SARASOTA — Churches on the Suncoast will soon have an extra layer of security, and it’ll all come from one of the apps that you can have placed on your cellphone.
“The app, both an iOS and Android, is a free app that you can download for suspicious activity reporting,” said Kevin Angell, creator of the See It Say It Send It app.
On the heels of the recent deadly church shooting in Texas and other churches, Angell believes he has an answer that can help with church safety. The Sarasota resident will be making it available for churches in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
“We want to put the app in their hands to be able to make them feel a little bit better,” Angell said. “Make them have the opportunity to send something anonymously to what they see, what they observe at church, to report that information.”
The app also allows authorities to send messages about current or past suspicious activity and warn people about potential criminal activity.
Pastor Warren McGregor of Christian Family Church in Sarasota says this app is going to play a big part in protecting his congregants.
“We don’t exclude anybody and security is a big issue on a weekly basis that we’ve got to know who is coming, who is going and to make sure our people are safe, the community is safe,” McGregor said.
Angell will be training dozens of Suncoast churches on the app at no charge. It’s something he’ll be working closely on with Hope4Communities, an organization that partners with local churches.
“Anything we can do to bring an awareness of better safety on the campuses of the churches that we work with or any churches on the Suncoast I think is important,” said Pam Hawn, executive director of Hope4Communities.
The See It, Say It Send It app will officially be rolling out to local churches in the coming weeks.