Safety programs available for Bradley County churches - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Safety programs available for Bradley County churches

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

It's been nearly 10 years since Bradley County Sheriff's Office launched a Church Security Program, through which members could become special deputies.

"We don't do that anymore," said Director of Communications of Bradley County's Sheriff's Office, James Bradford. In 2012 state guidelines changed, and so did the program. James Bradford says the department still offers safety training to local community volunteers. That training is available to anyone over the age of 25 that a church identifies as a candidate.

James Bradford adds "You know, I wouldn't say it's been more, it's been consistent." Bradford cannot recall a violent incident at a Bradley County church in his career, but this week's shooting in Antioch is a reminder that being prepared for any crisis is important.

Bradford includes, "We are quite fortunate we haven't had a violent incident, but there are more aspects as far as medical emergencies. We don't only focus on violent incidents. You have to be ready for a medical emergency."

Bradford says volunteers must be approved by the church, and to expect an extensive background check. Contact the Bradley County Sheriff's Office for training.

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