Briarwood Christian School looking to implement its own police force

Briarwood Christian School looking to implement its own police force

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The mass murders in Sutherland Texas that claimed the lives of 26 people has caused churches to look at their security measures.

Briarwood Christian Church and School has tried for two years to get a bill out of the legislature to allow them to create their own police force.

"We are concerned the churches as well as other public places are obvious targets," Eric Johnston, Briarwood Christian School's attorney said.

Johnston said he has tried to get the state legislature to approve letting the large religious campus operate its own police force.

"Even though you have police in the area, you know there is a time when a man with an automatic rifle can kill a lot of people. I think there is as low as a four minute response period, but still in four minutes a lot of damage can be done," Johnston said.

Johnston has argued Briarwood should be allowed to form its own police force for protection because there are so many people who attend the Valleydale campus.

Johnston said the church has not yet indicated they will try again to get approval for creating a police force but the church shooting and loss of life dramatizes the need for churches to take steps to protect themselves from threats.

"Yes I think they copycat, they talk about copycats. Maybe this man in Texas saw what happened there and was motivated. Of course we have seen other mass shootings in other places, like Orlando and San Bernardino," Johnston said.

While some have argued people in the congregation should have weapons to protect themselves and others, Johnston said their protection would be increased with a trained law enforcement official at the church rather than a civilian.

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