Security becoming higher priority for people in Pee Dee - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Security becoming higher priority for people in Pee Dee

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Multiple mass shootings in the country in the past month have the Florence County Sheriff's Office answering questions about how public places can ensure they're secure.


Major Michael Nunn said the office has received requests for security screenings from churches in the month since the shooting in Charleston killed nine people at Emanuel AME Church.


The sheriff's office will help businesses or churches evaluate security risks for free.


That would mean deciding whether or not to evacuate or lock down the building in the event of an active shooter or any other kind of emergency such as a tornado.


The plan would also include when to use deadly force if there's a threat, which Nunn said is one of two ways an active shooter situation usually ends.He said the other way is the shooter commits suicide.


He said shooters usually target areas where they know they won't find much armed resistance.


One preventative recommendation for places that don't allow guns is to keep the doors locked or at least restrict access during certain times, Nunn said.
"You want to strike a balance between an openness, which is what these houses of worship are all about and yet having your congregation secure on the inside," Nunn said.


Security is something Central Baptist Church has been focusing on for a while, not just in the past month since the shooting at Emanuel AME.


"I think they feel real safe here because we hadn't just started talking about safety here in the church," said Rev. Waymon Mumford, the pastor at Central Baptist Church. "We started this some years ago."


The church has security cameras, lighting in the parking lot and the clergy members are trained to handle emergency situations.


"We always say, 'Whosoever will, let them come,' but we still want to make sure our parishioners are safe and feel safe," Rev. Mumford said.

Noah Rivers decided to go to the movies Friday despite hearing about the shooting in Louisiana Thursday. He said he would like to see more security guards in theaters.

"I'm not going to let it change my life, but I'm always going to be aware of the times being different and people are crazy," Rivers said. "It's just messed up."


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