Detroit church holds forum on security plans to prevent attacks
DETROIT (WJBK) - Churches are a place of worship and community. Tragically, they are also considered targets for violence.
One Detroit church is making sure its security plan is in place to keep worshippers safe.
"He walked up to the front desk and there was an angry gunman taking hostages and wanting to die," said Carl Chinn. "It ended up being a precarious situation and it changed my life
That frightening attack was at Chinn's Colorado Spring's church back in 1996. Since then he has worked to help prevent violent attacks at other places of worship.
In 2007 a security plan Chinn helped implement at another Colorado church stopped a gunman, who already killed two girls outside - from creating a massacre inside.
"If we hadn't been ready when he went down in our hallway, he had the AR-2 handgun and 1,400 rounds of ammunition on him," Chinn said.
It's now become Chinn's mission to make sure the faithful are not caught off guard. On Saturday he will be speaking at the crisis management training seminar at Second Ebenezer Church on Dequindre in Detroit.
"What we want to do is share best practices and be able to also use the information we've gathered and share with churches and other houses of worship so they too can be safe," said Bishop Edgar Vann.
Church attacks across the country are on the rise. It was a few weeks ago a bullet went flying through the glass door of Zion Church in Troy. Luckily, no one was hurt.
Ray Washington from the security leaders coalition helped organize the event which will help houses of worship develop their own crisis plan.
About 100 church leaders from all over Michigan are expected to attend.
"People come into church for church service, they aren't often looking around for something that might look suspicious," said Ray Washington, Security Leaders Coalition. "We talk about just being prepared and being watchful for those things that look out of order. We like to say if it doesn't look right it is probably not right."
It was just last November a mass shooting at a Texas church claimed 26 lives. Do you know what to watch for - if violence were to strike - Would you know what to do? The security coalition wants to make sure church leaders and their parishioners are not caught off guard.
"I believe God protects us but we have to have a role in that," Chinn said.