NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Churches welcome people in with open doors, but that could be the window of opportunity that leaves them vulnerable to someone with bad intentions, according to Patrick Fiel, the owner of PVF Security Consulting LLC.
"They're all soft targets unfortunately," Fiel said. "We have to put a different spin on it, a different reaction and work with each one of the groups and put a plan in place."
Fiel works with churches, schools and other organizations to cut their risks for attack.
He canvases these campuses looking for any weaknesses that could be taken advantage of.
"We would reduce the entrance and exit points, put signage out there that this church is being monitored by cameras and alarms, as a deterrent," Fiel explained.
He says being proactive and seeking out preventive measures are the best ways to protect not only your church, but the congregation, and training could be all the difference in a life altering situation.
"Having a plan before the incident, during the incident and unfortunately after the incident," Fiel said.
But he believes it takes the entire community to really make a difference.
"We're not making them look like prisons because we know what they're for. It is a place of worship and we want to allow that, but we also want to put that measure in place just in case, what if," Fiel said.
The Wilmington Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit is also available to do church safety assessments. Learn more at this link.