With recent developments in terror intelligence from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Houses of Worship are becoming more and more of a direct target from radicalized terror both foreign and domestic than any other time in our history. Does your House of Worship have a plan? Many churches I visit tell me, “we have retired police officer / deputy / prior military member in our congregation and he / she has set up a security team”. I ask directly, have they really? They may have some excellent training and the very best intentions but have they had formal training that gives them the scholarly credentials and knowledge to set up such a plan? Did that person create a Threat Assessment Team with specific guidelines? Did they create a written Emergency Action Plan for the congregation, Nursery, Day-Care, Sunday School Classes, Picnics or other off property events? Does your church call it a “security team”? Not a good idea if they do. Has your church created avenues to make the property a “hard target” and to identify possible troubled individuals before they strike? Do you have an Emergency Action Plan in place? Do you have an active collaborative team that can assess numerous different types of threats? What about if an attack occurs? Is it just the church staff that has been trained or has the entire congregation had the opportunity to learn the plan and become involved? Does everyone on the property fully understand the difference between the legal use of deadly force and non-lethal force? Where do your concealed carry members’ sit during the service? When it comes time to rise to the occasion, who acts and when? Church members and staff should all be trained in basic hand-to-hand self-defense along with disarming skills. You’re probably thinking, this is over the edge and it will never happen to my church. Tell that to the family members of the 9 victims of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC. (June 17, 2015) And that’s just one example of church violence.
Active Shooter Awareness and Response Training for Houses of Worship should include what I’ve mentioned previously in this article and a briefing of past active shooter events – The instructor should have personally worked such events and or personally interviewed witnesses, investigators or survivors of such events. The media, internet and other sources are just too clouded to get the actual facts out there. You absolutely must be made aware of what worked and did not work in the past unthinkable events. No active shooter attack is the same and the dynamics are changing with each attack. Were you aware that the San Bernardino Social Services attack on December 2, 2015 where 14 people were killed and 22 injured was spawned because the employees were having a Christmas party? (CHRIST-mas party with a Christian theme)
Your church needs to be a hard target with measures set up that have worked in the past and will continue to work in the future.
Take the time to see my website and what we offer. Please like my T4Tactics Facebook page. Check out my background and credentials. Ask around about T4Tactics, LLC. We never sugar coat or exaggerate information! Although many clients wish to remain confidential, we are able to provide references of past churches and businesses we’ve trained. Discounts available to Houses of Worship. (434) 444-5522 for immediate contact!