Winterville police department teach churches about safety

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WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – With faith and prevention, churches in the east are fighting back against crime. It’s in response to the recent trends of mass shootings across the U.S.

Whether an active shooter, mass shooting or robbery, faith leaders are taking a step in the right direction.

Grant Carter is the pastor Winterville Baptist Church in Winterville.

“It’s unthinkable in a lot of ways but at the same time, it has happened,” said Pastor Carter. “We’re looking at ways to prevent crime.”

The meeting is a direct response to several shootings.

In 2015, Dylan Roof opened fire inside the Emmanuel A.M.E. Church killing nine black worshippers.

In November of last year, 26 people were killed at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Back in the east, authorities are warning church members about the importance of having a plan before disaster hits.

Detective Cpl. James Brown grew up in Winterville’s Baptist Church and wants to make sure church members stay ready.

“I think safety is something everybody just kind of took for granted at the churches because they are so welcoming,” said Brown. “My ultimate goal is to get everybody together and let’s get them on the same page and really hear their concerns.”

Pastor Carter said it’s a safety measure to keep his church members calm.

“We don’t want to take away from the mission of the church,” said Pastor Carter “We don’t want there to be distractions in our time of fellowship and worship of gathering together.

Representatives from the District Attorney’s Office, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners and Fire Marshal’s Office are all expected to attend and answer questions.

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