In light of the tragic shooting in Sutherland Springs Sunday morning, the Precinct 1 Constable’s Office conducted a special gathering of local clergy members aimed at discussing how to keep congregations safe should a similar event befall a local place of worship earlier this week.
Constable Alan Rosen was, as many are, incensed at this happening once again.
“It’s tragic – it just doesn’t get any worse than that. People are at a place where they should feel safe and secure. They’re in their place of worship praying to their god, and some shooter comes in and starts killing people. It’s just awful, and something has to give. We’ve had too many of these mass shootings across our country to stand by idle and not do anything,” Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said. “There needs to be some sensible gun legislation put together to deal with this issue, otherwise we’ll keep seeing these mass shootings.”
In the meantime, however, Rosen said he wanted to do whatever he could to protect the local area’s synagogues, mosques, churches and every other place of worship, leading to the event which served as the first step in creating an action plan in the event something similar occurs inside their doors.
Rosen and his deputies first assessed the overall security situation at each of the churches in attendance, pointing out any vulnerabilities they saw in them. Following the assessment, deputies and worship clergy collaborated on discussion of current security teams, such as a security guard or law enforcement; and if they possessed none, a subsequent discussion took place on how to form a makeshift security committee that would serve as the congregation’s eyes and ears on suspicious activity.
Additionally, Rosen said the potential remains for these committees to go through the open carry licensing course so they could carry a concealed firearm.
Finally, deputies and congregation members role played potential situations to demonstrate the “Run, Hide or Fight” strategy. They also worked on a plan to teach the importance and avenues of communication should potential threats enter various places of worship, and how to keep a tight eye on visitors.
“A lot of times you have various places of worship which receive threats a lot, so they need to share those threats among all the local places of worship they are at. We’re also going to train people on what to do should an active shooter come in,” Rosen said. “We’re going to put together a nice protocol as to how they should handle guests that come into their places of worship. We’re going to find ways we can fortify our places of worship.”