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Salisbury police to sponsor church security training

SALISBURY — It’s been more than three years since Dylann Roof calmly walked into a Charleston, South Carolina, church and killed nine African-American churchgoers during a Bible study.

Before that massacre, many people didn’t see the need for security in churches. More than half of all churches don’t have a safety ministry, authorities say.

The Salisbury Police Department will lead a program called Securing the Faithful. It will be led by Rick Arrington, a former military police officer who has also served as a crime prevention program manager.

The program will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 16 at Destiny City Church, 2324 S. Main St., behind the Forum fitness center. The cost for the seminar is $50 per person, which includes the book “Securing the Faithful.”

There will be a number of breaks during the seminar and lunch.

The training is geared toward churches that have a security team, those interested in forming a security team, faith leaders and the law officers called upon to work with them to make churches safer, said Lt. Patrick Smith.

Smith said the program will include information about laws on firearms in a place of worship, safety, the changing world and violence in places of worship.

The training is based on a biblical approach to all questions related to worship service security, but it is in support of sound principles of risk reduction.

Arrington has developed and taught numerous crime prevention courses for individuals, schools, law enforcement agencies, and planners. He has been a Virginia-certified crime prevention specialist since 1996 and was the fourth in the nation to receive the National Crime Prevention Specialist II certification.

In 2006, Arrington, who is an elder in his church, and others created a comprehensive three-day safety training course for law enforcement and faith organizations. In 2016 and 2017, more than 2,000 law enforcement officers and faith leaders attended his church security seminars.

To register for the seminar, contact Smith at 704-216-7581 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Salisbury Police Department. Make checks payable to Destiny City Church/Security Training.

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