Bay area churches increase security in wake of Texas shooting

By Tim Wronka , Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, November 12, 2017, 3:23 PM EST

A week after a mass shooting at a Texas church, Bay area churches are looking at heightened security.

  • Churches look at ways to protect worshipers
  • Law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols

All around the Bay area, law enforcement agencies are helping out places of worship.

The Clearwater Police Department helped out New Destiny Worship Center by having officers present during morning services.

Pastor Anthony Ballestero says just seeing the officer helps give parishioners extra piece of mind.

“An officer does a many things for us," Ballestero said. "They provide security and just help families feel secure about being there."

Outside the church, parishioners are also doing their part. Church member Tim Phebus was keeping an eye on the parking lot.

“I’m just more vigilant," he said. "It’s my faith that I just don’t worry about this. I just don’t let it get me down.”

That’s the feeling at many churches around the area, with many saying they’re not going to live in fear.

“The message about security, obviously churches have to address it,” said Pastor William Rice of Calvary Church. “We have addressed it. We can hope it doesn’t happen again or we can prepare the best we can and lead the lives we want to live.”

Many agencies stepped up patrols Sunday morning.

For instance, Pasco Sheriff’s Office announced it would have more deputies on the roads keeping an eye on local churches.