Over the past year we have experienced some security issues here at St. Peter’s and have also seen and heard news of terrible events at houses of worship around the country. Because of this, I would like to provide an update on some of the recent security initiatives that the staff and vestry have undertaken.
An updated video camera system has been installed within the Parish House, nave, and garden area. The video camera system provides the ability to monitor activity in high traffic areas, as well as in significant areas where safety is a top concern, such as the Atrium and Nursery. Additionally, the video camera system assists with viewing parts of the building when there is little or no occupancy.
Duress (“panic”) buttons have been installed in specific areas, so that when activated the alarm company contacts CMPD. This process allows call for help even if someone is unable place a 911 call. As part of the system, flashing strobe lights are in place in the Rector’s office, the Ministry Associate’s area, and the Parish Administrators office. When a duress button is activated, the strobe lights flash, notifying occupants in those areas that trouble is taking place in the building.
Recently, I have met with a Protective Security Advisor with the Department of Homeland Security, as well as a Community Liaison Officer with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and discussed the various steps that can be taken at St. Peter’s to ensure safety, while maintaining a welcoming environment. Based on these meetings and ongoing discussions within the parish, a formal St. Peter’s emergency response plan is being created to provide information and suggestions on dealing with the variety of emergencies that we possibly face.
Brian Whitley, Facilities Manager
Note: You can pick up a hard copy of this update from any of the public spaces in the Parish House.