Virginia State Police train church volunteers



“It’s important for our volunteers to understand they are the first line of defense.”                                

-Mary Stewart, Director, Office of Risk Management


For Immediate Release

September 27, 2017


WINCHESTER, Va. – Approximately 60 church ushers/greeters from Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Winchester will participate in a security training program Saturday, September 30 to enhance parish security. The Catholic Diocese of Arlington Office of Risk Management created the 2.5-hour session with assistance from the FBI Behavior Science Unit, a special agent from the Virginia State Police and Catholic Charities of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington (CCDA) Counseling. 

This is the first training of its kind at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Winchester, and one of several training sessions throughout parishes within the Diocese. The training sessions started in October 2016.  

The objective/goal is to:

  • Recognize the need for security/safety
  • Understand when the “normal” differs
  • Learn how to respond to suspicious persons
  • Gain communication skills for different situations
  • Document and report situations

“It’s important for our volunteers to understand they are the first line of defense at any parish,” says Mary Stewart. Stewart, a former police officer, is Director of the Office of Risk Management for the Diocese. “If we can increase their ability to recognize suspicious activity and notify the proper authorities to respond, then we believe we will have time to prevent a tragic event.”


Here are the details:

When:                       Saturday, September 30, 2017, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Where:                     Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church (in Muldowney Hall)

                                 120 Keating Drive, Winchester


Reporters:  Please, do not publish protocols for security reasons.