Security experts offer safety advice to church leaders - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Security experts offer safety advice to church leaders

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Dozens of church leaders attended the meeting. Source: WBRC video Dozens of church leaders attended the meeting. Source: WBRC video
PELHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Churches in Shelby County get a lesson on security from the sheriff's office Thursday night.

The meeting at First Baptist Church of Pelham covered everything from an active shooter to arson.

The topic that stood out the most was an active shooter situation: the idea of a gunman walking into church during service and opening fire.

A video was shown to drive home that point. Church leaders watched a video about a 2007 church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado at New Life Church, where two people were killed.

A security consultant told attendees that there are three options in an active shooter situation: run, hide or fight.

As you may know the Alabama Department of Homeland Security has a campaign giving everyone that same advice in an active shooter situation.

Those at the meeting were told to be observant. Experts advised them to look out for visitors or even church members acting strangely, as it could be a sign they may be planning something violent.

This safety conference drew in dozens of church leaders and not just those from Shelby County.

Kevin Arrington is the Pastor of Lifting Christ Worship Center in Birmingham. He says the information he learned tonight was enlightening.

Arrington says he'll take what he learned tonight over to his church, share with his church members and come up with a security plan.

Everyone was encouraged to do just that. The security expert who spoke says it's rare that shootings happen at churches, but they do happen.

Captain Ken Burchfield with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office says the biggest crimes that happen at churches in the county are vandalism and copper thefts.

He says one way to help prevent that from happening is to call the sheriff's office and request extra patrols.

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