We began working towards securing our church facility over a year ago. Sadly, we are in a time where we must consider these kind of problems! This is because there are Evil people working for The Evil One; who hate everything church stands for! Obviously church can not become an armed camp, but we need to do everything we can to make it as safe as possible, with passive means
The amount of time you must secure your facility is based on the closest law enforcement hub in your area. Once you have committed to this path, bring in these police assets to troubleshoot your plan, and facility. We will be adding a covered porch out front for weather protection, so that we can use six inch diamter steel poles filled with concrete to hold up this roof structure. This would stop any car from crashing into the front door and bypassing any security we have added there. It also will not bother our church goers, because they will never know it is there. Layered hidden protection is our goal here.
I hope this draft security document starts a discussion at your church! Smaller churches can scale this down, and use what they can to help secure their facility. ANY security is better than none! Let your building fight for you, buildings can be fixed, but people can not be replaced! Some churches will not want to have armed church member in their facility, but even removing that completely, the rest of the plan can still be a valuable add to church security!
Church security is a journey, with continual improvements along the way. But like a journey, you can NOT arrive, until you start! Please start Now, so you do Not have to grieve later.
I am not an expert, but I will try to help if you have any questions
'DRAFT of the security protocol for XOXOXO
The intent of this procedure is to protect the congregation from armed assault while they are in church.
Some changes will need to be done to the facility, and some new equipment will be needed. Facility changes will include installing a control switch into the welcome area by the front door to activate the electromagnetic lock system, AND disable the motion sensor to a buzzed access only lock. Also in this welcome area we will need the video monitor screen that is currently in the room where the offering is sorted. The cell phone repeater needs to be fixed. This new area will be called the security control area (SCA), which must remain locked. Normal operation of this area can continue in parallel with the SCA operation. A land line phone, as well as a backup cell phone need to be in the SCA when the building is open. We need to locate enough locking rooms that all the sheep can fit. Travel from the sanctuary to the education building is NOT advised, as it presents a tempting target through the glass.
New equipment should include radios to link the Shepherds and Sheepdogs together under direction of the Shepherd running the SCA. An RF linked camera should be added to show the parking lot from the south west corner, for earlier warning of threats. A Second electromagnetic lock on the outside door is recomended, as it will cause an additional delay, since delay is our primary goal. We also need some class 2 body armor (recommend 2nd chance brand) for the Sheepdogs. We need a specific first aid kit, that is locked up, for response if someone does get hit. We must train on this kit because knowing how to apply a tourniquet, pressure dressing, and / or hemostatic agent can save a church member, or shooter, once they are stopped. We need hard wired alarms (Or Radios) in the kitchen, but especially in the Children's church; that signal lock down! We need to look at insurance Like USCCA, either to cover the whole church, or to cover the individual sheepdogs legal costs directly.
We will divide the people into four groups;
- Members of our flock (church family) that need protection from harm we will call the Sheep.
- The children will be called Lambs
- Those designated to re-position the sheep for their optimal safety, usually deacons, will be called Shepherds.
- Those designated to actively intercept intruders who intend harm. will be referred to as Sheepdogs, and should be deacons (or other designated members) with Concealed Carry.
After we finish with this procedure, we should ask the Sheriffs Department to review and comment on it. They may also provide a walk through review of the facility. I understand that they offer training for this specific problem.
Security procedure for XOXOXOXOXO
Responsibilities for the Shepherd running the SCA are as follows:
- Watch the monitor to access possible threats.
- Call the security team (both Sheepdogs and Shepherds) to report questionable people (a possible incursion) coming to the front door by transmitting “Check, front door”. Part of the security team will move to intercept and follow this person without raising questions.
- Notify the security team of an active incursion by transmitting “Armageddon” to the team, to begin full security response.
- Electromagnetically lock the front door to deny access to the incursion.
- Notify the Police that an active shooting threat exists.
- Prepare the First aid kit for possible use. Set up Triage in the Mother's room for first aid as soon as possible after the situation is controlled.
- Collect and log safe information from the Shepherds.
- Coordinate communication with all parties, including the Police! Let them know that we have armed responders that will stand down when they arrive.
- Notify when it is safe with “All Clear” by radio, after Police are in control, and everyone should come out to help any hurt people. ALL church members are to follow the requests of the Police!
This SCA job can be done by more than one person, if the people are available. This SCA must be manned as long as the building is open, and this Controller and the Sheepdogs will be the last to leave. Someone should bring food to this person, so they can continue in station, to watch the monitors.
Responsibilities for the Shepherds watching the sheep are as follows:
- Monitor the radio at all times.
- Stay calm, and move the sheep into safe rooms that have been assigned to you, if Armageddon is called by the SCA.
- When the safe room is filled, LOCK it from the inside, and report “Safe, room #_”
- Wedge door with chair and be quiet!
- Provide eyes on close monitoring of “Check front door” people.
- Security should be transparent, to work best, no one not on the security team, should know anything is going on.
- Let everyone out when the SCA calls “All Clear”.
- Report to SCA if you have a medical emergency in your safe room. They will direct a response.
NEVER allow the sheep to leave the building! If they leave, they provide an unprotected access point, and supply multiple unprotected targets!
Responsibilities for the Sheepdogs are as follows;
- Wear the Body armor supplied by the Church! It is hot and uncomfortable, but you can NOT be effective without it, and we all want to go home at the end of the day.
- Manually verify that all entrances are shut except the front door.
- Fill your spot! We need a fixed position Sheepdog at the front door at all times, and at least one rover who checks any item the SCA shepherd asks about.
- The rover responds to the “Check front Door”, because the fixed Sheepdog can NOT leave the front door. The rover will follow the possible incursion along with a Shepherd.
- All but one Sheepdog will respond to “Armageddon” to cover the front door from several angles. Our goal is to DELAY, until the Police are able to take over. The Sheepdog not responding will need to cover all other entrances to be sure there is not a second incursion planned elsewhere.
- If the threat forces entry, they will likely have a firearm advantage, and lethal force must be used to protect our church family. We will have the advantage of surprise from fixed positions, ambush is required to be most effective. They can't be allowed access, so if you can not do this, do NOT volunteer to be a Sheepdog!
- Practice monthly with each firearm, clean and oil same. Carry several spare magazines, keeping in mind our purpose is to DELAY, NOT to run out of ammunition! After initial exchange, preserve your location and ammunition, by not shooting like in the movies! One is as good as ten, and you will still have the ability to protect our church family (the sheep)!
- When the Police arrive, and the threat is controlled, place your firearm on the floor, and raise your hands. Follow their directions. They do not know who is the bad guy, and who called them, and they are here to help.
Responsibilities of the Sheep are as follows;
- Remain calm.
- Help those that need help, and move quickly and quietly.
- Do as the Shepherd says, and help him whenever you can!
- Be patient, conditions will be tight, but it will last only a short time, until the Police arrive.
- Once in a safe room, remain QUIET!
- Report any special problem to the Shepherd.
The Lambs will be locked down in their own rooms by their teachers. Ideally, they will not even know anything is going on. The second roving sheepdog needs to include the Lambs in their high speed check for secondary threats.
The responsibilities of the Kitchen crew are;
- Gather the entire Kitchen crew in the kitchen once notified of Armageddon.
- Secure all cooking sources.
- Move enough chairs into the kitchen, quietly.
- Lock the kitchen, with the crew and all the people from the hallways that can be added QUICKLY, inside!
- Monitor the TV in the Kitchen for current information.