Northland Church hosts security training for houses of worship

Seminar comes one month after gunman killed 26 in Texas church shooting

LONGWOOD, Fla. – In light of the Texas church shooting last month, a Longwood church is working to improve safety measures for houses of worship across Central Florida by hosting a free security training seminar.

The seminar held at Northland Church comes almost one month after the deadly shooting in Texas.

"It becomes increasingly important that we take care of our people and make sure when they worship they can know that they are safe," Rev. Reggie Kidd, with the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in downtown Orlando, said. 

Kidd joined members from more than 30 churches for the Saturday seminar. 

Church leaders said that sense of security was shaken last month after a gunman entered the church in Texas and opened fire on the congregation, killing 26 people and injuring dozens more. 

This prompted churches across Central Florida to start asking each other what they can do to prevent something like that from happening here. 

"It's given us a lot of responsibility to think about how we take care of our folks," Kidd said.

After the church shooting, Northland Church leaders said they received several calls and messages from other houses of worship seeking security advice, which is why they decided to host the training seminar.

Church leaders shared some of their own safety plans, with the goal of helping everyone set up or improve safety procedures for their own facilities. 

"It's really about following a principle, not specifically taking one church's model and copying that. It should really be tailored to your church's size and what would benefit your congregation best," Alicia Cash, a volunteer with Northland Church's security, said.

Lesson attendees learned how to handle security for large events, children's activities, and parking. 

Organizers couldn't share specific details with News 6 for safety reasons, but said they want to make sure everyone can feel secure at their house of worship.

"I think coming together as a community and being able to feel like you have a plan together, I think that makes everyone feel safe," Cash said.

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