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Church Security

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Church Security

Post by joecool on November 6th 2017, 5:12 pm

Yet another mass shooting at a church. An armed citizen in the neighborhood made sure the shooter couldn't take his evil to another location.

How do we keep our people safe when they come to church? What can we learn from what yours does?

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Re: Church Security

Post by Phillip Gross on November 6th 2017, 9:06 pm

Currently we have me at the front leading P&W, then I sit in the front row. I always carry my LCP unless I go into a church that I don't have permission, or a government building. Then there's around 3-4 lead slingshots in the sound booth at the back, with a couple more scattered throughout the congregation. We're a small fellowship, but probably have a higher ratio of armed parishioners than do most churches.

Having said that, my wife is all dog-on-a-bone about me organizing more people to get their CWP so they can carry in church. She's pretty upset about this situation. I am too, but I'd already seen the writing on the wall several years ago and am less "shocked" about this starting to happen.

I think people just need to realize that they need to take responsibility in keeping each other safe. We can talk about "trusting in God" to keep us safe, but IMO, that's the same as saying "God will take care of my finances" when you don't even budget your money. There's a thing called wisdom that needs to be exercised. Yes, God can do amazing things financially in our personal lives and ministries, but I just don't see that happening when we're spending money like drunken sailors... We need to be good stewards of what He has given us, and then He'll take care of the rest. There's nothing wrong with defending your family and friends from evil to the best of your ability. It's no different than keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen rather than walking outside when a grease fire starts and praying that God puts it out...
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Re: Church Security

Post by ccm2361 on November 6th 2017, 9:15 pm

I think it's time to raise this issue in our church. we are only 20 people right now, but growing lately.

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Re: Church Security

Post by Claymore on November 6th 2017, 9:20 pm

The slingshots are an interesting idea.  I have heard of people using them with pepper-balls.  This should probably be practiced, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this "non-lethal force".

We have individuals (including the Pastor) who are on the "Security Team" here at our church.  We have attended classes by the local Police Department, and have fired a 70-round FBI-type qualification course on the Police Range.

There is, pretty-much, an understanding that those individuals are authorized to carry on the premises.  However, no one brandishes a firearm.  

As I am an usher and "collection taker", I also do a moderate walk-around of the building and parking lot at least once during the service.

We have talked about establishing a "zone defense" and even implementing security cameras that could be monitored by the three people who staff the sound/video booth at church.

We have also talked about having a "Text Network" for the Security Team members, but nothing has been put in place.

I think that we are going to need to implement a "duty roster" assigning one person on the Security Team to remain out in the Foyer and areas out from the Sanctuary for the entire service.  

When I have been gone for an extended period, upon my return, I often hear the Pastor say, "I feel safer, now that you're around, again".

If anyone asks me if I am carrying, I ignore the question.

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Re: Church Security

Post by joecool on November 6th 2017, 10:17 pm

At my church, a couple of us sit in the last pew in order to keep an eye on a sex offender who attends. As the months have gone by, he no longer looks for opportunities to talk to women. I pray that the Holy Spirit is working on him.

While we could also carry and sit in the back in case of an intruder, its best to set a perimeter away from the sanctuary/crowd. I like the above idea of security cameras and someone doing an outside walk-about. What are your thoughts on this person? Should he look like security, or be incognito?

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Re: Church Security

Post by Claymore on November 6th 2017, 11:02 pm

Well, I always wear a suit jacket & tie. That's pretty-much a hold-over from when I worked narcotics, had long hair & a beard like a dirtball (sorry, Phil), but then I put on a suit and tie for the judge, when I had a case before the Court. I figured that I was a hypocrite, if I didn't do that much for the Great Judge.

That being said, I suppose that I look like I have something to do with Church Staff, but it is not with that intention. But it does kind-of come in handy. If someone pulls into the lot, looking for directions, they often ask the guy in the suit.

