Local church security

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - With attacks becoming more frequent on religious centers, safety is becoming a top priority.
The Texas legislature is working on a bill that would give churches the option of directly hiring their own security officers.
Churches currently have to coordinate through a company.
The officers would still get identical training of someone going through a security company, but Texas representatives said this would be a cheaper option.
Rod Payne, Pastor of Missions and Media at First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, said they have off-duty Wichita Falls police officers who are present at all gatherings and special events.
He adds they take it very seriously and that it is on many people's minds.
    "It's not just in this environment, but every environment where we find ourselves today in the day of age in which we live, safety and security have become paramount in people's minds," Payne said.
Payne said their church is there to serve two entities.
    "Our church exists to serve, really, two entities; God, by our worship and praise of him in our study of His word, and people," Payne said. "And that's why we are here. So, obviously, we want to provide the most safe, caring, nurturing environment that we can at any of our campuses."
He said the police are Wichita Falls finest and he trusts them.
Newschannel 6 also reached out to other local churches about what they have in place for safety, as well as their thoughts on the bill.
We will have more on this story Tuesday, including a local pastor that believes this legislative bill is a bad idea because it sends a message of living in fear.
First Baptist Church is not the only location the Wichita Falls police department provides security.
They also provide the service at Grace Church and First United Methodist Church.

Copyright 2017 KAUZ News All Rights Reserved