The exterior of the Our Lady of Wisdom church.

SMPD Hosts Church Safety Seminars

By Kaitlyn Benacquisto
Assistant News Director

The San Marcos Police Department is hosting church safety seminars May through June.

According to an email from San Marcos Communications Specialist Trey Hatt, the seminar addresses concerns of violence and safety for faith-based communities across the country. The information is practical, relevant and timely, addressing the safety needs of churches and houses of worship.

Laray Taylor, the San Marcos Community Services Corporal, presents the seminars. He says that the community has been holding these seminars for a little over a year.

“The majority of the time it’s been requested from a church saying that they’re looking for some type of active shooting program, which CRASE is,” said Taylor. “But when you talk about churches, churches are a little different than a mall, because a church is a place that’s open, where you truly welcome everybody, so the atmosphere is a bit different.”

The seminars are three hours long. The first half is the CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events) presentation. It was developed by the ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) program at Texas State. The second half focuses specifically on church safety.

“We talk about some of the events going on around the country with active shooters at churches, we’ll talk about how those occurred, we’ll talk about different methods that people can use or deploy to deter those or identify problems at churches that may be a danger or risk to people that are there,” said Taylor.

The sign-up page encourages pastors, counselors, ushers/greeters, parking lot attendants, hospitality, and church safety personnel to attend.

A seminar took place May 29, and there will be two more held on June 5 from 6-9 p.m., as well as June 21 from 6-9 p.m at the San Marcos Police Department Auditorium. You can sign up here.

Featured image by Emily Martin.

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