Security key at church services

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The recent shooting at a church in Antioch, Tennessee has people looking at the issue of security, especially in houses of worship.

A Jonesboro church has been working with police to train a volunteer security team that helps the church each Sunday.

"In case there's been a unique circumstance or situation that's happened recently in our region, we want to kind of beef up our teaching and training so our volunteers can be prepared as possible," education minister Tim Stewart of the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro said.

Stewart said the church has worked with Jonesboro police on training, while an officer met with the security team and taught the group security techniques to use.

While being hospitable and helping people in need, the volunteers were taught about spotting suspicious behavior or activity, not to mention keeping their eyes peeled for possible trouble.

"A lot of times, we are trying to monitor 'Is people bringing in backpacks or large bags' and if that's the case, we try to encourage folks to leave those bags if not necessarily needed, to leave them in their vehicles or they will check them into a safe room or closet so they aren't bringing those in," Stewart said.

The security team watches the entrances of the building during each service, officials said.

While there are no set dates for additional training, Stewart said training will likely continue throughout the year and into the future.

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