Think About it ...

 One Mad Momma!

This week is a short TAI as I want my readers to watch what went down recently in the Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. Follow the USA Today link in the blue box, read the story, and watch the video links. Then come back and ask yourself the questions below.

There are 2 video links in the article. Watch the one at the top of the page first, then the next one. They show the same incident at different stages. 

Think About it,

This was an event where the church had leased it’s facilities to a local school for commencement. Do you lease your church out for events? If so, what are your rules for security? Do you provide it, or require the leasee to provide their own security and / or extra-duty law enforcement? Requiring the leasee to provide their own security in the form of extra-duty law-enforcement may be a worthy consideration. 

Like some basketball games and other events, we see it is the parents that embarrass the kids. If you didn't hear it the first time, watch stage 1 of the incident again and listen to "Pomp and Circumstance" play in the background. Imagine your child or grandchild walking out so proud after completing their first major accomplishment, then looking up in the balcony to see this mess..

The videos make for some good drill materials for your next exercises. The first stage video shows the incident starting off. By the time they had her cuffed and ready for law-enforcement, you see (and hear) a different video taker expressing shock over what they are doing to the woman (he obviously hadn’t seen stage 1 and came upon a scene that made no sense to him so he just started videoing).

Assume everything you do will be videoed then displayed on you-tube for the world to judge your performance, and the attorneys for the guy (or gal as in this case) to play in front of a jury.

Would your team have done anything differently?

Pray for the good team at Bellevue Baptist. This isn’t their first rodeo and they have had a security operation for much longer than most churches in the U.S. They will survive this storm, but we should lift them up. The next video might be on your team.

And Last week's TAI,


Situational Awareness and Church Security

My brother recently sent me an article by Brett and Kate Mckay as published in “The Art of Manliness” website. The article was entitled, “How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne.” It is a very good (and even fun) read, and I encourage you to go to the website as seen below to read it.


I like the advice given in that article, and I thought of something I do that might catch on for others as we hone our situational awareness every day.

When our children were coming of age to appreciate good movies, we rented the movie “Karate Kid” for them. This was a very well done movie I would recommend. The applicable part to this subject is “wax on, wax off.”

In the movie, the student (Daniel, as played by Ralph Macchio) was exasperated by the training of the master (Mr. Miyagi as played by Pat Morita). Daniel wanted to throw punches, exercise, jump, kick and yell. But Mr. Miyagi instead made the boy wax his cars and paint his fence. The student didn’t understand that the discipline, motor skills and muscle memory were developing his karate skills.

So, with that backdrop I want to suggest something to every one of you in the field of situational awareness training. Driving.

I started using time behind the wheel many years ago as a de-escalation skill (an attempt to protect myself and others from those prone to road rage). As agents of protection, we should not allow the actions of others to get under our skin. Highways and side streets are great places to practice that skill daily (an even better place to practice it daily is at home with our spouses and children).

But now I want to propose driving time as situational awareness development. Take it beyond defensive driving as you hone situational awareness skills.

The roadways are a daily dynamic experience of watching people who are angry, reckless, careless and clueless. It is amazing how they can see brake lights at some distance ahead, but rush right into it until it forces them to romp, skid and swerve. The warning signs were there. Don’t do that.

Have your companion surprise you occasionally by asking you to tell him or her what vehicle(s) are behind you without you looking in the mirror.

See how well you can describe an aggressive driver’s vehicle after that vehicle is out of site. Was it 2 or 4 doors? What color, and what was the license plate? How many good vehicle descriptions (with license plates) can you retain accurately at any one time?

Even when you come to a stop, that is a good time to be aware of both vehicular and pedestrian activity around you.

On October 12, 2011 an angry ex-husband went to where his ex-wife worked at the Salon Meritage hair salon in Seal Beach California. He walked in and killed her, and 6 other people inside the salon. Then, as people were fleeing in every direction from that salon, he came out behind them. A 64-year-old man was outside in his Land-Rover which happened to be sitting next to the killer’s vehicle. The killer shot and killed him as he sat behind the wheel. He was probably there visiting an adjacent café. Some witnesses reported the man in the Land Rover didn’t appear to know anything was happening.


Think About it…

Even in a parking lot, you should be very aware of what is happening all around you all the time.

Training is the most sought after thing that church security teams ask about. This is a good way to self-train on situational awareness.

Try to never be hemmed in at a stoplight. I like enough distance between me and the vehicle in front of me that I can move. If possible, I like an exit route.

When someone is passing me, my caution goes up a bit if I notice their window is down. Just as they are about even, I will quickly slow down and am extra watchful as that open window goes by.

Your body can’t go where your mind hasn’t been. Consider any strange development on the roadways as a potential issue and be prepared.

You can’t do this while texting. If you’re like me you want to be accomplishing multiple things all the time. Replace texting and reading e-mails with SA training. The life you save could be your own. Note to self.

George Carlin once quipped (about driving the freeways), “Ever notice that anybody going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?” If this is you, perhaps you have a little road rage that needs checked at the on-ramp too.


This section is updated every Sunday morning to give church security teams some things to think about as they prepare for weekend services. I wish your team the very best and hope you may find occasional things applicable to your operations.

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