Sand Mountain police departments getting calls about church security

Sand Mountain police departments getting calls about church security

GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Recent church shootings are prompting calls by churches to local police departments for advice or training. One Guntersville church began thinking about that nearly a decade ago.

Area churches are now questioning if they're safe, and those questions are going to local police departments.

"Got a lot more calls, people wanting some guidance for security for their churches," said Albertville Assistant Police Chief JT Cartee.

Cartee said his church is taking action.

"There's a lot of people in our church that are armed and they carry and they've agreed to stop in the gap," said Cartee.

But a church shooting in Texas nine years ago grabbed the attention of Guntersville First United Methodist Church. They have people who are active shooter-trained but have expanded security a few more steps.

"We have an amazing closed circuit TV system that monitors all the classrooms. It monitors the parking lots because we have four properties," said John Federico, the church's executive director.

With a preschool that has approximately 200 students and staff, they also have entrances and exits that are controlled access.

Federico said today they feel much safer as a busy church that has four different services on Sundays.

"You can never be 100 percent safe, but the fact that we have a plan in place and there are trained people on staff, I think we're ahead of the game as far as safety and security," he said.

Cartee said they will be sending one officer to be trained in that area.

Copyright 2017 WAFF. All rights reserved.