​​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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                                          Considering security operations through a new view

My wife and I are making changes in our kitchen. We have lived in this house for 27 years. One thing that has bugged us all that time, is how close the dishwasher (in the north cabinets) is to the stove (in the west cabinets). 

The problem got worse with a new oven. The dishwasher door only comes down as far as the handle on the oven’s bottom storage door (a minor annoyance when unloading the bottom tray).  We’ve considered moving the oven or the dishwasher just enough to avoid the conflict.

Recently, one of my wife’s friends dropped by (with her daughter) to see our kitchen project. My wife explained the difficulties associated with the close appliances. Her friend’s daughter asked, “Why don’t you just take off the drawer handle?” 

It took five minutes.

Long ago, Paul Harvey told of a young mother showing her daughter how to prepare a roast. The little girl asked why she cut the ends off the roast. The young mother said she didn’t really know; that’s just how her mother taught her. They called Grandma. Grandma said she didn’t really know; it was how her mother had taught her. 

So, Grandma asked Great Grandma why she cut the ends off the roast. Great Grandma was puzzled, not recalling that. Then she remembered. When she was a young mother teaching her daughter to cook, she had a very small roasting pan. Almost any roast would need trimmed to fit that pan.

I am reading the book, “In The Company of Heroes” (by Michael J. Durant, the Blackhawk Helicopter pilot captured in Mogadishu in 1993). 

On page 151 he wrote, “If you’re serious about being a pilot, every time you go up you learn something new. … When you think there’s nothing more to learn, you should probably hang up your wings.” 

Think About it…

Have you been performing your role for a long time? It might be a good time to hear new things. That sound could come from unlikely sources, or from trusted professionals.

If you lead security at your facility, consider swapping that role with a trusted security leader of another facility for one day. Then discuss what you each observed from the others’ operations.

Then have some of your team do it too.

You just might learn some new and better things.   

And last week's TAI,

                                                             Shut the gate for Pete’s sake.

We had a saying where I come from; “It’s easier to shut the gate once the horses are out.” That makes more sense to those who’ve had to round up loose horses. 

Farm life teaches good choices. Learning good choices comes from making poor ones. We were kids ourselves once and know how easy it was to be in a hurry going through a gate, with no time to close it. We all opened a gate in a hurry sometime, then not seeing livestock within a mile, left it open because we knew we’d be right back through it and would shut it then. 

Horses are the worst. Once they’ve cleared a forbidden gate, they get demon-possessed. Most who grew up around them know the experience of trying to get them back in. It ain’t easy.

Few gates take more than one minute to shut, but I’ve spent some entire nights looking for livestock that got out (“got out” is proper and common English in farm country). Once I’d gotten them back through the gate into their pasture, shutting that gate was the easiest thing I’d done in hours. 

Recently, some Seventh-Day Adventist Church / School officials in St. Joseph, MI learned they had been scammed out of over $200,000.oo in the last seven years. This was a simpler scam than even the latest greatest malware detection software could have found.

It was done by the secretary / treasurer of the church school. She allegedly got away with $229,000.oo by making personal charges on the ministry credit card, creative automated payments, cash trickles and even direct fund transfers into her own accounts.

This is a town of less than 9,000 people. She was trusted. Her husband was a Sheriff’s office commander. 

She was a long way from the gate.

Think About it

When it comes to vigilance, churches aren’t well known for it. 

It is highly likely, that if a security consultant had recommended stricter controls to that church leadership a year ago, nothing would have been done. It would have been too much effort for too little risk. 

The horses were too far away to be concerned.

That church has now sent a letter to all members stating, “stricter internal controls and tighter systems of accountability have been implemented.” 

Yeah, it’s easier now.

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