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Church safety and security workshop

ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  Several area churches have been burglarized and vandalized in recent years.

Today over 80 church leaders are learning what they can do to fighting back against the crime wave.

It's all part of a church safety and security workshop hosted by the Escambia County sheriff's office.

Kalie Desimone
The pastor here at Englewood Church says he and his congregation have unfortunately experienced a lot of evil recently...

Pastor Watson says people have taken from the offerings basket and even stole the air conditioning units outside their church.  But today Pastor Watson hopes to learn a few safety and security tricks from Escambia County deputies. The sheriff's office will teach the religious leaders about personal security- recommending that uniformed officers be present during services.   They will also discuss financial security and how to prevent money given to the church from falling into the wrong hands. Finally they will address concerns about building security and how to protect the church's property and assets.

Deputy Wiggins- Escambia County sheriff's office
"You know church has always been a safe haven so when you think of someone who wants to rob a church or take anything you get frustrated about that. Churches are here to help people."

The sheriff's office received an overwhelming interest from areas churches and weren't able to accommodate all the churches that wanted to participate. They say they will over another one of these safety workshops very soon, so if you are interested in coming to the next one contact the sheriff's office.