Dade County beefs up church patrols - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dade County beefs up church patrols

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DADE COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - Trenton United Methodist is one of the many churches here Dade County that can expect more frequent visits from their local deputies.

"We want to keep our citizens safe in our county, especially our churches while they're attending services and I've urged all my deputies that attend church to please drive their patrol cars to church to be that presence there," explains Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross.  Cross wants to lessen the chance of what happened last week in Charleston, by maintaining a higher visibility of deputies in and around Dade County houses of worship. 


"I've urged them to take their cars to church, take their families with them and the ones on duty will be patrolling the parking lots while services are going on. So hopefully, we'll have double protection there."

"I think when they look around and they know this is a deputy from the normal Sunday morning attendance, it's pretty comforting to know," says Reece Fauscett, who serves as Pastor at Trenton United Methodist. Fauscett says his church has a safe sanctuary security protocol in place, but he welcomes the added deputy presence and patrols. But not so much for a scene similar to what unfolded at Emanuel AME Church.

"There's been instances where it wasn't a racial motivated thing like this was but just, somebody went off the beam somewhere," says Fauscett.

"Sometimes you'll have people who want to break into a car while someone is in church, that will help deter this too," says Sheriff Cross. "We're trying everything we can to keep our citizens safe and give them peace of mind while they're at church."
Cross says more than 2 dozen of his officers and detectives now have the greater liberty of using their vehicles, if only as a deterrent.


"As far as I'm concerned, they can drive them every Sunday, Wednesday, whatever, when church is going on."
Sheriff Cross reiterates there is no local threat that has prompted this new policy, it's only done in an abundance of caution. But he does say he may very well keep this policy permanent.



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