Security training provided for places of worship

Announcements, News

MURPHY, N.C.- The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office announced via Facebook Sheriff Derrick Palmer will be providing security training to places of worship this holiday season.

The announcement on Facebook reads:

The North Carolina Sheriff’s Association (NCSA) has convened a group of sheriffs and sheriff’s personnel from across the state to develop training materials that will help places of worship create security plans to keep citizens safe during the holiday season.

The group was established by Sheriff Hubert A. Peterkin (Hoke County, N.C.), President of the NCSA, at the suggestion of Sheriff John W. Ingram V (Brunswick County, N.C.) as a result of recent attacks at community gatherings and in places of worship in the U.S. and abroad.

The group’s goal was to prepare materials to be used by sheriffs and their personnel to train places of worship to develop security plans designed to minimize harm done in the event of an active shooter.

“When you’re a sheriff, you have to be prepared for many different types of events in order to effectively protect the citizens that you serve. In light of last summer’s tragic attack in a Charleston (S.C.) church, North Carolina sheriffs from the mountains to the coast have received requests to provide training at churches and other places of worship regarding appropriate security measures,” said Peterkin.

The NCSA Church Security Group worked this fall to develop materials that all sheriff’s offices in North Carolina can use to provide training, upon request, to places of worship in their county. The training is designed to teach church personnel and members how to attempt to prevent critical incidents and how to react if a critical incident occurs during worship services.

“We have typically felt safe in our communities without much thought of danger in our places of worship. However, recent events have shown that no community is safe. From Charleston, South Carolina, to Sutherland Springs, Texas, we see that no community is exempt from tragedy. It is our duty to provide training to any place of worship that desires to be proactive and help make our communities as safe as possible,” said Sheriff Palmer.

Topics discussed in the training materials include:

– Conducting a Security Risk Assessment;

– Developing a Place of Worship Security Plan;

– What to do during the Critical Incident;

– What to do immediately after the Critical Incident; and

– The need to provide Crisis Intervention Stress Management afterward.

“The sheriff’s of North Carolina are dedicated to assisting the churches and houses of worship in their counties with security and safety training to improve public safety across our state. A place of worship should be a place of peace and a safe haven,” said Peterkin.

Sheriff Palmer will be leading this training on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, at 7 p.m. The location will be at Little Brasstown Baptist Church 6120 Harshaw Rd, Brasstown, NC 28902. All citizens are invited to attend.

Anyone with questions concerning the training seminar can contact the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at 828-837-2589.

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