Madison area houses of worship reassess safety protocol
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)--- After an uptick in violence at houses of worship across the country this year, many Madison-area churches and temples are reevaluating their safety protocol.
"The main issue for us is balancing openness and being welcoming with the need for security." said Father Jonathan Grieser of Grace Episcopal Church in Downtown Madison. Grieser says the church is used to handling safety challenges, given its location on the Capitol Square. Grieser says while guns will never be permitted inside Grace Episcopal church, he is considering active shooter training for downtown churches.
"We're seeing people completely revamp their emergency protocols," Officer Matt Magolan of Madison Police Department said. Magolan facilitates active shooter training sessions. "We started receiving a lot more calls from churches, so it’s been definitely an increase in number."
Masjid Us Sunnah, the mosque on Madison's West Side, has not hosted an active shooter training for it's congregation, but it has hosted representatives from the Madison Police Department to talk about safety.
"We are very connected with the local communities and the local law-enforcement." said Imam Al Hagie Jallow of Masjid Us Sunnah.
Both Jallow and Grieser agree that they won't let trends of violence disrupt the peace of their communities.
"You don’t let fear control you or be conquered by fear." Jallow said.
"We have to live in this environment, and we can’t be afraid. Because fear runs counter to the God in whom we believe and in whom we trust." said Grieser.