(Seguin) -- The Seguin Police Department is doing its part to help keep local churches a place for peace and worship. While the healing continues for those involved in the mass shooting at Sutherland Springs and for other sites across the country, law enforcement officials here in Seguin are responding by being proactive to any future threats. The Seguin PD is hosting a House of Worship Security Planning Seminar. Today's seminar will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Seguin High School Performing Arts Center.
Deputy Police Chief Bruce Ure says the course is designed to help church leaders better assess the many threats and vulnerabilities that exist in today's world.
"When we put this seminar together, this wasn't something that you know we were able to pull off the shelf and say okay, we're going to use this. We really had to put a lot of work into it because this is really unchartered territory for us here in Seguin. We thought it was really important to get out in front of this issue as much as we could especially with what happened in Sutherland Springs, because as history tells us, Columbine is not even in the Top 10 most significant active shooter events anymore. Who would have thought that the day that Columbine happened that one day you're not even going to be in the Top 10. So we don't see this getting any better across our nation, so we just want to try to prepare for it," said Ure.
Ure says although mass shootings remain a threat, tonight's seminar will also zero in on other issues that congregations may not be prepared for.
"This isn't just designed only for an active shooter. This is also designed for weather emergencies, whether it be a tornado flooding, a lock down -- if there was something going on outside of the church that they would need to be involved in. The topics are pretty wide tonight and it's going to be really comprehensive. The great thing about it is we've got right around 300 individuals signed up to attend tonight that are all associated with a house of worship, which is a great response. We're excited that our community is recognizing the importance just like we have," said Ure.
Ure says the response for the seminar has been incredible and looks forward to creating an even more solid partnership among area churches.
"Our goal with tonight is going to be to give our churches and houses of worship directions on a direction on how to plan for their security and so what we're going to do is we're going to layout how to assess your particular threats -- different types of how to come up with an emergency plans and just a general overview on setting up a security team there at the church. We recognize that this both is a political issue, it's an emotional issue, but the reality of it is we have to be prepared. Whether it's in church or going to a mall or just anywhere -- we're at a time in history that it's unlike any other -- that being prepared is so critically important," said Ure.
Tonight's seminar is designed specifically for houses of worship and for those church or staff members directly involved with security responsibilities or those wishing to begin a security team. Those wishing to pre-register are asked to email Officer Carlos Contreras at firstname.lastname@example.org
. The event is free.