November 29-- The courtroom at the Toombs County courthouse was nearly full Tuesday night as representatives of area churches gathered to learn about security.
Toombs County Sheriff Junior Kight called the meeting to emphasize the importance of congregations being proactive when it comes to security.
Captain Jordan Kight with the Toombs County Sheriff's office provided a framework churches should consider in the event a shooter attacks their congregation,"Some people have the mindset it doesn't happen here in a small town, but it does happen and it has happened all over the United States. We need churches to be proactive. Planning and preparedness are the best things you can do to cut down on the amount of damage that can be done. It may not happen the way you planned it, but you're going to get things done, you're going to communicate better, you're going to get law enforcement there faster and you're going to save lives by making an effort to have a plan in place," he said.
A member of the Lyons First Baptist Church says they have had five disturbances at the church in the last few years which re-enforced the need to be security minded, "I'm just encouraged by this and it's a great thing. Any security you have, no matter how small it is, is security and it's better than nothing at all."
A Methodist layperson says her denomination is conducting security training on the internet, "I just think it's very important that we look at this and take it very seriously to do what we can for our own church. We need to be more concerned about what's happening durng the church service when adults are sitting in the worship service and children are being taken care of. How safe are they? It's just really on my heart because I've been involved in church work for a long time," she said.
Captain Kight is available to consult with churches and may be contacted at the Sheriff's office, 526-6778.