AUBURN — Local police announced Thursday that they plan to patrol local churches this weekend in response to the killing of more than two dozen people at a Texas church on Sunday.

The Police Department posted the information on its Facebook page, apparently in an effort to reassure churchgoers that they will be safe attending services at their respective houses of worship.

“As our nation mourns Sunday’s tragic loss of life in Sutherland Springs, Texas, we know that many people are now thinking about their own safety when attending future church services,” the post reads.

The department lacks the personnel to be stationed at all of the city’s nearly 30 churches, but on-duty officers plan to patrol areas where services are scheduled, the post reads.

Deputy Chief Jason Moen said Thursday the stepped-up effort is not in response to an indication of any specific threats in the city.

“We are merely trying to be proactive in light of what happened in Texas,” he wrote in an email.

He said he wasn’t aware of any similar efforts in any other municipality.

The department is offering so-called “safety site visits” prior to Sunday services to any house of worship that requests one. That includes a facility assessment and safety recommendations.

Church leaders are encouraged to contact Lt. Anthony Harrington at 333-6650, extension 2035, or to provide the APD with your schedule of services, emergency contact information or to schedule a site visit.

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