Churches in Southeast Wisconsin are coming together to keep worshipers safe

CREATED Feb. 19, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - More than 100 people from all walks of faith are expected Wednesday night at the Milwaukee Police Training Academy.

The security forum for religious organizations is the first of its kind around the metro area but it's not their first lesson on security.

"As a Pastor I'm not supposed to worry," said Pastor Terry Fulks," but we are deeply concerned."

Pastor Fulks wants the people who pack his Crosspoint Community Church in Oconomowoc to feel safe and secure.

"We work on it. We train people we have people behind the scenes helping us."

Security is not a new issue for faith organizations but the Sikh Temple shooting and Newtown school tragedy have heightened concerns.

"You don't want to be paranoid about it but you want to be prudent there is a vast difference between those two, said Tom Heinen, Executive Director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.

The Justice Department asked the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee to coordinate the security forum.

"I think in all the faith traditions there is a valuing of wisdom and wisdom means being prudent," said Heinen.

The security forum is aimed at helping churches learn how to be prepared and respond to suspicious behavior, threats even an active shooter.

It's a serious subject for Pastor Fulks but he also sees it as an opportunity for his congregation.

"What is funny is some law enforcement people here at our church were wondering how to put their gifts to use, now they know," said Fulks.

He plans to send someone to the two hour free forum that will include speakers from Milwaukee Police and the FBI.