On August 20, 21 and 22, Gatekeepers Security Services™ came to Colorado. I was honored to be a part of graduating the first class of Colorado Gatekeepers™ certified professionals.
In three days of lecture, mat and range time, 16 men and 1 woman got their CSO (Church Security Operator) certifications.
It was a significant event for me. 10 years ago I was telling people the greatest need in our field was acceptance. While there are still pockets of pastors who do not accept the responsibility of intentional protection for their people, those mindsets are much less prevalent than in years past.
Now the greatest need is for training. While I am honored to travel and speak in conferences, we cannot teach applicable concepts, defensive tactics, legal considerations and confirm student comprehension in a “touch and go” type seminar. Those seminars have a place and we must keep doing them. But we also must be training.
In the first day of class an attorney presented laws specific to Colorado. As a security operator can you use a baton in your state? What if it is expandable? Can you legally frisk someone? Don’t answer too quickly – be able to quote the legal reference.
Law enforcement officers know the answers well. You should know them just as well and know where the applicable laws, regulations and ordinances are that govern all of your activities as a civilian protection professional.
Also on the 1st day was plenty of class lecture time. Students heard about things such as the levels of the response continuum, totality of circumstances, de-escalation tactics and why they should be familiar with the mandibular angle, common peroneal and the infra-orbital,
The third day was “class and mats” time. Students learned AND APPLIED defensive tactics. There is nothing like sweat and contact to demonstrate the right ways to strike, hold, or restrain a combative individual.
Only on the third day were there any firearms. The Gatekeepers™ team is not training shooting skills (not in the CSO class anyway) – they are testing and qualifying your shooting skills. While the Gatekeepers™ do have a training course in Texas – students are cautioned to have those skills developed (either by attending shooting skills development training at Gatekeepers™ in Texas or through local training talents) before they enter the CSO program.
If students are not an accomplished shooter already, they will not pass the course of fire used by Gatekeepers™ as their qualification course.
By the end of the third day, very little blood had leaked, but the stock value of Ibuprofen may have gone up a little. Most importantly, the students experienced the real feel and the real deal of professional security operations.
While this program does not compete with (and even encourages) local or regional training talents, this is the only seasoned training program bringing consistent security operations standards across the U.S, dedicated to only the faith-based community. If anyone knows of another program that meets all those descriptors I would like to know about it.
Think About it…
Ø If you are not training, you are not ready.
Ø If you are ever on the witness stand for actions you have taken as a professional security operator, your answers should be professional. You cannot be professional without having been trained in the profession.
Ø There are still many churches training their teams only on shooting skills. They can bless you or kill you – nothing in between. Do not make this mistake in your training.
Ø I’ve had well-meaning professionals tell me they simply would not allow their operators to make an arrest. But you want them ready to shoot?
Ø I have experienced high intensity incidents before I had training. Now I have witnessed (and partaken of) good training. To ever go back into a deadly encounter without training would not be interesting to me at all. Write or call the Gatekeepers™ professionals today at INFO@NOCSSM.ORG (or call 972-712-8818) to see about bringing a Gatekeepers™ course to your area.
And last week’s TAI …
Two of my favorites portions of Old Testament reading are from Nehemiah and I Chronicles. Nehemiah is the model not only for security, but for restoring Godly principles to a wounded and fallen society.
You see the security principles we learned from Nehemiah were simply evidence of the actions he took as he set about on his great calling. To have a king ask, “What do you want?” (Neh 2:4) was no insignificant question. Nehemiah answered carefully that he wanted to rebuild Jerusalem -- the land of his people. The King granted it and sent Nehemiah with favor and resources.
Even with such a powerful endorsement, we know how Nehemiah ran into trouble as he embarked on his mission.
In Nehemiah 4:8-9, we see that, “They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.”
More evidence of the trouble is seen in verses 13-18; “… I stationed some of the people … with their swords, spears and bows. (I said)… “Don’t be afraid of them…fight for your families… From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. … Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side…
Through the entire 4th chapter, and spotted through the rest of the story we see evidence of resistance overcome by that theme of prayer and action (not only one or the other) until the mission was accomplished.
Now switch gears with me for a moment and let’s step back to a time 600 years before Nehemiah. Consider the story of David’s mighty men.
As we read of those mighty men in 1st Chronicles 11, we see that Jashobeam killed 300 men with his spear in one encounter (verse 11). Eleazar led his troops to victory by standing firm in a defensive move after those troops had fled in fear (verse 14). Abishai killed 300 men with his spear as well (verse 20). Then my personal favorite of the mighty men – Benaiah. Verse 25 sums up Benaiah’s exploits by chronicling how he became the leader of the bodyguard detail to David. I Kings the first chapter is a great place to read of how he remained loyal to David long after David’s sword was hung on the wall.
But what was it that made all these men tick? There was real blood on their swords, so we know they faced real enemies. This wasn’t just spiritual warfare – these men all looked death in the eye. What motivated them to stand in the face of such danger?
Take a look at 1 Chronicles 11:15-19. In a moment of rest from a long-standing war with many battles, the mighty men heard their leader (David) say (perhaps in a state of exhaustion), “Oh for some water from home.” Three of those men broke through enemy lines for nothing but to bring David water from home which seemed so far away.
And look at Nehemiah the first chapter. Upon hearing the condition of his beloved homeland and people, he sat down and wept, then fasted and prayed for days (verse 4). In the 5th through the 11th verses we see the famous “Nehemiah’s prayer” as he poured his heart out to God. Acknowledging the sins that had brought his people and his land into their current state of disorder, he interceded for them and sought favor to do something about it.
Think About it…
Ø I first heard Lt. Col. (ret.) Dave Grossman say it, and these passages support his position on fear. As you work to protect the people of your congregation, make sure you never forget that;
Love is the opposite of fear
Additional references by Dave Grossman;
Ø I John 4:18 (NIV); “…perfect love drives out fear…”
Ø II Timothy 1:7 (KJV); “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”