- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Church officials in Las Cruces say they will conduct security reviews following two explosions that startled Sunday churchgoers in the New Mexico city.

No one was hurt in either explosion, but police say the explosives could have killed or seriously injured someone nearby, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported (https://bit.ly/1ImYGe5 ).

Church officials at Holy Cross Catholic Church and Calvary Baptist Church, where the explosives went off, say they will hold Sunday services as planned.

They are, however, reviewing security and looking for ways to increase public safety during services.

“I think the primary thought is this hasn’t slowed us down. We’re still operating and having services,” said Calvary associate pastor Scott Rodgers.

He said Monday that the Baptist church will move forward as quickly as possible with additional safety measures.

Calvary is considering contracting security guards, among other options, said Rodgers. But he doesn’t know yet when such measures would be implemented

Holy Cross is overseen by the Diocese of Las Cruces, which will review safety practices at all of its churches, according to Deacon David McNeill Jr.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for each church,” McNeill said, explaining that each church is currently responsible for its own safety practices. “They all have different needs. Some are large, some are small, and security would have to be handled to accordingly.”

The diocese will immediately conduct an inventory of its churches’ safety practices and then help them identify additional steps that need to implemented, said McNeill.

“It’s too early to say how these incidents will impact Mass attendance throughout the diocese,” he said, but noted that parishioners do not seem to be panicked by the explosions.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are investigating the two explosions, according to Las Cruces Police Department spokesman Dan Trujillo.

FBI assistant special agent in charge Bryan Finnegan would not say whether the two incidents are connected but said they are being investigated as a similar event.

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This story has corrected the spelling of the name of Calvary associate pastor Scott Rodgers.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, https://www.lcsun-news.com


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