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OnPoint on WACH Fox: Churches and security, striking the right balance

12-15 OnPoint Church Security

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - This week on OnPoint on WACH Fox we look at churches and security.

Last week, Dylann Roof was convicted on 33 federal hate crime charges in the shooting deaths of nine people at Charleston's Mother Emanuel Church.

Until that unthinkable tragedy at the historic church in June 2015, few people thought about security at churches.

Pastors in South Carolina are no doubt re-evaluating the safety of their churches after finding out that several Midlands churches were on Roof's hit list before last June's fatal shootings.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division processed Roof ’s car as evidence. Authorities found a handwritten note in the vehicle with addresses, phone numbers and the hours of AME churches, a Black Baptist Church and a Black Roman Catholic church.

Security professionals say churches are inherently easy targets for violence. Some are open late, they have no fee to enter and they are open to strangers. That's why many predict the Charleston tragedy will bring changes to some churches.

On this week's program, we talk to a Midlands faith leader whose church was on Roof's list and look at striking a balance between welcoming strangers with open arms and keeping congregations safe.

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