HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. -- One of the largest churches in Hancock County will implement a new security protocol in the new year to keep parishioners as safe as possible should they encounter an active shooter situation.
Leaders at Greenfield's Park Chapel Christian Church started organizing a safety team shortly after the November church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people.
"What would happen if somebody decided to come in and they wanted to cause harm?" asked Scott Kern, Director of Ministries for Park Chapel Christian.
The question inspired the implementation of a church security team which is made up of law enforcement officers who already attend the church. They'll be armed and on alert during service hours.
Volunteer churchgoers will not have guns but will be stationed around the church, equipped with two-way radios to send out alerts.
"Unfortunately the state of affairs in our country is such that more and more people that are not police need to know what to do in case of an active shooter," said Commander Roger Spurgeon, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
In addition, there will be at least one visible police cruiser that will be intentionally parked in plain view.
"That's a deterrent. Maybe I don't want to come into the church because I know a law enforcement person is going to be there so tht has happened since the Texas situation," said Kern.
In recent weeks, churches across central Indiana have called upon police to conduct safety seminars.
Kern says it's now time to put that guidance into action.
"Well, it's unfortunate that we have to have the conversations, but you know, we want people to feel safe and secure and I think we have an obligation to do that," said Kern.
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