KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two local companies that focus on church security are getting calls from around the country nonstop.
The calls are coming after the devastation in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where earlier this month a shooter killed 26 people.
Pastors across the greater metro area are taking action.
“It's like no place in our culture is just automatically a safe zone,” Summit Springs Church Pastor Tom Manz said. “We have to take steps to help produce that kind of safety.”
Since the Texas shooting, VP of Church Security for Strategos International Barry Young has seen a rise in church leaders wanting to be proactive when it comes to their safety.
“We don't train churches in church security cause we want to. We train churches in church security because we have to,” Young said.
From active shooter training to basic tactics of church safety, the company trains both locally and worldwide.
“We do online training and then we do a tremendous amount of consulting all over America, all over the world,” Young said.
It’s something another local company, Strongpoint International, is also seeing.
“It's devastating to see these things happen, but our heart is to make sure has a level of protection that they actually need to be able to prevent as much damage as possible,” Strongpoint International President and CEO Nathan Briggs said.
The company does a full threat assessment of churches and also provides armed security.
“Everybody that works for Strongpoint International has a minimum of four years professional weapons carry experience, so they either have to be military and or law enforcement,” Briggs said. “We don't do anything that's unarmed because we don't believe that's providing adequate protection; it’s simply a visual deterrent.”
That’s why Pastor Manz wants to take a proactive approach.
“You don't want to be in church and having to watch the doors and watch what’s going on around you and who's coming in because that's typically and historically, the church is a place of worship,” Manz said.
Pastor Manz isn’t the only church leader taking advantage of companies like Strongpoint International or Strategos International.
Several local churches have signed up for training sessions and assessments in the coming weeks.
Strategos International will be hosting two training seminars, one on Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and one on January 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both will be held at the Independence Police Department. The cost is $25.