ANMOORE, W.Va. – On Friday, Life Church of West Virginia, along with the West Virginia State Police, held a seminar called Securing the Faithful.

A presentation was given by state police to be aware of threats and to be prepared to handle them. During the presentation, examples were given on how to disarm an armed assailant and how to arm and train people who are going to be part of a security team for a house of worship.

“Having a security team is extremely important because it is the duty and responsibility of the church and the staff of the church to make sure people have a safe place to come and freely practice their religion,” said Cpl. Barron Claypool, with the West Virginia State Police and chaplain for Troop One.

Officials with state police said the seminar is designed to give information on how to stop a threat in a church service, and how to be better prepared to recognize a threat and survive it.

“Number one is to recognize if there is someone coming in that you don’t normally see, and to watch for some of the signs of agitation if someone is angry, or if they have on bulky clothing, or they’re reaching their hands in their pocket. Those sorts of things are key to recognizing a threat very, very quickly,” Claypool said. “Unfortunately, we live in a society that is full of anger and hatred. And, oftentimes that anger and hatred is directed toward houses of worship, regardless of the faith of that house of worship.”

He also stated that his best piece of advice is having perimeter security for a church or a business, having people watch to see who is approaching the building to give advanced warning in the event of a dangerous situation. Claypool even spoke on how to have armed security at houses of worship.

“I know that might be a topic that is a little uncomfortable for some people, however, we need to be prepared to meet the threat with the equal amount of force to combat that threat,” Claypool said. “Of course, everyone on a security team does not need to be armed, but there are some people who should be, as long as they’re trained and qualified to do so.”

The seminar is free of charge and is offered by the West Virginia State Police. Claypool said if any place of worship is interested in learning more about securing the church, he can be reached at 304-627-2300.