Metro Detroit security, faith-based leaders participate in crisis training seminar

Places of worship have been targets of attacks

DETROIT – Local security and faith-based leaders participated in a crisis training seminar Saturday in Detroit in response to attacks on faith-based organizations.

Security Leaders Coalition wants to keep people safe at places of worship by helping devise plans for what to do in the event of an attack. More than 100 people gathered at the seminar at Second Ebenezer Church.

"We want to keep churches and faith-based organizations welcoming and safe, and welcoming is first intentionally," Security Leaders Vice President Ron Allen said.

According to event organizers, there have been more than 1,000 deadly incidents at faith-based organizations in the past 18 years. Last year, 26 people were killed at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in addition to other attacks, including one in 2015 where nine parishioners will killed during a bible study in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2012, six people were killed at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

Carl Chinn has survived two violent attacks at places of worship. He said staying safe comes down to having a plan, practicing drills, discussing different scenarios, building a network with the community and keeping it simple.

"My message to churches of all faiths is, stop saying it won't happen here," Chinn said. "We need to be ready. This doesn't surprise me and I wish it did."

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism