May 30th, 2008 08:54 AM
We have just seen the fourth church shooting incident so far this year, 2008 and the trend seems to be increasing. It seems that more of the crazy people have decided that the church is responsible for their problems or in many cases, a gun free area to attack a former girlfriend, wife, etc.
Many churches have recently decided to get very serious about taking responsibility for their own security. In the past 4 years I have assisted about 10 churches get a security team started. In reviewing most of the active shooter incidents, church, school or malls, it has become apparent that the duration of the incident is less than 6 to 8 minutes. In a majority of the incidents, the shooter continues until he runs out of victims or someone in authority shows up where the shooter then kills himself. The notable exceptions to this are the Trolley Square and the New Life Church. In Trolley Square an off duty police officer distracted the shooter until the PD showed up. This off duty officer essentially tied up the shooter and he could not continue freely killing. In New Life, a volunteer female security team member successfully stopped his killing just inside the door.
Protecting against the active shooter is one of the highest concerns but there is a extensive list of services that a volunteer security team can provide. You need a plan of action if you decide to move forward in proposing and creating a team at your church. The results of your efforts will be dramatically affected by your planning, and if you plan incorrectly the results can reflect poorly on your church, pastor, and membership.
The following list of action items will provide a framework to start implementing your churches safety team.
The Task List
1. Evaluation church risk.
2. Developing a written plan to present to the Pastors and Board for getting their support
3. Finding the team (It may require some investment)
4. Establishing a Team Policy Handbook Procedures and Responses
5. Selection Security Team Members (STM).
6. Training of Team Members Policy/Procedures.
7. Selection of Equipment Radios, Flashlights, Team Identification ( Shirts, Name plates, Etc), Firearms, ASP, OC, Etc.
8. Establishing incident reports, report logs, etc.
9. Announcing the team to the members without causing panic (Why does the Church need a Security Team?)
10. Building relationships with the local Police and Fire Departments
11. Maintaining the ST without burning out the members (Staff so you and they dont work every weekend)
12. Requiring in service training to maintain an edge
13. Understanding that you are NOT Police Officers
14. The time frame for initial and total implementation of the Team
15. Creating the Bond of Christian Men in the team
If anyone needs additional information on getting a team started please contact me at Church Security Member.
Best of Luck JackJ
May 30th, 2008 09:51 AM
Excellent task list. thanks
Facts are negotiable, perceptions are not.
May 30th, 2008 10:10 AM
JackJ (and the rest of you) awesome info and items to think about. Having grown up in First Baptist Church Dallas and seeing the ear pieces walking around always made me wonder "why?" until the past few years when I got my head out of my... well, you know, and start paying attention to the World around me (having kids will do that to you quickly) has made me realize why and that to be sure I and mine are safe is to rely on myself and God's graces.
But it is nice to know that there are others out there who are willing to stand on that wall and lay down their life for another if it is asked of them. I have made it a strong point to teach my kids that the training they are receiving in Martial Arts is to only be used to defend themselves and those who can't, I pray that they grow up and like many of those on this posting and this forum and will be willing to defend others who can't.
Thanks for all the great info and tips, as my family looks for a new church closer to home I hope to become a part of the "Safety Team" if they have one or to help start one if they don't.
"Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt
May 30th, 2008 03:45 PM
Considering the four church shootings in 2008, what would be the probabilities of any particular church experiencing such happening?
I wonder how many church meetings have been held in 2008? I suspect it is over a million, and maybe several million. If we consider slightly over 20 weeks, and thousands of churches meeting every week and some three times per week, the probability seems pretty insignificant to me.
I don't put down some degree of security, but some are willing to leave their church if they can't carry or have a security program. If one is in a good church, security is of little to no significance to me. One in how many millions have been killed in church?
If it is permissible to carry in church, then do so if you desire. But I have to admit that the students I have seen in our classes do not on the average shoot so well that I would want them shooting in a church under any circumstances other than at point blank range.
