumpner said.
He presents incidents that could arise in churches like robberies, personal conflicts, and gang-related crimes. It's important for church leaders to know about recent church crimes.
"So watch the news, just do Google searches of church crimes an see what's happening and see if your church is prepared to counteract one of those crimes," Clumpner said.
Locking side doors during services, having a high visibility of church staff and installing cameras both hidden and visible are just a few safety precautions. Clumpner also recommends having law enforcement officers at service and inventory of equipment.
"If someone stole a laptop from your church or a TV from your church, how long would it take you to even recognize that," Clumpner said.
Many church staff at the seminar see an opportunity where they can improve their current safety plans.
"I do feel like after what happened downtown with the Emanuel 9 it was an eye opener and a lot of churches now looking into effective strategies," Hale said.
Safety Team member at NewSpring Church, Jeremy Buchanan says it was informative to hear about the liabilities of the church in ensuring safety on mission trips or with kid camps.
"It's really nice to see we have programs like this available to help in today's society to make sure we can go to church and be safe," Buchanan said.
The event was hosted by the Mount Pleasant and North Charleston Fire Departments.
For more information on Threat Suppression, Incorporated: http://www.threatsuppression.com/