Darlington County Sheriff’s Office to host church security meeting

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – The Darlington County Sheriff’s office plans to host a meeting with churches after last Sunday’s deadly shooting in Texas.

Senior Pastor Cecil Bromell of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church is rethinking security measures after a gunman killed at least 26 people Sunday in Texas.

“It causes pastors in the church to think more about security,” said Bromell.

Members of the church already plan to install cameras near the entrance. Now the church wants to create an escape route or get training for their ushers.

“Develop a plan of action if a person was to come in or try to disrupt the service. What do you do,” said Bromell.

Darlington County Sheriff Tony Chavis says deputies will meet with church leaders this month to talk about services law enforcement can provide.

“Whether it’s having officers on their off time out that way or doing outside work at the churches or giving instruction on basic security that they may need to improve,” said Chavis. “It needs to done… we want to make sure that our religious leaders to know the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office is here for them and making sure they are safe as they are giving the word of God to parishioners.”

Deputies also offer active shooter training for groups. Chavis says pastors can decide if members of the congregation can carry weapons during church services.

“All we say is anyone who is carrying inside a church needs to be trained,” said Chavis.

Bromell says his congregation does not carry guns inside the church but he hopes partnering with law enforcement will help them feel safer.

“That’s my prayer that we can… with cameras and ushers being more prepared and the church as a whole being more prepared as well. That we won’t have to that extreme,” said Bromell.

All denominations are invited to the meeting on November 20th at Darlington Middle School at 6pm.