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Church security plan

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by Knopfplayer, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Knopfplayer

    Knopfplayer Salem Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I've been here for several months, but y'all must be shy about doing business with someone who hasn't introduced himself formally. I have a couple of long guns, but am not a gun nut nor a hunter. <gasp, shock> All my inlaws are, but hunting isn't my thing. I did just buy a Savage 93 for varmint shooting this spring and am really looking forward to it.

    Here's my situation. I am in leadership at our church, and run the sound system during services. Several men have recently been discussing our lack of a security plan. We make a point of locking non-essential outside doors, but that's it at the moment. Others are may be more qualified (two older Marines and several other vets that sit closer to the front,) but I'm in a good physical location since I'm always at the back of the Sanctuary. We have a good candidate for a team leader (highly qualified vet who sits near the back) but haven't asked him yet.

    What is a good way of developing a security plan that addresses both preparation and response? I know we need more than a group of CHL in the room.

    Thanks,
     
  2. netcarrier

    netcarrier Portland, Oregon Active Member

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    Hi Knopfplayer,
    After all that have went down in the last few months I would check with your church leader's and see if you could put in some people that are trained in Fireaim use and can shoot. Plus make them shoot and qualify the same as a Police Officer. If you have some persons in you church that are Police Officer that would do too. Have the persons take a shoot not shoot class also. I would go with a Person that can be seen carrying a Weapon in the church. Make sure that they move around so no one know were they maybe but can get to any place in less then a minute. Think of it this way robbers not rob were they know there could be someone that can stop them.
    Hope this helps you,
    Tony Portland, Oregon Area
     
  3. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    I sure hope the doors are able to be opened from the inside by anyone otherwise you are trapping people inside if they have to get out fast for ANY reason
     
  4. accessbob

    accessbob Molalla, OR 2A Supporter

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    We don't have a security plan that I know of but I do know that there are a fair number of CHL holders in the service at any one time. Me, I like to be able to sit where I can watch the door. I also am carrying when playing bass or guitar and that also gives me a good view of the door.
     
  5. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    We haven't formalized a plan but there are around 8 of us that I know of who carry on a regular basis. The main group of chairs is 20' from the main doors and I have an excellent field of fire from the stage and my buddy has an equally good vantage point from the sound stage. Any active shooter would be met with prompt resistance measured in FPS.
     
  6. Knopfplayer

    Knopfplayer Salem Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Thank you for the ideas. I like the shoot/no-shoot class and qualification. The range time would be good for bonding, too. We don't have any LEOs in the congregation, but one vet is in a similar occupation.

    All doors are fire exits. Securing them means releasing the crash bars and pulling them shut so they can only be opened from the outside with a key. The main entries are visible from the back of the sanctuary and the head usher keeps a pretty good eye/ear for traffic. He doesn't let unfamiliar people wander around.

    Our strategies also need to include non-weapon strategies to deal with situations. We're a small-medium congregation and an open carry would not go over well. I'm comfortable talking with my pastor about this, but would like to have the outline of a strategy before taking it to the rest of leadership in a meeting.
     
  7. parsons_12b

    parsons_12b LaPine Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I essentially run the security at my church I say it that way because while I have never been given the title as a church councilman and a Soldier with 17 years of service I feel an obligation to protect the members. I think you have a good start by making sure doors are locked the biggest thing is communication to include your Pastor and any staff that are there. My one suggestion would be keep it as low key as possible I have found some people especially our older generation have a hard time grasping the need to be vigilant and may resist the idea.
    May God bless you guy's in your endeavor.
     
  8. jdub75

    jdub75 PNW Well-Known Member

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    Pray?
     
  9. Navman

    Navman Canby Oregon Active Member

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    Right on Parsons!

    Large gatherings have the potential of luring some nut job of making a statement or ensuring the media will maintain his legacy.

    Let your Pastor know that there will be many conceal carry throughout your congregation if and when the need arises.
     
  10. WhyteCheddar

    WhyteCheddar East of Moscow by the Willamette Well-Known Member

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    IMHO security starts outside the building. Most medium to smaller churches I have been in, including mine would be easily breached by an average size vehicle. If you don't have concrete bollards, or landscaping blocking a clear path into the building then that's where I would start.
    Then I think you need someone in the foyer who is armed. Again, just my opinion, but nobody is going to be able to react fast enough to keep an armed bad guy from firing enough rounds to do major damage in a sanctuary. You might limit the carnage but it would be best to keep him outside the main room if at all possible.

    Kudos to you guys for being cognizant of the potential threat. Having even a beginning of a plan beats the heck out of no plan. Please keep he updated on your progress.
     
