Area churches discuss safety improvements following massacre in Texas

November 06, 2017 06:28 PM

SOUTH GLENS FALLS -  St. Michael the Archangel, a Roman Catholic Church right along Route 9 in South Glens Falls is a warm, inviting place.

The pastor here, Father Tony Childs, is deeply saddened by the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

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Father Childs says as he and his staff and parishioners pray for the victims. They'll also be discussing how to make their own church safer.

"The days of safety and not giving any concern to it are long over as yesterday's shooting certainly reminds us once again."

Father Childs says achieving safety at a place where all are welcome isn't easy.

A native of Albany, Father Tony has been pastor there for nine years. He says never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that he'd have to talk to staff and parishioners about steps to keep them safe during mass. However, after the horrific events of Sunday, he says it'd be wrong for him to not have conversations about improving safety.

The pastor says they're reviewing who has keys and access to the three doors into and out of the sanctuary and they're taking a look at sight lines into the church.

He hopes to never use magnetometers like you see at airports, but can't rule out someday hiring a security guard.

He says the challenge is to come up with measures that keep parishioners safe, but don't keep them away.

"We can't ignore it, I don't think. And we all have to be more vigilant and forward thinking in terms of what we do to keep people safe," Childs said.


Mark Mulholland

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