Category Archives: News & Updates

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.

 

Film teaches employees to “PREVAIL!” over an active shooter.

PRE-ORDER NOW
Available February 2017
training@strategosintl.com
888.569.5444

Sollah International and Strategos release video trailer of new workplace survival movie.

“Active shooter.” It’s the phrase no one wants to hear.

Yet, despite confronting it daily in the news, few workplaces are ready to respond, let alone prevail, when a gunman terrorizes a business.

“PREVAIL!™” is about to change that. A video trailer was released Jan. 6 with the video available for distribution and purchase in February.

Created through a partnership between Sollah Interactive and Strategos International, “PREVAIL!™” is a fast-paced, movie-style training that grips viewers and pulls them into a lifelike workplace shooting.

Sollah converted a vacant Midwest office building into a movie set, hired professional actors and spent two weeks documenting the drama.

Vaughn Baker, president of Strategos International, served as the subject-matter expert. Strategos is a master distributor of the training video, which will be available at www.intruderresponse.com in February.

“We were on site during the entire filming process, contributed to the script and gave extensive input from our training curriculum,” Baker said.

Sollah, a producer of business and HR videos, searched for an active-shooter expert and eventually connected with Baker.

“They said we were the company they wanted to partner with based on our background in law enforcement, private security and education,” he said.

“We jumped at the chance because there is a great need for workplace-related videos that teach people to do more than hide under their desks and wait to be killed. Statistics show that the odds of surviving with that mentality are very low. Instead, we teach people to prevail.”

The video weaves the drama into questions, instruction and group collaboration. It’s designed for businesses of all sizes, as well as schools and churches, to develop a prevailing plan.

In addition to providing the video, Strategos is offering additional training and on-site consultation for companies that request it.

CONTACT

Vaughn Baker, President
Strategos International
vaughn@strategosintl.com
816.795.3768
Intruderresponse.com

Strategos Statement on ISIL Threat: Be Alert, But Enjoy Christmas


The FBI warns that ISIL (the Islamic State) is urging its followers to attack churches and other public holiday gatherings in coming days.

As always, we urge you to be alert and aware in churches and other crowded spaces. Let’s be prayerful and mindful while still enjoying God’s gift of Christmas and a new year.

Read more

Here are Strategos President Vaughn Baker’s insights on a safe holiday season from a podcast released this month.

Strategos Launches Three New Advanced Church Security Courses

Strategos International has begun offering three new church security courses to better serve the faith community. The new courses are:

• S.A.F.E. Approach for Churches: Verbal and physical conflict resolution
• Behavior Pattern Recognition and Response for Church Personnel: Learn to stop disruptions before they start.
• Advanced Church Security

Course times range from 2 hours to 2 days and are recommended for:
• Pastors
• Church administrators and business managers
• Facility managers
• Security directors and team members
• Children’s ministry staff
• Church staff
• Elders and key lay leaders
Contact us to learn more or schedule a course.
intruderresponse.com
intruderresponse.com/courses

Podcast: Learn to Prevail in a Workplace Attack

The movie will be available by early 2017.

In this podcast interview, Vaughn Baker, president of Strategos International, explains how Strategos is partnering with Sollah Interactive to help employees “PREVAIL” in the workplace.

A new training video, geared toward responding to workplace active-shooters, will equip employees to overcome the threat of violence.

“We are proud to partner with Sollah Interactive for ‘PREVAIL,’” said Baker. “That title accurately describes all we want to accomplish through this project.

“The vast majority of workplaces suffer from a serious lack of training on hostile intruders. We don’t want employees to be left to their own devices, hiding under desks and waiting for a killer to find them. Instead, they can prevail against an active-shooter. But training is absolutely essential. And that’s why we’ve undertaken this project.”

“Prevail: Preparing to Prevail” will be available in late 2016 from Strategos online and includes a thorough facilitator’s guide and student materials.

Thanks to KCCI and WHO13 Des Moines for their coverage of “Prevail.”

Strategos partners with Sollah Interactive to help employees “PREVAIL” in the workplace

The video training, geared toward responding to workplace active-shooters, equips employees to overcome the threat.

Strategos International is partnering with Sollah Interactive to fill a void in workplace training: responding to an active-shooter.

“We are proud to partner with Sollah Interactive for ‘PREVAIL,'” said Vaughn Baker, president of Strategos International. “That title accurately describes all we want to accomplish through this project.

“The vast majority of workplaces suffer from a serious lack of training on hostile intruders. We don’t want employees to be left to their own devices, hiding under desks and waiting for a killer to find them. Instead, they can prevail against an active-shooter. But training is absolutely essential. And that’s why we’ve undertaken this project.”

“Prevail: Preparing to Prevail” will be available in late 2016 from Strategos online and includes a thorough facilitator’s guide and student materials.

Thanks to KCCI and WHO13 Des Moines for their coverage of “Prevail.”

KCCI Des Moines on Strategos International’s Training Video “Prevail”Employees can learn how to overcome an active-shooter in the workplace with training from Strategos International.

Ohio media share Strategos’ church safety work

Youngstown-area stations WKBN and WMFJ reported on Strategos’ training of area churches there April 8-9.

Barry Young Youngstown 2016 play button

CHURCH SECURITY TRAINING COMING TO YOUNGSTOWN
In an era of active shooters, people of faith must be prepared.

We used to think it could never happen here.

But deadly violence at churches is happening everywhere and with increasing frequency.

Strategos International is leading a two-day training for Youngstown-area churches on Friday and Saturday, April 8-9, at Four Mile Run Christian Church, 701 N. Four Mile Run Road, in Youngstown. The training is open to all area churches and ministries, but registration is required at http://bit.ly/25nxEBn.

Violent incidents at churches have increased by 2400% since 1999 and 590% since 2005. Another record of increase occurred in 2015 beating the previous high set in 2014 by more than 40%.

“Behind the statistics are real people who have been killed or injured, with many more experiencing the trauma of having their house of worship turned into a zone of violence,” said Vaughn Baker, president of Strategos, a Kansas City-based security training and consulting organization.

What can churches do?

Strategos’ Church Security Planning and Intruder Response training equips faith-based organizations to:

  1. Identify suspicious people and activities and defuse violence before it starts.
  2. Empower church volunteers, such as ushers and greeters, to be on the alert for unusual activity.
  3. Choose and train a paid or volunteer security team.
  4. Lockdown a facility and respond to intruders.
  5. Evaluate their ministry and create a written plan that works specifically in their culture and facility.

One size does not fit all churches. Some may opt for armed security while others choose to have an unarmed team.

“The good news is that churches don’t have to compromise on a welcoming environment,” Baker said. “In fact, training volunteers to be alert can have the effect of making them more engaged with people on every level. It allows pastors and church staff to be more relaxed and focused, knowing that a team has security in mind.”

Strategos has trained more than 17,000 church personnel representing more than 1,000 churches in the United States and overseas. In addition to serving churches and schools, Strategos consults with businesses, provides tactical training for law enforcement and personal protection for CEOs and VIPs.

CONTACT
VAUGHN BAKER 816.678.5483 or vaughn@strategosintl.com

WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT CHURCH SECURITY TRAINING
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MORE ABOUT STRATEGOS INTERNATIONAL
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