NewsFront RangeAurora


Colorado churches continue to improve security, nearly one month since Texas church massacre

Aurora PD's Security Summit focused on safety
Posted at 11:52 AM, Dec 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-03 19:44:49-05

AURORA, Colo. – It has been nearly one month since the deadliest church shooting in U.S. history.

On November 5, 26 people were killed at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The gunman also died.

Since then, Denver metro-area church leaders, security and police have worked together to improve safety within our own walls of worship.

On Wednesday, Aurora Police hosted a House of Worship Security Summit. Lt. Chris Amsler said this was in response to the Sutherland Springs massacre.

"The summit was an opportunity to really bring the larger community of faith into the picture," Gene Roncone said.

He's the lead pastor at Highpoint Church in Aurora.

Church leaders and church security sat through a presentation about what they should do during an active shooter situation.

Roncone added, "It rattles your cage a little bit. You know, our team has had live drills here. They fired blanks into the facility so that they would know what it sounds like in this wing or that wing."

He sent the head of his church's security to the Security Summit. Denver7 crews caught up with Gary Stutz.

"We just have to be aware of just about everything," Stutz said. "Not just active shooters, but also in a medical emergencies. Also, in lost children and domestic problems that might come into the church."

Lt. Amsler said the conversation also focused on how they could make their places of worship safer.

In response to the Security Summit and the introduction of "active shooter drills," Pastor Roncone said, "Ten years ago you wouldn't have dreamed of doing something like that in a church. Unfortunately, that's the day we live in."

Sutherland Springs’ First Baptist Church parishioners were worshiping, just as many people do on Sundays, when their prayers were quickly drowned out by gunfire and screams of terror.

Among those killed were mothers, fathers, grandparents and more than a dozen children.

Lt. Amsler told Denver7 future meetings have not yet been planned.