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Claremore Church's Security Team Trained For Various Situations

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Blue Starr Church of Christ in Claremore already has a plan in place to protect church members; the church created a security team about 18 months ago. Blue Starr Church of Christ in Claremore already has a plan in place to protect church members; the church created a security team about 18 months ago.
Church elder Foy O’Neil. Church elder Foy O’Neil.
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -

After 26 people were killed at a Texas church, several Oklahoma churches are reevaluating security measures.

One church, Blue Starr Church of Christ in Claremore, already has a plan in place to protect church members; the church created a security team about 18 months ago.

11/6/2017 Related Story: Devin Patrick Kelley: What We Know About The Texas Church Shooting Suspect

11/6/2017 Related Story: Tulsa Churches Reviewing Security Measures After Texas Shooting

The security team carries concealed weapons, even during worship, and they are prepared to respond to any emergency, including active shooters.

"Whether leadership in various churches like it or not, there's already people who have their concealed carry license. They're generally scattered all over the building. We're trying to be organized about it," church elder Foy O’Neil said.

They selected members who carry and gave them training for emergencies like a medical issue, tornado or active shooter.

The team members learned how to de-escalate situations and went through role-playing exercises ranging from domestic disputes to an active shooter.

The church got an insurance policy to cover their liability and decided during worship to lock down the entire building except for the front two entrances.

A member of the team is in the lobby with the goal of stopping the threat before it reaches the congregation.

"We have the kind of doors where you can get out but you can't come in," O’Neil said.

Other team members are assigned to get people to the exits.

They understand it's a balance of making people feel welcome and keeping people safe, but would like to see other churches be ready.

"I know evil is out there, and I also know good is out there, but evil preys on good."

The people at the church pray they would never have to use the training, but they want to be ready.

The Rogers County Sheriff's Office will be giving emergency response training to any church or organization that wants to learn more, on November 14th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Blue Starr Church of Christ in Claremore.

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