Memorial Park to host seminar on creating safe churches |
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Tawnya Panizzi
Rabbi Chuck Diamond arrives on the street corner outside the Tree of Life Synagogue Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh to lead a Shabbat morning service, a week after 11 people were killed and six wound when their worship was interrupted by a gunman’s bullets on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

On the heels of a mass shooting last month at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, local places of worship are taking a closer look at site security.

Memorial Park Church in Allison Park will host an informational seminar at 7 p.m. Nov. 14.

Guest speakers will be Forrest Norman, shareholder at Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C., and Andrew Blubaugh, owner of Apex Shooting and Tactics, LLC.

“We want to not only express our deepest grief and solidarity with our friends from Tree of Life, but to empower all church leaders in the area so we can put a stop to these kinds of heinous acts of hate and violence,” said the Rev. Dean Weaver, lead pastor at Memorial Park.

“Every place of worship should be a safe place for people of all faiths to join in fellowship with God and we hope to help churches in Pittsburgh take steps towards this goal.”

The seminar will focus on security in places of worship, and will tackle concepts like recognizing risks, securing the church while maintaining a focus on ministry, reducing threats and responding to an active incident.

Memorial Park leaders said they hope that church leaders will learn how to assess security protocols that will help mitigate dangerous events.

Norman serves as chair of his firm’s church law group and Blubaugh teaches weapon-handling skills based on his experience as a police officer and his time in the military.

For more, call the church at 412-364-9492.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, [email protected] or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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