May 30th, 2008 04:09 PM
I didn't read through the whole thread, but at my church we have a couple of staff security people, who's main job is to maintain our security system (going online in a month! Controlled access and all that jazz), but also to coordinate and schedule our volunteers and to schedule the uniformed police. We have probably 2-8 plainclothes volunteers for any service (depending on the usual size of the service we schedule different numbers of people) who are comprised of off duty LEO members and trained members with CHL's (most are LEO though), and then 1-4 uniformed officers. They patrol and double check that doors that should be locked stay locked and that no one gets out of hand... We've had a few instances of crazies following the pastor up on stage and whatnot... But there's always been someone there to take care of it.
My boss and I are also planning on getting our CHL's and carrying as well, since one of the two of us are always working the services.
May 30th, 2008 05:53 PM
At my church we have a lot of CCW's. We have had two permit classes given at our church and have had about 60 people go through. Our pastor is the one that got this going as an outreach program. On any given Sunday morning I would say there are 15 - 30 CCW's there. I am going to try and get all the CCW's together and see who brings on a regular basis. I have set up the security as 5 man teams. I have at least 1 CCW on each team. I have 2people walking the buildings, 2 walking the parking lots and 1 stays in the children's building. What is scary is our church is growing so fast and it is hard to keep a eye on all the new/strange people that are coming. Our church is very, very casual and we seem to bring in a lot of folks that have addictions of all kind. The Lord has blessed us in many ways, and I am thankful that we have not had any incidents.
May 30th, 2008 08:34 PM
Originally Posted by cw38305
Out of curiosity, do you have any way to determine the competency of the CCWs?
I have posted that in the classes we train for CCW few really have the skills to do any shooting around a crowd. How do you certify them?
May 30th, 2008 11:11 PM
You hand select your inner circle of church CHL "security" team. Then you train together often.
"Eternity is Too Long to be Wrong"
Texas CHL Instructor & Holder & Utah CFP Instructor
NRA Instructor & Life Member
Member TSRA, USCCA, TCHA
Christian, Heterosexual, Pro-2A, Pro-Life, Conservative, Common Sense American
May 31st, 2008 01:09 AM
Hey Jerry, I agree with you that few CCW really have the skills to do any shooting around a crowd. The guys that are on our team are ex military, retired police and a couple of guys that are civilians that train with the local S.O. A captain on the S.O. that goes to church with us has given his input.
Originally Posted by JerryM
May 31st, 2008 11:23 AM
Originally Posted by cw38305
May 31st, 2008 03:02 PM
I'm confused here ...
I hold a Texas CHL.
I'd very much like to carry in Church, but currently I leave my handgun safely secured and locked in my car.
To my knowledge Texas Cocealed Handgun Laws under PC 46.035.(b)(6) says:
PC §46.035. UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSE HOLDER. ...
(6) on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established
place of religious worship.
I understand and totally agree with the reasons & cautions well laid out in this thread ... but unless I missed something, from the posts out of Texas site members here, one could be led to think it's lawful to carry in a Church in Texas (not talking about a LEO or Security person but a CHL holder.) As far as I can tell it's not legal, and I don't think a Pastor's permission can override the law.
If my Church atmosphere required I be in condition "orange" all the time, why I could see need to break the law. If that was the case though I'd go to a different Church. I do my best to always be in "yellow", so I'd like to carry in Church, like I do 24/7 everywhere else where it's legal. Certainly possibility does exist for "orange" and then "red" in Church ... so certainly I'd like to see the law changed.
In Romans Chapter 13 we're told to submit to governing authorities.
Everyone has to make their own decisions with regard to weighing risk. I'd very much like to carry in Church. There is a risk here though that someone might figure out I'm carrying, and then prosecute me within the law. Obviously we agree that not everybody in church are the good guys ... an anti-gun person could easily feel justified in taking me down. Is it worth it to risk my CHL, my handgun and possibly worse outcome?
Well, I offer this as just more to contemplate ...
Please don't take it as critcism in any way of those CHL's in Texas who do carry in Church.
... because I agree with ya!
But I do think it's appropriate to know that it's against the law.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I want to carry 24/7 everywhere I can.