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Re: Church Security

Post by Phillip Gross on November 7th 2017, 5:25 am

Claymore wrote:The slingshots are an interesting idea.
I was being tongue in cheek. Kind of like when those long haired bearded dirt bag bikers refer to their Harley as a scooter... Wink

I do like the ideas you suggested though. I've been wanting to install security cameras inside and out for awhile. The technology nowadays has come so far with those things. The images can be very good depending on what you get, but the recording is what's really good because of storage. You can fit more on a thumb drive than you could a pile of tapes. If you don't need the video after awhile, just clear it and keep going.
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Re: Church Security

Post by Claymore on November 7th 2017, 1:21 pm

Also, with all of the electronics and instruments in Pentecostal Churches, they have become easy targets for burglars. If you had cameras (especially with I.R. Illumination), and had your storage device bolted down & secured, it could identify anyone burglarizing or vandalizing the Church.

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Re: Church Security

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 9th 2017, 6:51 am

Claymore, doesn't not answering the question of being armed pretty much answer it in the affirmative? Wouldn't criminals be more likely to hit soft targets meaning unarmed or perceived as unarmed rather than if its common knowledge a church is armed?

Philip, Ohio has the dumb permission clause too for churches. I don't see why that isn't covered by sign or no sign like any other private entity.

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Re: Church Security

Post by Phillip Gross on November 9th 2017, 10:57 am

RRCmdrBennett wrote:Claymore, doesn't not answering the question of being armed pretty much answer it in the affirmative?  Wouldn't criminals be more likely to hit soft targets meaning unarmed or perceived as unarmed rather than if its common knowledge a church is armed?
I think like you do on that one Dan. I think the crazies are less likely to engage in a "fair fight". They're looking for easy prey. IMO.

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Philip, Ohio has the dumb permission clause too for churches. I don't see why that isn't covered by sign or no sign like any other private entity.
I don't know that I have enough information to pass judgement on that. I think there's a couple issues to consider on that. Some denominations or sects (whatever you want to call it) might feel it's actually sinful to carry a weapon and use it on people, even in defense. So the state needs to be careful when making a law that might step on their toes. While I don't subscribe to that, I don't think it's right to run rough shod over those who do.
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Re: Church Security

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 9th 2017, 3:38 pm

Phillip Gross wrote:
RRCmdrBennett wrote:Claymore, doesn't not answering the question of being armed pretty much answer it in the affirmative?  Wouldn't criminals be more likely to hit soft targets meaning unarmed or perceived as unarmed rather than if its common knowledge a church is armed?
I think like you do on that one Dan. I think the crazies are less likely to engage in a "fair fight". They're looking for easy prey. IMO.

RRCmdrBennett wrote:
Philip, Ohio has the dumb permission clause too for churches. I don't see why that isn't covered by sign or no sign like any other private entity.
I don't know that I have enough information to pass judgement on that. I think there's a couple issues to consider on that. Some denominations or sects (whatever you want to call it) might feel it's actually sinful to carry a weapon and use it on people, even in defense. So the state needs to be careful when making a law that might step on their toes. While I don't subscribe to that, I don't think it's right to run rough shod over those who do.

Thats why I said treat it like any other private organization. The church can put up signs banning carry. Only reason I can see this setup being beneficial is to keep people wondering if they allow weapons or not and limit carriers to official security.

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Re: Church Security

Post by Phillip Gross on November 10th 2017, 6:12 am

I see what you're thinking. Just considering that...

I guess as it stands now, it's a "no" unless there's a "yes", whereas if they were lumped into the rest of private entities it would be a "yes" unless they say "no". Maybe they don't want churches having to post "no guns" signs if/when they don't want them.

I don't know. I'm just trying to look at it from different angles. I do know that when the government starts fiddling with things there's always unintended consequences.
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Re: Church Security

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 10th 2017, 1:28 pm

Phillip Gross wrote:I see what you're thinking. Just considering that...

