Local Church increases security after New Zealand mosque massacre

Published: Apr. 7, 2019 at 10:02 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The Christchurch mosque shootings were two consecutive terrorist attacks in New Zealand in March that killed 50 people and injured 50 others.

"When I heard the story about the New Zealand Mosque my heart sank," said Greenwood Park Church of Christ Elder, Phil Kimbel.

"I realized that a shooter had been in there for several minutes before he was ever encountered by anyone else," he added.

With religious organizations on almost every block in Bowling Green and surrounding areas, how are they responding to such a personal attack?

"We've had a security team at Greenwood Park for many years now, but based on the change of circumstances that have occurred over the past few years, we have adapted some about the way we do things," Kimbel said.

For instance, if an unfamiliar person tries to enter during a service the door would be locked.

"We have enlarged our team significantly and we have also become more aware of the threats that have existed in other locations," said Kimbel.

This church monitors doors, hallways, and keeps track of children through computer systems.

"We always want to be vigilant about folks that might attempt to harm our folks, while at the same time being welcoming to visitors," Kimbel said.

"We're a congregation of people from different parts of the country," said fellow Elder, Larry Coop.

"You're always going to get people visiting here that you don't know and they look and say, 'Who's that standing over there?' But they know that a security system is in affect and working," Coop said.

On top of the safety aspect, the security system allows the congregation to relax and focus on the service.