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Local churches say they have security measures in place in case of an active shooter

Local churches say they have security measures in place in case of an active shooter

YAKIMA, Wash.-- Unfortunately, church shootings, or any type of shooting for that matter, are becoming all too familiar. The biggest mass shooting to occur in the history of Texas took place at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday.

“The church in Texas is a very sad case, and one of the things that stands out to all of us is - small town small community - somewhere where people think could never happen, like Yakima. People think ‘Oh, this'll just happen in New York and big cities, and that's not the case,” said Pastor Mike Lyon of Open Bible Christian Center.

Lyon said that his church is prepared for an active shooter-type situation. While he wasn't comfortable with sharing details of the church's plan, he did say that this has been something they've been prepared for for quite some time.

“We put in safety procedures quite a few years ago, just aware of the fact that a church is like a pond full of ducks. People just sitting there, that if somebody has something to do, they could do it, and there’s not a whole lot of protection. A part of my calling is a shepherd, meaning I’m caring for the sheep, so we want to make sure the sheep are protected,” said Lyon.

Pastor Dennis Smith of Trinity Family Fellowship in Yakima said he's been prepared for an incident like this since 2007. They have several ushers who act as security guards during worship and plenty of people with concealed carry permits who've agreed to protect the people of the church if need be. He said he realizes that an incident like Texas could happen in our own backyard.

“It isn't that we don't trust God. It isn’t that we don't believe that He’s a sovereign God that can’t protect his people. But, we also recognize that we put locks on our doors, and we don't drive fast when we shouldn't, and we don't go into places where it’s scary. We take precautions. And so, when we heard of those things taking place, although unfathomable in our own church, it could happen. This is a reality,” said Smith.

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