Police kick off Jackson's first "church watch" program - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Police kick off Jackson's first "church watch" program

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By Monica Hernandez - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -  When you walk into Calvary Baptist Church in Jackson, you'll find shattered windows and broken locks, signs that burglars have hit the Capitol Street church 12 times since December. The break-ins have cost the church about $20,000 total.

"They broke into our nursery, stole two 32" flat panel TVs and some space heaters," said Calvary Baptist Pastor John Brashier.

The items stolen range from a lighting consul to a block of cheese from the kitchen.

Police arrested 52-year-old Alfred Lewis of Jackson inside the church last week, but believe others are still at large.

"It's in their best interest to solve this," said Brashier.

Calvary Baptist Church is one of several in Jackson that have been recently burglarized. That's why Jackson police plan to hold a "House of Worship Crime Prevention Seminar" Wednesday afternoon at the Jackson Police Training Academy on Saint Charles Street. 

It will let clergy members know what Jackson Police are doing to keep neighborhoods secure, and give churches tips for keeping burglars at bay.

"That could be anything from lighting to improving landscaping, improving locks and different types of doors that enhance a particular building," said Deputy Chief Tyrone Lewis of the Jackson Police Department.

The seminar will also kick off the capital city's first "church watch" program.

"Everybody's heard of a neighborhood watch, so we want to start a church watch where they can network and assist each other," said Lewis.

Brashier said he hopes increased patrols and partnerships will put an end to the crime. Meanwhile, they're staying strong.

"People can take everything, but we're still the church," said Brashier.

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