BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – The Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office has announced its intent to patrol and protect local churches following recent shootings.
According to Buchanan County Chief Deputy Eric Breeding, on-duty deputies will be randomly choosing churches each week to patrol.
Chief Deputy Breeding told News Channel 11 that the goal is to increase security at all church services, with an emphasis on Sunday mornings.
The churches will not typically have any previous notification of law enforcement presence.
On-duty deputies are encouraged to patrol church parking lots or attend services while in uniform.
Chief Deputy Breeding also said the sheriff’s office is encouraging any off-duty deputies to attend their regular services in uniform if they have the permission of church leadership.
Congregations are welcome to call the sheriff’s office at (276) 935-2313 if they would like to request their church be patrolled.
Churchgoers were asked to keep in mind that deputies’ priority would still be emergency traffic, so they may not always be available for church patrols.