Local police hosting safety workshops for faith leaders

Two local police departments are holding meetings Monday for faith leaders to learn more about keeping their parishioners safe on Sundays.

Winterville and New Bern police are hosting safety talks on Monday, March 5.

Many faith leaders have reached out to local law enforcement agencies across our country, particularly since the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last November.

"We're hoping that we can help people understand good ways for churches to prevent criminal activity directed at churches, including the extreme things that arouse so much fear like the shootings that have been in the news and how to enhance safety, how to learn good security measures regarding congregations," said Winterville Baptist Church Pastor Grant Carter.

Carter has worked in ministry for forty years. He says a tough reality today is balancing the need for security with the cornerstones of what it means to be faithful.

"We're people of faith, we live by trust, we're trying to create an atmosphere of peace and joy so we don't want to arouse fear, so how do you keep that balance? how do you deal with these safety issues while also maintaining the mission of the church first?" he said.

The Winterville Police Department is conducting their meeting for anyone interested in learning more about church and community safety and security at Winterville Baptist Church starting at 7pm.

The New Bern Police Department is holding its safety meeting for faith leaders at the Twin Rivers Mall Substation starting at 6pm.