November 15, 2018 10:15 PM
Nearly three weeks after 11 people were shot to death as they worshiped in a Pittsburgh synagogue, church leaders in the Twin Cities met for a security workshop.
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church partnered with a security consultant and invited leaders and representatives from all faiths to join a security workshop Thursday afternoon. Kingswood Security Consulting laid out specific steps to help protect faith communities.
“Looking at your building. Looking at your programs. Identifying weaknesses and vulnerabilities and correcting those weaknesses and vulnerabilities before an incident occurs is always the key,” said security expert Simon Osahom.
Crimes motivated by a religious bias have more than doubled in Minnesota in recent years, according to the FBI. Below are the statistics for religion-based hate crimes statewide from 2014 to 2017.
“We take security seriously and we want to have a welcoming and secure environment to all, but we're also not a fearful people,” said Bryant Holmstrom of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.
The workshop aimed to give other houses of worship a starting point, allowing them to decide what type of training and action will be appropriate for their congregations.
More from KSTP
Updated: November 15, 2018 10:15 PM
Created: November 15, 2018 08:04 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company