DENTON COUNTY A local security company geared toward training members of religious congregations has seen a spike in calls after Wednesday night's tragic shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

What seems most jarring about the attack is that it happened in a place seen as a sanctuary from the very worst of the world.

Chuck Chadwick knows bad things can happen anywhere.

"We do think that churches should be a safe space and that may be the last place that something like this would happen, but yet the bad guys don't know that," said Chadwick.

He's been in the security business for three decades, and founded Gatekeepers Security Services, based in Frisco, specifically geared toward training security personnel for churches in 2006.


The Gatekeepers program aims at training church employees to stop attacks like the one that killed nine in Charleston. Marie Saavedra has more.

"We have dozens and dozens of churches in Texas that are on our program," he said.

News 8 met Chadwick at his facility in Denton County, where he trains volunteers from church communities willing to play a bigger role in protecting their worship space. They could be anyone from ushers, to greeters, to people who work with the children's programs, all paying for 6 days of courses on defense tactics including handcuffing suspects and firearms training.


"Our mission in our Gatekeepers program is to train these men and women to go toward the sound of the gunfire and stop the violence, and the only way to really do it effectively is through firearms," said Chadwick.

Trainees leave the program certified and licensed in private security approved by the Texas Department of Public Saftey. Chadwick says he has more than 250 graduates in Texas alone. Unfortunately, Wednesday night's events have his phones ringing off the hook.

Chadwick can't say, of course, that had one of his gatekeepers been at the AME Church that they could have stopped the horror. But churches who have used his services say they feel they better their chances should tragedy strike.