  11. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    First of all...great idea. It's nice to read about gun owners trying to get a plan to protect their "flock". Secondly, I think you're on the right track and you should really communicate all of this with your pastor(s) and the rest of the church staff.

    As already recommended, I wouldn't present this as an "active shooter" kind of planning to the staff. Maybe as a safety thing? Get them thinking about emergencies...say you think that there should be a "safety plan" for emergencies. Talk about first aid kits, fire extinguishers, emergency exits, assembly areas, evacuation plans- then suggest needing plans for a "crazed gunman" and how to protect people.

    You'll probably get people on board easier this way than with saying you need armed security for an active shooter. It also gets plans and preps down for more likely emergencies (like burns, chokings, heart attacks, fires, cuts, car accidents, etc.).

    Ever thought about contacting your local militia to see if they would volunteer to provide security in your church? Maybe they could just help in the parking lot? Just a thought...this is actually some of the things I've been bouncing off the local militia here in Benton County- volunteering with local community security.
     
  12. WhyteCheddar

    WhyteCheddar East of Moscow by the Willamette Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago when I was attending a church that was quite large, and had some members that were very visible in the community as pro life advocates, we had a bomb threat right in the middle of Sunday morning service.
    The congregation did a good job of following the pastors instructions to evacuate and move into a nearby annex, but there was no plan or evacuation procedure in place, at least that the congregation was aware of.
    It was a good illustration of why its a good idea to have a plan and maybe evacuation procedures or other safety information printed in the bulletin.
     
    Riot and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Harrytop

    Harrytop Tangent Active Member

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    Benton County has a militia??
     
  14. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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  15. Chromaflage

    Chromaflage Oregon Member

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    lowly monk and (deleted member) like this.
  16. greydog111

    greydog111 peoples repubilik of Oregon Active Member

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    Church Security and Church Safety Alliance for Church Security Team Training, Church Security Planning, and Church Medical Safety Team Development A good resource for training, tactics, news and advice. It is a paid membership though. I'm on a team of about ten men, most of whom are sworn officers or licensed private security.
     
  17. lowly monk

    lowly monk Beaverton, Oregon. Just a guy. Bronze Supporter

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    I'm still working on getting a de-fibulator on site and getting training for it and CPR.
     
  18. orygunmike

    orygunmike Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    You are right ... you need way, way more than a few guys carrying guns.

    On 3/15 there is a "Church Safety Conference". Here is a brief summary as described by the presenter, Detective Scott Chamberlain. I suggest you contact Canby AllianceChurch for information

    I am very pleased to announce my selection as Canby Alliance Church as the Host Church for the 2013 Spring Church Safety Conference.

    The conference dates will be Friday evening on March 15 starting around 6:30 pm (TBA) and Saturday March 16th from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm with a lunch break. PLEASE SET THE DATES ON YOUR CALENDARS! More details soon.

    Please invite your pastors, facilities personnel, law enforcement members, firefighters, medical personnel, ushers, security personnel, greeters, and parking lot attendants. Many times churches send just one or two representatives then regret not having everyone attend the training. There will be a lot for everyone


     
  19. tfbit

    tfbit Eugene, OR Active Member

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    Whenever I attend church with the wife and kids I usually find myself zoning out for about half the service, mentally working through different attack defense/medical emergency scenarios.
     
  20. glock.40

    glock.40 Orygun Active Member

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    I attend a large church 2500+ and we have a sophisticated safety and security team. We have had issues, most of them medical, but it's a great idea to have a plan in place.

    We usually have two or three individuals who are identified by wearing red lanyards with a photo I.D. the church gives them. These men and women are on a roaming pattern throughout the property - inside the building, outside, etc... We have the blessing of many LEO's attending the church, and we have asked that if you they are a LEO, that they would carry a firearm. We asked those volunteering in the Safety and Security team to not carry, simply because we don't know if they are qualified or not. **We don't ask that attendees do not carry. Concealed means concealed, right?

    Having plans for medical emergencies (heart attacks, collapsing, strokes, choking, etc...) is important because that can be very distracting. Also important is a check in and out system for the children, if not already in place. We have had separated parents try and take kids from the other parent before. Our security team has a plan for that. Individuals can be disruptive if they don't like what the pastor is preaching on (gay marriage, abortion - all the hot button issues) and that can require a persuasive escort out of the sanctuary or auditorium.

    Active shooter situation is what no one wants to deal with, especially at a church. But we have several SWAT operators that from time to time carry with them (broken down) some type of long gun that could solve that problem, if other individuals couldn't find a solution.

    It's a tough situation, but good to be prepared. IMO, a rag tag team of guys with their CHL could get the job done, but there is a lot more to think about than the least likely situation.