Jones County Sheriff's Dept. holds church security workshop - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Working to keep church congregations safe

Jones County Sheriff's Dept. holds church security workshop

Photo credit: WDAM Photo credit: WDAM
JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

The Jones County Sheriff's Department is making it their priority to help keep you safe while in front of the pulpit. Members of numerous church organizations received training from the Jones County Sheriff's Department Tuesday night on how to be prepared in case a shooter walked into their place of worship. 

"We'll put them through a scenario, if you were in the congregation where would you sit your people that are going to be armed," Major Jamie Tedford said.

Since 2014, the Jones County Sheriff's Department has operated Church Security Workshops for congregations to be aware of potential threats. As the room was full, people were listening and adhering to re-vamped expert advice on what they can do to stay safe.

"With the last shooting of the Texas church we have been overwhelmed with calls," Tedford said. "Actually taken 61 calls since 8 a.m. yesterday morning. So, the demand is still coming in. Basically, what we are disseminating is active shooter scenarios, natural disaster scenarios and different plans to put in place."

Tedford said he and his team are pushing churches to have a plan in place. Get an agenda established, don't wait until after the fact and wish you would have known what to do.

"So, that's what it's about trying to help the congregations get a game plan together, a security plan, and a lot of the stuff is simple," Tedford said. "Lock the door after the service starts. Just simple things like do a background check on your people that's going to be around your children."

The workshops are being held at the sheriff's department training facility on North 12th Avenue in Laurel. The next session on Thursday is already booked.
With so many people wanting to know this information, the sheriff's department has plans to have more training sessions in the coming days.

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