Monthly Archives: February 2017

Should Weapons Be the Focus of Security?

Despite the  hype, armed response is only one component of an effective security strategy.

By Vaughn Baker
President
Strategos International

Gun control, concealed weapons and open carry get lots of attention in the media.

However, when it comes to stopping intruders — whether it’s at the office, church or school — weapons usually play a minimal role. That’s not to say they are unimportant or unnecessary. But if your organization opts for armed security, it should be only one part of a comprehensive strategy.

Most intruders can and should be stopped long before a shot is fired. This is accomplished by controlling access, teaching employees awareness skills and taking a proactive instead of reactive approach.

Your security plan may or may not require armed response. But that tactic should not be the first one you consider.

Let’s start with locking the door and work backwards from there.

 

Starting With Your Perimeter: Security in the Church Parking Lot

Lately, parking areas have been the scenes of multiple crimes at houses of worship.

By Vaughn Baker
President
Strategos International

Recently there were three tragic headlines about churches, and all had to do with parking lots.

We can’t control everything that might happen in our parking areas 24 hours a day. But we can:

  • Have an active, alert, friendly parking ministry. And not just on Sunday morning.
  • Make sure our lots are well lit.
  • Partner with law enforcement to encourage late-night patrols around our premises.

Let’s do all we can to keep our churches out of the news and our members and neighbors out of harm’s way.

Pastors Packing Heat: Our Take

Armed security may have it’s place, but it’s only part of the solution.

By Vaughn Baker
President, Strategos International

An Ohio television station recently aired an intriguing report called “Pastors Packing Heat.” You can watch it below.

We’re not in a position to comment on the particular churches featured in this report: We simply don’t have enough information. We also realize that several hours of work goes into a segment that might last three minutes, so we don’t know what might have been left out.

With that said, the report as featured could leave the impression that a Wild West approach is what is required to face the threat of church violence. According to the story, one pastor interviewed said he “absolutely” recommends that other pastors carry guns.

Although last year set a record for the number of violent incidents (250+) at churches, this must be put into the context that there are nearly 400,000 churches in the United States.

Firearms can have a place in church security. But they are not an end-all, be-all solution. Churches with excellent security ministries may chose to have, or not to have, armed security.

The first and biggest step to increasing church security does not include guns. The number one priority is educating ushers, greeters, deacons, elders and staff on awareness. This includes learning what suspicious activity looks like and how to respond to behavior that is out of the ordinary. With this approach, numerous threats have been de-escalated without a single shot – or even a raised voice.

Armed personnel who lack comprehensive and strategic security training actually increase risk in churches.

Our counsel: Prepare. Study. Get training. Be vigilant. But don’t be risky or reckless. The stakes are too high.