North Platte, NE – According to WOWT News, “Officers surrounded two North Platte churches on Sunday (June 14) until they determined a 911 call about a shooting was a hoax.
Police Sgt. Jeff Foote says reinforcements were called in from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and Nebraska State Patrol after the call came around noon regarding a shooting at the Church of Christ. Additional officers were needed because North Platte has two Churches of Christ.
While officers surrounded the churches, tornado sirens blared as a storm moved through the area. The National Weather Service says a weak tornado was spotted near Lake Maloney, but no damage was immediately reported.
Around 1:30 p.m., officers determined that both churches were safe and that the call was a hoax. Authorities believe the call was made over the Internet.”
Food for though: A difficulty for many local police departments is getting a hold of someone via phone during a church service. Establishing contact with your local PD and giving them a cell phone number of the church security administrator or team member would aid them in determining whether an incident is real and whether to send resources to your church. If you haven’t included your local police department in church security planning, you may be missing out on a great resource for training and maintaining a cooperative relationship between your church and your local police department.