TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, Ala. – The Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department will be providing a Church Safety Awareness Seminar sponsored by Lake Martin Baptist Church.

Other churches in the area have already begun to implement safety precautions. First Presbyterian Church in Sylacauga recently instituted new safety policies. The building is locked from the minute services begin until they end.

Odena Baptist Church in Sylacauga attended a church safety course last month, provided by the Lincoln Police Department. Odena Baptist has started a Safety and Security Committee within the last six months. The chairman of the committee, Rodney Keith, said the course made suggestions such as locking all external doors before the service starts (other than the main entrance doors), using security cameras, putting people on the committee in certain places in the church to act as security, and having armed people in the church. If someone needs to leave through a door other than the main entrance, there is another person assigned to watch for these things to unlock and lock the door back for that person. Odena has already implemented each of these safety precautions for their church.

This will be the second seminar the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department has provided. They held their first one in December for the north side of the county with around 80 people in attendance. This seminar has been extended to include the middle part of the county. The Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department will be working with the Alexander City Police Department in the presentations for this seminar.

“Each church is different,” said Lt. William Hough. “We aren’t saying you have to do what we tell you. We are just giving suggestions, tools, and tips to take back for what could work at your church. It’s more of making people aware.”

The seminar will be at 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 8, and will last between two and three hours. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend. For more information about the seminar, call the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department at (256)825-4264.

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