House of Worship Safety Training is March 21

Mar 13, 2017
Photo by: Vicki Hyatt Lt. Tony Cope speaks to assembled church leaders during the safety seminar held in 2015.

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office will be holding its House of Worship Safety Training later this month, offering information to the public about the ways they can better safeguard their places of worship from those looking to do harm.

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday March 21, in the Charles M. Beall Auditorium at Haywood Community College, 175 Freedlander Drive, Clyde.

This training was developed in 2015 with the goal of educating and training worshipers about personal and collective safety at a church, and this year, attendees can expect an expanded agenda.

Lt.Tony Cope with the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigation Division and Deputy Kevin Brooks will be the speakers at the event. They will discuss active shooter situations that have happened on church grounds, as well as sex crimes happening within churches around the nation.

Lt. Cope and Deputy Brooks recently attended training sessions through “Sheepdog Seminars Group International” — a company that addresses the issue of violence occurring on church and faith based property and more.

“This recent training opportunity provided our office with invaluable, eye-opening information from instructors who have a world of knowledge about these topics,” said Sheriff Greg Christopher. “It is essential we share this information with as many people as we can, so the place we go to worship remains as peaceful as possible.

"We had a wonderful turn out the last time we held an event like this. Now that we have even more information to offer, we hope people consider taking time out of their evening to join us.”