GEORGETOWN, Texas — Over a thousand people from places of worship gathered at Celebration Church Sunday to discuss ways to keep congregations safe during active shooter and disaster situations.
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office met with religious leaders in Georgetown to offer lessons for that protection.
"Something as simple as delegating one member of their church while everybody else is worshiping to be placed out in the foyer or outside in the parking lot watching," said Sheriff Robert Chody.
The hope is smaller, more vulnerable churches can learn how to protect themselves.
"We just wanna help in any church in any way that might not have a security team,” said Senior Pastor, Joe Champion. “They might not even know what to do as it relates to how to handle any kind of active shooter scenario."
Don Sawyer, of Our Lady’s Maronite Parish, is the head of one of those smaller churches. He said the summit taught him the importance of emergency planning during volatile times.
"Noticing the times, noticing happenings, killings happening,” Sawyer said. “Emergencies (happen) and often times we're not prepared. Our law enforcement agencies, they cannot watch everybody every minute. We have to protect ourselves."
The next step for church leaders is listening to the communities, assessing their needs and seeing what they can do to keep people safe during church.