Upcoming Events, recent interviews, and recommended reading
Conferences Coming Soon
A church security conference is a great way to see what others have done, get to know like-minded professionals, and learn ways to make your program more effective. Following are conferences, events or presentations coming up.
LOUISVILLE, MS -- October 25th, 2014 – First Baptist Church (with Jimmy Meeks). First Baptist Church
SPOKANE, WA -- January 31st, 2015 (With Jimmy Meeks and LTC. Dave Grossman) Valley Real Life Christian Church
HOT SPRINGS, AR -- February 7th, 2015. (With Jimmy Meeks and LTC. Dave Grossman) Crossgate Church
MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- March 7, 2015 – Friendship Church (with Jimmy Meeks and LTC. Dave Grossman). Friendship Church
BOZEMAN, MT -- September 19, 2015 – Springhill Presbyterian (with Jimmy Meeks and LTC. Dave Grossman). Springhill Presbyterian
For more information on the “Sheepdogs for Churches” seminars review this Interview with LTC Dave Grossman about the Church Security tour
If you would like for me to speak at an event in your city, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent interviews and media references
Jesus Creed (reference June, 2014)
Christian Science Monitor (interview June, 2014)
See this “Life of Duty” special on church security where LTC Oliver North talks about the statistics on this website
SBC Life (interview)
Church Law Institute (reference)
Risk and Security LLC (reference)
Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch (interview)
Charisma News (reference)
Gone in a Heartbeat -- Our Daughters
Died, Our Faith Endures, (book): In spite of our
best security efforts, bad things can still happen. After starting our security
team in 2005, a gunman came on December 9th, 2007. While it is true that our
security stopped that attack very quickly, he had already taken the lives of
two innocent girls before he was stopped. One of the healthiest perspectives I
have ever read concerning how we deal with tragedy came from the father and mother of those girls (David and
Proverbs 16 :9, "...man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps".
Look for the resource of your interest in red letters.
Most recent additions are highlighted.
Disclaimer Notice on tips & resources: Two of the best contacts for a church security / safety planner are an attorney and an insurance agent. All suggestions on this site are at risk of being legal in one jurisdiction but not another, acceptable by one insurance underwriter and not another.
Always be certain to confirm regional legality and insurance coverage compliance before implementing any practice.
I am so grateful for those of you who have freely shared what you do in a way that others can learn from. Keep those comments coming! email@example.com.
Associations and Speakers
I am glad to recommend the following;
I have been very impressed with the writings of Alan Hughes on his church security blogsite at www.safeatchurch.info
I am happy to be part of the initiative to bring the certified CSO (Church Security Operator) standards. Visit www.GatekeepersSecurity.com to see how tis program may be right for your church if you are in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas or any state west of that line. There are links for eastern states on that same website as well – but my focus is on the western U.S.
I have known Ron Gilstrap of Bullseye Gun Holsters for more than 45 years. Ron is a Vietnam veteran (101st Airborne) and a career law enforcement officer (Wichita KS Police Department). Ron knows full well how a holster needs to fit and function, and his leatherwork is superb. I highly recommend Bullseye Gun Holsters.
http://www.stealthdefenseholsters.com/ Great conceal carry holsters -- perfect for church security team members
Heartstone Pictures: This documentary of the Daingerfield, TX church shooting in 1980 is a must see for all church security teams.
Innovative Tactical Concepts: A very resourceful website on defense concepts. The Watchman Church Security Training Video Series is a 6 DVD series focused on just church security concepts.
Jim McGuffey's Church Security Tips : Blog / tips / articles.
www.sentryoneconsulting.com Church Security plan starter kit.
Active Shooter Defense Tactics: endorsed by the Department of Homeland Security.
Appropriate& Effective Security Technologies -- Guide for Schools and Law Enforcement by the National Institute of Justice.
C. E. R. T. (Community Emergency Response Training)
IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association). Great competitive shooting and training (continuing nature firearms training)
Krav Maga is an Israeli based defensive tactic program.
Become familiar with both the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People as well as the Boy Scouts of America, Codes of Conduct for keeping children safe.
www.missingkids.com; Great model for missing / lost Children. Order the free Code Adam procedures and modify it to fit your environment.
www.cppssite.com DVD entitled, “Shots Fired -- Surviving An Active Shooter in the Work Place” is the best work I have ever seen on the subject for environments where there is no active and ready security details. This video is not for active security operations, but for churches not wanting an active and intervention capable security program, this is good stuff to think about.
Active Shooter -- How to Respond Active shooter response and readiness information Great for environments where there is no active and ready security details. This video is not for active security operations.
