Bradley County Sheriff's Office helping leaders protect their ch - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Bradley County Sheriff's Office helping leaders protect their church

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Here in the Tennessee Valley, several law enforcement agencies are offering either active shooter training or security assessment for churches.

“You really never know what next Sunday may bring for your church,” says Sheriff Eric Watson.

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson says several churches have asked for help. He says they want to do more than pray for protection.

“That's no more you got to protect the sanctuary and the people in the church as well as the pastor,” says Eric Watson.

Joe Gilbert has been a manger of security for West Wood Baptist Church for three years.

“You can never be over prepared,” says Joe Gilbert.” And you can always learn something from what other churches are doing.”

Sheriff Watson says to deter someone from wanting to do something bad to the church he recommends not displaying the amount of money a church collects.

Gilbert suggests church leaders, be mindful of their floor plan and keep their entrances to a minimum.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Texas church shooting: Two dozen parishioners killed

“At a certain time on Sunday morning I lock every one of them except three and those three are manned,” says Joe Gilbert. “So you can get out but if you're going to come in we're going to know who you are.”

The Sheriff's Office will also provide a free security assessment for church leaders.

READ MORE | 5 victims in church shooting in stable condition; suspect charged with murder

Sheriff Watson says his deputies have been hired by about five churches in the area to help with security.

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