This is a discussion on Joined my Church's "Safety & Security" team this week...........very impressed. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Way to be proactive! Sounds like a good start to me. :)...
Way to be proactive! Sounds like a good start to me. :)
"...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
Christianity and Self Defense from a Biblical Perspective
Farronwolf- Their are no state requirements for licensure. Our city does have requirements, but our church is barely outside city limits so we're exempt from their rules. I will definitely be asking more questions as I get deeper into it, but even the procedure guidelines they gave us state this team is an "informal group" of individuals who are just watching out for threats within the church. I guess it would be just like how our nursery is not licensed as a day care center and our support groups are not always run by a licensed psychologist. I'm guessing the rules are a little gray in the religous arena. You raise a good point though, but I'm sure many of these obstacles have been looked at by one of our elders (who also happens to be an attorney in the city prosecutor's office :)
BWollard/Grantspastor- Our guidelines or "policy" is actually not very extensive. We have a total of 21 team members. We basically have 3 team members assigned to each of the two Sunday morning services, plus one county deputy who directs traffic between services and patrols the lobby during services. The goal is to have 3 team members working an official post and the deputy (all with in-ear radios on the same channel) and approximately 10 other team members who are not on a post, but are just attending that specific service with their families. I'm sure it will be nice to be working a post one Sunday and be able to look around and see 10 other guys that you know have their SA radar on full-blast and have your back at a moment's notice. Post #1 is on "pulpit duty." He sits near the front of the sanctuary, at an angle to the pulpit so he constant visual contact with the stage area and 3 of the 4 exits/entrances to the sanctuary. Post #2 is positioned near the back of the sanctuary during the service and responsibilities include watching all 4 exits/entrances (especially the exit/entrance that Post #1 has his back to) and identifying any potential threats as they enter the sanctuary. Post #3 is the "gatekeeper" for the children's area. Duties include making sure all parents and children entering the children's area have properly checked-in on the computer and received their sticker/tags and passwords. He also checks tags when parent's are taking their children out. If you've had any experience with churches, you already know that many family custody disputes seem to surface at church. It's a sad reality. Also, the three individuals on a post that day wear a black polo with the church logo on it. This is a discreet way to easily identify the security workers for the day. Church staff members also wear polos of different colors depending on where they work (nursery, teens, etc.), so simply seeing someone in a church polo does not scream "Security Guy!!!"
DoctorBob/miklcolt45- The Gift of Fear is simply the most useful book I've ever read. I give a copy to anyone who truly wants one. Our church background checks anyone who works with our youth. As a security team, our job is not to "handle" any family issues that may erupt at church. Our job is to try and diffuse the situation and have the involved parties handle the issues outside of view of the rest of the congregation. I've been told we have an annual training called "handling difficult people" that I guess addresses some of these issues. Fortunately, if we can't handle a volatile situation, our on-duty sheriff's deputy is only a few steps away at all times. We are not to use force on someone who is just upset or non-compliant with what we tell them to do. We call the deputy for that stuff. Now, if that person is an immediate/dangerous threat to ourselves or another church member, that would be handled immediately to protect the safety of those involved. Also, yes we do have specific procedures for fires and natural disasters.
Lambo969- Contemporary non-denominational Christian church. In other words, we don't argue about the color of the carpet!!
deafdave3- Funny. Churches Chicken crossed my mind when I started typing this post :)
Carry on my friend~~
Smith & Wesson SW9VE
Smith & Wesson M&P 15
How are you handling communications while on the job with each other, the person in charge, and police/fire/ems?
Carry on my friend~~
Smith & Wesson SW9VE
Smith & Wesson M&P 15
sounds like your church has a good start on things there
very similar to mine
our team has current commissioned officers/deputies, retired officers, and former military working as security
we have radios with earpieces and can communicate with each other, the main office, nursery, and facilities director...who is in his office with another member of the team at all services/functions watching the TVs/monitors for all our security cameras helping alert us to things or call 911 when we need assistance/uniform to respond
we have people roaming halls and at posts in front and back of the sanctuary during services
we do background checks on all nursery workers, teachers, and employees
Certified Glock Armorer
"I got a touch of hangover bureaucrat, don't push me"
Independence is declared; it must be maintained. Sam Houston-3/2/1836
If loose gun laws are good for criminals why do criminals support gun control?
congrats to the op. at my church there is background checks on all kids workers, and blacklight measures for picking up children. they pen in black light ink the family number on the kids hand and the parents hands. only proper numbers means you can pick up the kid. hand wash safe of course takes a day or two to come off. our church doesnt have a security team but we are working on it. got several hcps(tn) we all talk and chat it up pre service and make note of where we are sitting.
