In the wake of the many mass shootings that have taken place across the country like in Charleston North Carolina and Springs Texas, faith leaders all over Columbus and the Columbus Police Department are taking steps to protect places of worship.
“If it were to happen, and hopefully it never will in Columbus, Georgia, this is something that we’re extremely concerned about,” says Columbus Chief of Police, Ricky Boren.
Senior Pastor Rick Mitchell of Wynnton United Methodist Church says that everyone needs to think of this more than they ever had in the past because it can happen at any time
“You’d like to think of the church as a safe haven or as a sanctuary, and most of the time it is, but it would be naïve to think that it could never happen to us,” says Mitchell.
These pastors say that they are rising up for protection because although the chances could be small for this to happen in Columbus, you never want to turn a blind eye to the possibility.
“Well we know statistically there are so many churches in America that the possibility of something happening at any given church is very small actually. However, we want to be prepared and prudent and weigh our options to see what we could do to be prepared,” says Alan Barrett with United Methodist.
Officers are giving them options to better protect themselves, but police say they might not like the possible result.
“And you may not want to hear it, but it may be necessary for individuals in your congregation to be trained in the use of firearms," explained Boren.
Columbus police say they are looking to continue addressing training and security in places of worship, schools, and other places to avoid any dangerous outcomes.