May 31st, 2008 09:41 PM
You're missing a little bit of the law... just a little ways down from what you quoted is this:
(i)AASubsections (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (c) do not apply
if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.
Therefore, without accurate 30.06 compliant signage, you may carry on church premises (as well as hospitals, amusement parks, and government meetings if I read this correctly). Most places make sure to have the correct signage up, however I have never seen a church with it posted.
I found that on the Texas statutes website (actually I found the whole law there)
May 31st, 2008 11:54 PM
Thankyou KevinDooley very much!
I was not aware of the "do not apply" portion you've pointed out.
Guess who'll be carrying in Sunday School & Church service tomorrow? My Church has no Section 30.06 notice posted.
You've set me straight and helped me out and I greatly appreciate it.
June 1st, 2008 08:21 AM
I'd agree,however, I believe unless there is some kind of Sopranos-type hit that targets someone in the church, it's going to be some deranged whacko like the one in CO. And let's face it, as soon as a bullet comes their way(whether it hits or not), they will turn the gun on themselves, because these are punks who don't want to feel the pain of getting hit and surviving.
Originally Posted by cw38305
"The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree..."
Nunn v. State GA 1848
June 1st, 2008 04:01 PM
The Real Reason for the Church Security Team
A little more food for thought
Let's address a couple of reasons for a church to start a team.
1 - What is the primary reason to start a security team? Safety of the members and guests.
Although the recent church violence has provided a kick in the pants to get some churches to start looking at security, the primary benefit is really have a group of watchmen to look after the family. Over the past 6 years my team has dealt with about 5 heart attacks, 2 potential strokes, at least 20 minor play injuries in the toddler area, 2 early pregnancy's, several dehydrated people, 4 or 5 of the elderly who have fallen, probably 15 plus small kids who lost their parents, 2 bi-polar people, three with broken bones, one stalker of college girls, 2 sexual predators, 5 fall festivals, 6 concerts in the facility, 4 major seminars, and a get out the vote rally in 2004 with Shaun Hannity, Bill Bennett, Ollie North and Neil Boortx. We have had up to 3,000 people at some of these events.
In none of these events did any staff member need to draw a weapon. But we cared for a lot of people and looked over the groups to make sure that all were safe. We were prepared to evacuate them in case of a fire, move them to safe areas if we had a tornado, and treat them if there was a medical need. Many times we just needed to talk to a person who was having a problem and needed to talk.
The primary reason to start a team is because we care for the members and guests of our churches and need to have care givers in place.
2 Due Diligence
A second reason is to know that we have done Due Diligence. The definition of Due diligence in civil litigation (also known as due care) is the effort made by an ordinarily prudent person or reasonable party to avoid harm to another party. Failure to make this effort may be considered negligence.
The churches insurance company may not be willing to cover the awards in a lawsuit claiming the church permitted a violent event to happen if they believe the church has not completed their due diligence. This could be to a child who walked out of a toddler area, a fire exit that was filled with summer schools items, a child taken by a parent with custodial rights, a robbery in a dark parking lot, a physical assault or lastly an active shooter. Although the number of assaults and shootings in churches is rare, it is increasing. If a team has been proposed and the church management team declined to implement it, can the church be held liable for the incident? Will the insurance company say the church in negligent and decline to pay a multi million dollar award?
With the noted rise in church violence you need to think about these items:
1. You have a duty to protect the church family and visitors
2. Do you provide reasonable protection for those in the facility
3. Do you do background check for staff and volunteers?
4. There is a tremendous amount on published incident on church violence, sexual misconduct, poor facility maintenance issues causing accidents.
5. Have you reviewed the above items
6. Have you completed a risk assessment?
3 Peace of Mind for the church body
Can you live with yourselves if a child is assaulted or kidnapped by a predator or non-custodial parent?
Can the church pay a 1 or 2 million dollars or more settlement in a lawsuit and survive if the insurance company decided you have not met due diligence standards?
The reality of the team is it is really there to be a servant based ministry to help people as well as keep them safe from a multitude of events.
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