Sounds like a good church with a good plan on protecting the flock.
Our Safety and Security Team now has nineteen members--mostly active LEO, one private investigator (me); one ops mgr for a security company; one retired LEO and three civilians with CCW, and two unarmed civilians. And we always have at least one and often times, two off-duty police officers on hand.
We just finished (and had the church approve) our policy manual--can't believe it took us this long to get it cranked up. Only twenty two pages, but we did it. Biggest hang up were liability issues--several area police agencies require their people to carry off-duty, but if they are out of jurisdiction(and most would be, at our church), the agency will not accept liability for their actions. Finally we were able to get the church to cover us from a liability point of view.
We have two Sunday services and lots of activities on Wednesday nite. On Sunday, we provide an Office of the Day--the OD mans a command post off to the side of the main lobby. We have one unarmed member at the entrance to the children's area and another at the entrance of the youth area. Two armed security folks in the sanctuary and one addition armed security person assigned to cover the pastor. The security person assigned to the pastor picks him up when the pastor first arrives at church about an hour and fifteen minutes before church begins and stays with him until he goes home about five hours later. That person is bound by the seven-foot rule--he never lets the pastor get more than seven feet away. This person sits on the front row at an angle so he/she can see virtually everything.
We also have at least one or two additional armed security folks roving throughout the building, during every service. Everybody has two-way radios with ear pieces--everybody is plain clothes. Each of us carry a plastic ID badge that we could clip onto our shirt should the need arise--but that rarely happens.
During the offering, one of the security team stays with the offering as it is being dumped into a large salesman type briefcase; a second agent stands off to the side observing and checking for anything suspicious. A third team member clears the hallway outside the sanctuary and calls the elevator and locks it down, waiting for the collection team to arrive. Of course they stand by while the offering is sorted and placed into the safe.
Also have a two-person medical response team in the church all day Sunday--these are RN's/paramedics--they also have radios and earpieces.
We field a six person parking lot crew during before and after each service--all unarmed, all civilians, all wearing safety vests and they have radios--on their own channel. Primary objective is to keep the traffic moving and to welcome visitors.
Lastly, we have conducted several training sessions for the parking lot crew and the First Impressions Ministry Team. The First Impression folks are the door greeters; lobby hosts/hostesses; roving hosts/hostesses. The training teaches them to be "active lookers"--meaning they are looking for anything out of the ordinary--anything suspicious. They are strictly "observe and report"--they take no action on their own--but wow, what a valuable group of folks they are. Their extra eyes and ears serve the church extremely well.
We've come along way in two years--but we've still got work to do.
Good for you and your church. 75% of US churches do nothing for security, and you folks are well ahead of the game.
christiansecuritynetwork.org and churchsecurityalliance.com are a couple sites that have info and ideas if you're looking for something to chew on.
+1 to those proactive enough to protect the flock during services and also to those who've had the foresight on security for years.
Unfortunately, the Elders at my church 'don't see a need for it' [baa]. My dad is the minister and strongly urged them to start a program, but his words, like usual, fall on deaf ears.
Meanwhile, we HOPE and PRAY that nothing bad happens, but I also believe that FAITH without WORKS is dead and that we should be proactive in protecting the flock.
NRA Life Member since 2010
It is sad that security is needed at church but in this day and age it is a necessity.
I know this is an old forum post, but thought I would add the following link for Consultant Tina Lewis Rowe. Her material is extremely helpful.
She also has seminars to train church security team leaders so they can properly setup policy manuals and train their teams.
Tina Lewis Rowe
evil does not respect the sanctity of the church.
church safety and security
I have also been after our church to look in to a AED (Automatic Electronic Defibulator). We have quite a few "experienced" members that have heart issues. There should also be set plans for weather and power issues in my opinion.