Training to protect places of worship PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 10:21
File photo. People gather near the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The Wood County Sheriff's Office will be sponsoring "Protecting Our Places of Worship" next month, a training geared toward helping keep area churches and other religious centers safe.
"I think it has to do with current events," said Capt. Scott Frank, of the Sheriff's Office, about the impetus for the free training. "We as a staff try to look at what segments of the county we can best serve, and the topic of places of worship came up."
"We felt this was a pretty important and relevant training."
Area centers of religious life have not been exempt from crime and violence in Wood County. Perhaps the highest-profile example of this is the September, 2012, arson at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg Township.
That crime did more than $1 million in damage to the site, and forced it to close for several months.
The man convicted of the crime, Randolph Linn, 53, St. Joe, Ind., admitted that he set the blaze in the mosque's prayer room after drinking and becoming incensed over reports of Islamic extremism overseas.
Linn has filed an appeal in the case to withdraw his plea of guilty.
In another recent crime, Jeremiah Houk, 32, Deshler, was indicted for arson and breaking and entering following an Aug. 26 incident this year in which he is accused of throwing "a flammable cocktail intentionally to set fire to" the Praise Chapel in North Baltimore.
The Protecting Our Places of Worship training, to be held Nov. 16 at Dayspring Church, 17360 North Dixie Highway, Bowling Green, will include two sessions.
The first session, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., is intended for those in ministry leadership, including those most responsible for leading ministry safety teams. Topics covered in that session will include creating a response plan and forming a safety team, training the team, and gathering intelligence.
Lunch will be provided.
A second session, from 12 to 2 p.m., is intended for those within the ministry who routinely carry out the day-to-day responsibilities of protecting the place of worship. This session will include response options to active shooter events, and will cover dealing with disruptions, armed security teams, and use of force.
Seating for the training is limited. Those interested may reserve their seat prior to Nov. 4 by emailing Frank at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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