I guess as it stands now, it's a "no" unless there's a "yes", whereas if they were lumped into the rest of private entities it would be a "yes" unless they say "no". Maybe they don't want churches having to post "no guns" signs if/when they don't want them.

I don't know. I'm just trying to look at it from different angles. I do know that when the government starts fiddling with things there's always unintended consequences.

I agree with that sentiment. If churches were treated as any other non governmental entity they would be leaving their hands off. As it is now its a ban. The only issue is if pastor ok's it and he gets shot and the board isn't aware of the permission given they might turn against the carrier legally. My church briefly had a sign someone Idk Who on the board had it out up. My outpost councilman at the time got that reversed and taken down. He's also a ln auxiliary police officer too. We agreed it made us a soft target by announcing no one can carry when by default no can without permission. I would like to see something official like a permission form for carrying in church similar to ones DNR gives us for permission to hunt on private lands. Here my church just keeps a copy of our permit on file. Recently, I was even reminded by the secretary my license was expiring soon!

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Re: Church Security

Post by Canadarangers on November 18th 2017, 8:42 pm

What happened in that texas church was horrible no doubt. I cannot wrap my brain around the thought of having slingshots or an armed(concealed or otherwise) security team walking around in my church on sunday morning as we are worshipping. Our ushers are supposed to walk the halls during the sermon at least twice and it is more for the security of the kids program than anything else.
When your time is up and God calls you home, be it from the wrong end of a gun or old age, it's still your time. Having guns for protection in church on sunday morning is fear mongering, in my humble opinion.

How many times does it say in scripture "do not fear"?

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Re: Church Security

Post by Claymore on November 18th 2017, 11:12 pm

The problem, Jeremy, is this...........

The vast majority of shootings here are in "Gun Free Zones". That's because the offenders are cowards, and want to kill the maximum number of people with minimal endangerment to themselves.

Even if we attempted to outlaw or severely restrict firearms, it would take years, and the criminals would be the last ones with the guns.

So we can leave unprotected sheep where the wolves know where to get them, or we can add a few sheep dogs to the mix.

When I was a kid, church doors remained unlocked 24 hours per day, so that people could walk in at any time of day or night and pray, and there was no theft or vandalism.

Times have changed.

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Re: Church Security

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 19th 2017, 2:30 am

Was Nehemiah fear mongering by assigning armed watchman on the walls when rebuilding the city?  The idea of nothing you can do about anything happening is fatalism. God uses means to establish his ends. With a "what will be will be" attitude why walk the halls, lock your doors n windows, have a security system, or call police whom here carry guns.

Even as Claymore pointed out you banned or restricted weapons the criminals can fashion triggers and use lead pipes to fire projectiles. I've seen diy videos on that. Here our 2nd amendment is a check and balance on potential tyranny. How many unarmed ushers would grab a chair or other object and use it to injure an attacker?  If we learn anything from that shooting is an armed civilian ended the threat with a firearm. There is a time and place for self defense. With fatalism one shouldn't fear everyone having a holstered pistol nothing they do will harm you if it isn't your time...

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Re: Church Security

Post by joecool on November 19th 2017, 11:40 pm

Canada, I hear what you're saying. Thankfully, your country hasn't had the church bloodshed that we've experienced in recent years. And as far as terrorism goes, whether domestic or foreign-born, nobody has suffered like the Europeans have. Outside of their special police units, no one has the ability to respond to attacks.

I'm reminded of Luke 22, when Jesus tells his disciples to go and buy swords. I'm also reminded that I don't understand that passage, given His other statements about swords. Need to go and do some research.


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Re: Church Security

Post by Claymore on November 20th 2017, 12:07 pm

joecool wrote:

I'm reminded of Luke 22, when Jesus tells his disciples to go and buy swords. I'm also reminded that I don't understand that passage, given His other statements about swords......................


I REALLY hope that your tongue is in your cheek as you say this.

