Virginia Beach Police to hold safety session for faith-based organizations

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Beach Police Department is taking action by holding a question and answer session for faith-based organizations after a mass shooting at a Texas church.

Close to 200 people packed the room to find out how to best keep faith-based organizations safe when it comes to an active shooter situation.

Master Police Officer Allen Perry said knowing your fellow members by introducing yourself prompts them to do the same.

"It serves a dual purpose not only helps screen folks and has a security element to it, but it’s also very welcoming. It’s a win win situation," said Perry, who said attacks happen by those known to the congregation.

A big takeaway for Delvin Peeks who attended were all the resources available from police.

"It was a pleasant shock. I think that’s great. Once again it shows how committed the VBPD is to helping these types of things and faith based intuitions," said Peeks, who lives in Virginia Beach, but goes to church in Chesapeake.

Police have a program where they will come out to a religious institution during the day and at night to help with security measures, train greeters, talk about mental health and more. They will put everything into a written report, then spend a few hours with the church board or pastor and go through their findings and suggestions.

Peeks is hoping other cities will step up and offer similar resources.

However, Virginia Beach Police stress they want these religious organizations to not just be prepared for an active shooter, but more common incidents, including burglars, fires or medical emergencies.

There will be training session at Wave Church in December. For more information contact Officer David Nieves at DNieves@vbgov.com

For any security related questions, contact Officer Perry at APerry@vbgov.com