Montgomery Police Give Crime Prevention Training To Churches
Montgomery Police are reaching out to local area churches to make sure they protect themselves from crime.
TC Collins manages security at Faith full Gospel Baptist Church. He says he believes crimes against churches are on the rise and he has a few ideas of why that may be.
"You know, the people who don't have, want to have and they just don't think," he says. "We had some kids break into the church and we were fortunate enough that they got caught."
It's not just his church that's been the target of an offense. Last October a shooting at Creflo Dollar's megachurch in Atlanta left a prayer-leader dead. And it was just a few weeks ago that Maggie Street Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery was robbed after an employee was assaulted. Crime can happen anywhere and that's why the Montgomery Police Department wants churches to have a plan in place to help fight it.
"I think that nationwide, we just need to be alert," says Corporal David Hicks. "With all the instances we've had as far as active shooters, different scenarios, nationwide I think its time to really pay attention to our facilities and make sure we're doing what we can do to secure them."
Corporal Hicks says criminals often learn the habits of a church. That's why he recommending churches try to change them up every so often.
"Criminals are watching your routine," he says. "If you take a deposit everyday at 11:15 to the bank, the criminal can come on to that."
Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy says planning ahead is key when trying to prevent crimes.
"There are some things that we need to be aware of and I think that when people are aware of the cognizant of it, they can take some action to try to prevent these things from happening," says Murphy. "We take every call very seriously but when you think about somebody violating the sanctity of a house of worship, it's very disturbing."
Corporal Hicks tells us people tend to get comfortable when going to church, which in turn makes them more vulnerable. He says it's important to keep your guard up everywhere you go.
The Montgomery Police Department will come out, access the security of your church, and give you a written report. For more information, call 334-240-4802