New York (CNN)New York's historic Trinity Church and neighboring St. Paul's Chapel have decided to amp up security by putting in metal detectors.
Church officials said they have been considering the change for a long time, with input from the congregation, so visitors "may find the sanctuary they seek within our walls."
"While it saddens Trinity to implement these measures, the times we live in necessitate this action," said Patti Walsh, chief communications officer for Trinity Church Wall Street. "There is no imminent threat to Trinity or St. Paul's, and planning for these new measures has been in the works for some time."
Walsh said there was not a specific incident that triggered the decision, but she noted that Lower Manhattan is considered one of the country's top terrorist targets. The area is in the center of New York's Financial District and only blocks away from where the September 11, 2001, attacks took place, along with a hit-and-run truck attack in October.
The metal detectors were installed March 1, and Walsh said they will stay in place for the foreseeable future. Visitors are asked to submit to a physical search of purses, backpacks, briefcases, luggage and other large bags brought into the church or chapel as well as pass through the metal detector.
Trinity Church Wall Street receives a lot of foot traffic because historical figures such as Alexander Hamilton are buried in the church's graveyard.