SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Gardner Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Springfield received a check Thursday as part of a series of grants from the state’s office of public safety and security.

A check for $15,000 was presented to church leaders by Representative Bud Williams. The church is actually the only recipient of this type of grant in the city of Springfield. The money will be used for new security cameras and lights aiming to deter criminal activity near the church.

“You know having our community come out to the church as using this more of a social-type of mecca doing things, classroom work with kids, opening the doors, feeding people, we need that kind of security in our church. And this grant affords us the added security and the presence of a watching eye.” Pastor Sam Saylor

“It was imperative that we support the church’s goal to spruce up security measures around the church perimeters and building” stated Williams. “This funding enables the church to not only provide a greater sense of security for the school children and pedestrians but also provides an opportunity to secure and share footage with the Springfield Police Department, a much-needed benefit to their efforts to catch those who engage in illegal activity”. 

When it comes to implementing the security measures this grant will provide for church, officials told 22News that the cameras will go up in September.