RUN> HIDE> FIGHT> by Houston Readiness planners Active Shooter response concepts Great for environments where there is no active and ready security details. But if you have security operators – they best not be “running and hiding”!
ESI (Executive Security International): Private security and close protection (aka Executive Protection) concepts
Always discuss potential concerns for an upcoming event in a security team meeting before the event begins.
Consider extra-duty agreements with your local law enforcement agency.
Organize volunteers into two teams – odd & even – each of which serves only on the Sundays with odd or even dates. This way you don’t burn out volunteers.
CCTV (surveillance) systems not only deter crime and capture incidents, but verify what didn’t happen as well as (critical in false accusation cases).
Intrusion detection systems can be integrated with automated lighting controls. For example -- when a door is forced, window broken or motion sensors are activated at night, all exterior building lights and the parking lot lights can come on.
Lights always on can be almost as vulnerable as lights never on. But lights that come on due to some action (can be as simple as motion activated switches) catch the attention of both perps and night-time patrolling officers.
Pre-alarm covers on pull stations prevent most nuisance fire alarms.
Check with your fire alarm system provider regarding PAS (Positive Alarm Sequence) programming. This allows operations staff 180 seconds to investigate any alarm before the horns go off. The fire department will require evidence of effective staff training on fire alarms, which is a mandated benefit.
If you knew or should have known that a person had the potential and / or history of harming children, you may be liable.
Consider Recurring Background Investigations from Secure Search (background investigations for all volunteers and all staff)
A car broken into in a church parking lot is a serious issue. Police should always be notified instantly, as these thieves often take information from the vehicle registration to determine the home of the owner – drawing a conclusion that the home will be unguarded then, or at the same time in future weeks. In some cases, they take the garage door opener and before the investigation is over at the parking lot, they are already in the home. As a precaution, vehicle registration and other owner address information should be kept in a secure place in the vehicle. New garage door openers can fit on your key chain and be with you at all times.
Don’t re-invent the entire wheel when developing a security program. Local ordinances often require Shelter in Place, Emergency Action or Security Plans for schools.
Keep an incident log of medical emergencies, and quickly pass on the names of any persons treated for medical issues to pastoral staff for prompt personal follow-up ministry.
Build procedures manuals as you go. Keep the document small and simple – no more than one page for every category.
The best eyes on the audience are those of the announcer, Senior Pastor or Song Leader (depending on the time of service). When and of these folks see something that may need the attention of security, they can point with a unique gesture (not a normal gesture for them, but shared with all security staff). To anyone in the audience, it simply looks like a normal speaking hand gesture. To those in security, you will know where to focus attention.
You can train receptionists to make an announcement to equally trained staff responders over the intercom system of “Tom Smith, you have a call on line 1” any time a situation is making her uncomfortable at the front lobby. Choose any name that is not someone working for you – it is an announcement requesting assistance.
Risk& Vulnerability Assessments are critical as a first step in developing any security program. Law enforcement and insurance agencies both perform them without charge. It is good to modify one (after the first one done by others) to repeat annually to record progress and make certain nothing has slipped.
Event agitators are often either fishing for infractions, or getting media attention with a church as a background. Be intentional and educated in readiness for such actions. For a guide on readiness, write me and request the Best Practice for Agitators, disturbances and protests.
There are two primary ways of security personnel identification – uniformed, or non-uniformed. Non-uniformed is preferred in almost all ministry environments. Should a significant incident develop, there will be a need for identification as first responders arrive – they must be able to distinguish between the good and bad human elements on scene. Badges are good, but in a high-adrenalin incident they won’t be seen. Following are some options;
· Professional jackets that look like good usher jackets but have tactical pockets. In a security or emergency situation extra flaps are available out of the vest pocket and collar that identify SECURITY.
· Undercover (non-uniformed) local, state and federal law enforcement agents have the same concern – other responding law enforcement to their scenes also may not recognize them as the “good side”. The most dangerous time for “blue on blue” shootings is after the assailant has been engaged or disabled and multiple responders are arriving on scene. A great resource (tool) is the DSM (don’t shoot me) pull-out banner available at www.DSMsafety.com. I don’t personally carry a weapon any more unless I have this on my belt ready for deployment.
Automated Alarm Notifications: Instant notification of alarms is critical in all environments. Duress buttons (panic alarms) can instantly alert in-house support and / or notify law enforcement. There are multiple ways of accomplishing this.
· Building Management System (BMS): Get with your building controls provider to explore the options for integrating security alerts through the HVAC controls system.
· Fire Alarms System: Get with the provider of your fire alarm system and explore the options for integrating security alerts through the fire alarm system.