Local churches review security following mass shooting in Texas - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local churches review security following mass shooting in Texas

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A place meant to be a safe haven, the one place promising open arms in a community, was turned into the sight of a horrific mass killing Sunday.

A gunman walked into a Texas church during Sunday's service and killed 26 people.  Churches throughout Eastern Iowa were rocked by the news. 

"Pretty jarring as a pastor. You ask the questions, 'Could it happen at my church?' Then heartbreak, your heart goes out to the families and the pastor," said Prairie Lakes Church Pastor, Chip Uhrmacher.

Unfortunately, it could happen here, something Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls has worked to prevent. The church has paid security since the church moved to their current location off of Hudson Road in 2005.

"We actually have off-duty Cedar Falls Police Officers who are here in plain clothes, who we pay to be here. It is a really important measure for us," said Pastor Uhrmacher.

Although activities and rehearsals continued as normal on Monday, the incident has church leaders looking forward.

"We've already had conversations today about that, making sure our volunteers and staff are aware of the procedures and that we do practice at some point pretty soon to make sure we are prepared," said Uhrmacher.

Across the valley, the Cedar Valley Community Church in Waterloo has had a security team in place for more than a year. The team has run active shooter drills to prepare for the worst.

"We've done drills for the whole church, drills for the kids and youth groups, training for the individual team members, and we have coordinated with local police and fire for the things that we need to be doing to be prepared," said Frank Bowman, a member of the church's board and head of the security team.

Both Prairie Lakes and Cedar Valley Community use security cameras throughout their facilities.

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