Security expert says time for places of worship to increase security

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SAGINAW (WJRT) - (10/28/2018) - Saturday’s attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead has many questioning how safe are places of worship and what can be done to avoid these tragedies.

"This problem that we are seeing across the United States and around the world is not going away,” said Henry Reyna, owner of Secure Solution LLC. “We need to up our game and that begins with making our venues safer."

Reyna is a 34 year veteran of law enforcement. He now shares his experiences teaching others safety through his company Secure Solution LLC.

But even with all that he's experienced in his more than three decades of police work, Reyna's emotions hit hard when he sees tragedies like the one that struck a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday.

“The national crime stats, violence is down but these types of incidents are up," said Reyna. "I've met with so many churches that have asked a few questions and then I never hear from them again."

And he says there's a reason places of worship are often attacked.

"Churches have always been a sanctuary,” said Reyna. “A place of bad things don't happen there and these wrong doers have identified that it's a soft target, they're not prepared. They can easily go in there and get large numbers. "

Reyna teaches businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to schools and churches. But he says a big issue is many of the smaller businesses overlook safety.

"We know this stuff is going to occur, it's all so preventable and unfortunately it comes down to the dollar and organizations don't want to put a dollar here,” said Reyna. “I said it earlier I can go to a church and they'll have seriously $2 million in AV equipment and they can't spend $5000 in safety and security."

These attacks are often unpredictable, and there's no need to live scared, but Reyna says you can at least be prepared.

"You've got to have a plan of action and I teach movement,” said Reyna. “First of all the number one thing any company or organization should be looking at: secure their access control. They've got to vet the people coming onto their properties."

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