GREENWOOD, Ark. (KNWA) — The Greenwood police department is taking extra steps to ensure local churches stay safe during worship by increasing security.
“We will do a primary check of the facility. We will get out and walk the area of the campus to make sure everything is in place and nothing is standing out to us,” said Sergeant Eric Pippin with the Greenwood Police Department.
Churches within the Greenwood city limits now have the option of having police patrol its halls during service.
“Places of workship seem to be targeted and we want to be able to provide some sort of support for them,” said Pippin.
Pippin has been with the department for about 10 years and he said he is proud to be able to give churches an extra sense of security. The decision comes after a gunman walked into a church in Texas killing two people in December. The gunman was shot down by an armed church member.
Pippin said “we will look at the various buildings and what we want to do is hopefully act as a deterrent.”
First Baptist Church also signed on. The preschool director Cameron Trice said they protect the kids by locking the doors but she’s grateful for the additional security by the police department. “For them doing this for us is just a huge sense of feeling more secure,” said Trice.
Pippin said “we want to serve the citizens and if by us just being here if that makes them feel more secure, comfortable and at ease then we have done our job.
Pippin said their service isn’t just for churches to utilize, business owners and residents who are away from their home for an extended period of time can also request for additional patrol.