A message on campus safety and security

From Covenant's security task force: The mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, left all of us stunned and heartbroken. We grieve the loss of life and we pray for victims of gun violence in this tragedy and too many others.

At Covenant, the safety of our campus is of utmost concern. Last year, a task force of church members interviewed nearly a dozen peer churches and recommended a plan to implement new technology, coordinate ushers and work with off-duty police officers.

Here are actions that Covenant has since taken:

• Two uniformed, off-duty CMPD officers are with us Sunday mornings, primarily to direct traffic on Morehead Street. The officers are available to provide safety assistance as needed.
• Cameras at key points around campus are monitored through a smartphone app.
• Enhanced door controls are now in place for the Sanctuary office entrance, Preschool entrance and Fellowship Hall entrance. A smart phone app allows for two-way communication and remote unlocking of doors.
• Key staff members are attending a two-hour safety seminar hosted by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for local houses of worship. CMPD will provide knowledge and strategies to make the campus a safer place for all.
• Ushers and Greeters are invited to attend a refresher presentation on the current procedures on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 8:15 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

Our enduring goal is to maintain a welcoming atmosphere while also acknowledging the realities of the world around us. If you have any questions, please contact Task Force Chair Gene Wood.

Additional resource: The Washington Post recently published an article on "How to protect yourself during a mass shooting" that you may find informative.