Following Sutherland Springs, WilCo Sheriff's Office to host security summit for churches

The Sutherland Springs shooting puts a spotlight on security for many church leaders.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS - The Sutherland Springs church tragedy has shined a spotlight on safety for many church leaders.

Now, the Williamson County Sheriff's Office plans to bring congregations together for a local security summit to address safety.

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"This is just something we feel like the community wants and needs," said Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody.

At the summit, law enforcement will address every church's specific needs and make private recommendations.

"There's going to be a bunch of different things because what's good for one big church may not work for small churches," Chody said.

"I'm 100 percent for it," said Lead Pastor Eric White of New Zion Church.

White said when he heard about the mass shooting at a Sutherland Springs church Sunday, his heart broke.

"I immediately thought about my church," White said.

Security became a top priority.

"We don't currently have a security system in place," White said. "We're trying to implement some things."

This year Senate Bill 2065 went into effect, allowing churches to arm their own members, rather than hiring private security. It's now something White is considering.

"Granted the right training is being done for the individuals that would be carrying," White said.

White believes by better securing his church it will give church members not only a sense of belonging, but a sense of protection.

The security summit has been scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 19 at Celebration Church in Georgetown.

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