PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – After news of the deadly shooting rampage at a Texas church broke, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office made the decision to beef up patrols at places of worship around the county.
Spokeswoman Amy Marinec says there has been no threat and the move is merely a proactive one.
“We just want to reassure everybody that the community is safe, we are there, we are approachable,” said Marinec. “We’d like you to engage with our deputies.”
Pastor Andre Erasmus of the Trinity Crosspoint Church in Holiday is helping his congregation cope with the tragedy in Texas.
“In a small church like that and like ours here, it’s not just parishioners, it’s family. And that’s heartbreaking,” said Erasmus. “26 of your family, 26 of your family taken away at the same time. It’s so heartbreaking.”
Sunday morning the congregation at Crosspoint came together for their regular weekly service, and a member of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office was there, shaking hands and answering questions.
“The community needs to know we are here for them. If they see something, say something,” said Lt. Jeremy Colhouer with the PCSO.
Lt. Colhouer adds the patrol may act as a deterrent for anyone in the community thinking about harming people.
Pastor Erasmus is thankful that deputies will be out offering support and keeping a watchful eye, just in case.
“I can tell him now, I have noticed something. I don’t what exactly it means, but I just want you to know. There is a stranger on my property. I saw something. I don’t know what it means but I just want to tell you,” he said.