Church Violence and Security
This past week a man in Ohio was charged with attempted murder, a first degree felony, when he broke into a church building and stabbed a woman multiple times. Police reports say that the man forced his way into the church by breaking in. The man is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. This incident happened on a Wednesday afternoon in broad daylight. At this time, there is no report of motive, but the reports say that the man was known my church members.
Church Security is a Hot Topic
It used to be that this type of crime in a church building happened once or twice a year. Now we are seeing it almost weekly across the US. Church security is a hot topic among church leaders and parishioners alike. No longer can we keep every door in the church open all day and not expect something to happen. It is a slippery slope to have a warm and inviting facility and also have an active church security policy.
We are seeing churches of all sizes commit to some level of church security. Some churches are simply providing unarmed volunteers to keep watch over the facility and church members each time the building is open. It’s a great way to get retired security and law enforcement church members involved. Taking into account their experience as a valuable asset to church security and the church.
Church Security Teams help with everyday operations
Other churches, mainly the larger mega church types, are using armed plain clothes and uniformed church security teams to help with every day operations. This really is nothing new to the larger churches who for years have used off duty law enforcement to help from traffic and crowd control to personal protection for pastor, staff and congregation. The new element is having trained PPO officers who focus exclusively on the pastor and family.
Whatever size church you attend or lead there needs to be a church security plan. Door access and watch teams would be a great place to start. Inform your membership that certain little steps need to be in place to make your facility a safer more secure place for everyone to enjoy. It really doesn’t take a lot of money to get started. A couple of radios and a plan and you are in business. A quick search of the internet will show a couple of dozen companies that specializing in helping your church get up to speed on church security.