SWFL churches take security measures

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LEE COUNTY, Fla. – After hearing of the senseless shooting at a Charleston, South Carolnia church where nine people were brutally killed Wednesday night, Pastor Wes Olds of Grace Church on Hancock Bridge Parkway in Cape Coral was heartbroken.

“It’s hard to even comprehend that somebody could do that,” Olds told WINK News Thursday.

With a membership of nearly 6,000, Olds knows that while something similar happening at his church is unlikely, he has to be prepared.

“The problem with these events is they seem to pop up in lots of different places, and you never know,” said Olds.

The church has an armed Sheriff’s deputy in the back corner of the sanctuary during every service, as well as plain-clothes officers in the pews you may not even know are there.

WINK News called dozens of churches throughout Southwest Florida, but only a couple got back to us.

The executive pastor at McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers says they have three to four off duty deputies at every service.

An employee at Fowler Firearms in Fort Myers tells WINK News they regularly train local pastors and church members how to use guns.

Olds doesn’t own a gun, but is confident the measures they have in place are effective.

“It seemed very difficult for me to put together, as a pastor, that we would actually have to have security, and yet it is something that we so need to provide for people so that they come and again know that there’s a sense of safety.”

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