Some churches in western Massachusetts using armed guards for protection


Churches have been the targets of mass shootings in recent years. 22News found out the Christian Cathedral Church in Springfield has had armed protection for more than a year. 

“Our people are able to blend in,” said Archbishop Timothy Paul of the Christian Cathedral Church in Springfield. “They’ve been around and they’re trained in the event that something takes place. It’s just the climate that we have today. Some churches opt not to do this, but we said, ‘This is the way it gots to go,”

The security team consist of parishioners who have a background in law enforcement and security. A third of them are licensed to carry, while the remaining serve as protection, in the event something happens. 

Security members are discrete and their weapons are concealed, as they keep a close eye for suspicious behavior.  Armed security members are just part of their security. 

Cameras keep watching both inside and outside the church.  And some perimeter doors are locked shortly after service. 

Archbishop Paul said the move to add protection came after several church shootings, which led the Council along with the Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies and 65 churches in the region  to develop a church security training called “The Watchmen.” 

According to Archbishop Paul, member churches in West Springfield, Springfield and Holyoke also have armed guards.

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