ShareThis Page
Westmoreland

Church security training returning to Westmoreland County

Stephen Huba
| Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, 2:57 p.m.
Rodney Smith of the Georgia Firearms and Security Training Academy speaks to church leaders at Beacon Independent Baptist Church in Bolivar in November 2017. Smith will bring his three-hour course on church security back to Westmoreland County on Feb. 25.
Stephen Huba | Tribune-Review
Rodney Smith of the Georgia Firearms and Security Training Academy speaks to church leaders at Beacon Independent Baptist Church in Bolivar in November 2017. Smith will bring his three-hour course on church security back to Westmoreland County on Feb. 25.

Westmoreland County native and certified firearms instructor Rodney Smith is returning to the area this month to offer more security training to interested churches.

Smith, 59, of Flowery Branch, Ga., gave similar training to nearly 100 people at three Westmoreland County locations in late November and early December.

“I was very happy with the turnout. They were driving in from Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Derry, all over,” he said.

Enough interest was generated, he said, to warrant another three-hour classroom session and to plan for a 16-hour course in firearms training this summer.

Smith's course on church security, situational awareness and less-than-lethal defense will be offered from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 25 at Harrold Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, at the corner of Baltzer Meyer Pike and Route 136 in Hempfield.

The course is open to the public for a donation. No registration is required.

Smith, a native of Bolivar, founded the Georgia Firearms and Security Training Academy in July 2015, a month after the deadly church shooting in Charleston, S.C. Since then, he has taught security courses in more than 50 churches, most of them in Georgia.

Recent church shootings in Tennessee and Texas make such training all the more necessary, he said.

Smith, a 24-year Navy veteran who worked in law enforcement for 13 years, taught the shorter course at churches in Bolivar and New Florence and a fire hall in Fairfield Township last year.

The longer course is for pastors and lay leaders who have a state firearms permit.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, shuba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me