Doug Bedell — January 24, 2020, 11:07 am

Church Security Needs to Be Taken Seriously, Not Casually

Church security gets little formal attention, but it should, advises Tony Kooser on the Security website.

“First,” Kooser, President of Full Armor Strategic Solutions, writes, “where does a church find their security applicants? Most church security teams are comprised predominantly of volunteers. While it is possible to attract members with some form of experience, the truth is that volunteer security teams are the norm but are not taken seriously, nor should they be when it comes to the protection of a congregation.

“Second, we should ask, how do churches vet their applicants? A church may arm a member and allow them to carry a weapon and giving them permission to murder, which is a very tall order. But does the church ask for weapons certification or evidence of shooting skill or proficiency? In most cases, they do not. Instead, they simply take a person at their word. While sometimes well-intentioned, the reality is that this is extremely foolish and reckless.

“Complete training, not just shooting, but also safety, CPR, first aid, security awareness, escalation and de-escalation of force, verbal judo, tactics trauma and more must be part of a complete training program. The truth is most churches do not have a robust training program, and instead, what they have is a “come as you are and best of luck to you should something go wrong” approach. I say best of luck because most churches are not going to carry the burden of liability for an all-volunteer team with no vetting, no validation and no continuing education. Knowing this fact, churches often look for someone who is or was military or a first responder; yet again, they take the individual at their word with zero evidence of skill or formal training.”

The point is, effective security is a serious subject and needs to be taken seriously wherever it’s considered, not simply given a once-over. It’s rather like business security actually.

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