Hundreds of church leaders gathered at Yakima Foursquare Church on Saturday to talk about church security. Yakima Police spokesman Mike Bastinelli says the event was held in response to attacks on churches around the country. Bastinelli says many churches in the valley already have extensive security plans while others may be considering plans. "There's a lot of people at churches packing guns but it takes more than just carrying a weapon. It takes planning and training."
Bastenilli says just the way churches are set up make them soft targets so it's vital, especially for large churches to consider a security plan.
Yakima Police and the Yakima County Sheriff's office are willing to work with local churches to help set up security plans and proper training. Pastor Brian Jennings at Breakthrough Church in Union Gap says they started a security plan 5 years ago and he says it's more important than ever Today. He says his church has an extensive plan that includes off duty police officers. "They're highly trained in security and understand the importance of safety and protection of public facilities."
Jennings says it's a sad reality of what's happening in America Today. He says many churches have plans in place that most people who attend church never notice.