MACON, Ga. (WRBL) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia and the Georgia Sheriff’s Association are hosting a series of safety training conferences, “Protecting Houses of Worship”, across the Georgia area this summer.

According to Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director of The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the safety training series “brings faith-based leaders and all those involved with security at churches, synagogues, mosques and places of worship together to provide education and a forum for discussion around topics including safety, security, emergency action plan preparedness, hate crimes and the growth and management of threats.”

A summit was held in an Athens, Georgia church on May 17, 2022, with attendees representing a synagogue, a mosque and area churches. The next will be held on June 7, 2022, at Unionville Missionary Baptist Church, in Macon, Georgia.

Trainings will also be held in Columbus, Georgia and Valdosta, Georgia over the summer. Dates and locations are still to be determined.

Peter D. Leary, U.S. Attorney, says that preserving a peaceful environment is essential to communal well-being.

“Learning how to prevent and respond to threats is, sadly, a necessity in today’s world. Preserving the inherently welcoming and peaceful environment that people expect at their places of worship is essential to the overall safety and well-being of the community,” said Leary. “I am thankful to the many law enforcement agencies that partner with us to provide this essential training for those involved with security at our places of worship.”

For more information on registering or hosting a “Protecting Houses of Worship” summit, contact Pam Lightsey, Law Enforcement Coordinator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, at