That is an argument presented by Christians who say, "The Bible is Totally and Literally True ....................... except for the parts that I don't like."

Those people often say that Jesus is referring to Ephesians 6:17, which refers to the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit.  This rings hollow for several reasons:

First, if He was referring to the Ephesians verse, he would not be saying to obtain A Sword, but rather THE Sword.  Now, I will admit that through 2,000 years of translation, it might/could/possibly have the translation blurred - but I seriously doubt it.

Second,  if He was referring to the Ephesians verse, why would the apostles need to BUY the Sword of the Spirit.  This is a gift that comes from God, and cannot be purchased at any price.

Third, the book Ephesians was not even written when Jesus said this, so there was nothing to refer to.  When Jesus DID tell the apostles things that they did not understand, because it referred to something that was going to happen, those things came to pass in the relatively near-future, so that they could put it together, to pass on the teachings/lessons of Jesus.

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Re: Church Security

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 20th 2017, 1:03 pm

To live by the sword is a career criminal not a person protecting themselves and others from criminals or otherwise the apostles wouldn't have swords. Recall Jesus said buy a sword. They said they already had 2. Hard to believe Jesus wouldn't know about these weapons being there already. Put it back in its place he told Peter. It wasn't the time and place for drawing weapons.

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Re: Church Security

Post by Claymore on November 20th 2017, 1:15 pm

Well said!

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Re: Church Security

Post by Claymore on November 20th 2017, 1:45 pm

Actually, this has just given me the topic for the Bible lesson for our next Ranger Meeting.  That even though Jesus was a teacher of Love and Peace, he did use violence on at least one occasion that we know of:

When he was in the Temple, he fashioned a whip our of cords and overturned the tables of the money changers.  Why?  I believe that it was because they were in violation of His two "Greatest Commandments":

Love your God with your whole heart:  They were taking advantage of God and the position of power that they had as God's intermediaries by having people purchase the sacrifices that the priests grew on their own farms, at inflated prices, and they were making profits on requiring that money offerings be in the Temple currency, and they were cheating the people in the Exchange Rate. (Jewish people came from Greece, Asia, and all over the world to worship at the Temple, and so brought foreign currencies with them.)

Therefore, they were "Cheating God" and "Cheating their Neighbors" or sheep.

Jesus showed that, when you cannot protect the Faithful from Evil by peaceful purposes, that you sometimes need to physically intervene.

I just typed this into my Lesson Plan.

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Re: Church Security

Post by Claymore on November 20th 2017, 8:01 pm

Here is a quote that I found on the http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/qselfdefense.html web site:

Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus revealed to His disciples the future hostility they would face and encouraged them to sell their outer garments in order to buy a sword (Luke 22:36-38; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:26-27). Here the "sword" (Greek: maxairan) is a dagger or short sword that belonged to the Jewish traveler's equipment as protection against robbers and wild animals. A plain reading of the passage indicates that Jesus approved of self-defense.

Self-defense may actually result in one of the greatest examples of human love. Christ Himself said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:14). When protecting one's family or neighbor, a Christian is unselfishly risking his or her life for the sake of others.

Theologians J. P. Moreland and Norman Geisler say that "to permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is an evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally."


(.............makes sense to me.)

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Re: Church Security

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 21st 2017, 10:04 pm

Spot on Claymore. Self defense is not murder according to Exodus 22:2-3 KJV
[2] If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. [3] If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.gotquestions.org/amp/self-defense.html

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Re: Church Security

Post by Claymore on March 5th 2018, 9:44 pm

About 20 years ago, my home Department had a FireArms Training Simulator (F.A.T.S.) Machine.  It projected situations with armed & unarmed subjects confronting you in various branching scenarios.  When you shot the subject, the machine would sense it, and he would go down.  The machine cost $35,000.00.

I am in process of building a system for our church from a company called Laser Ammo Smokeless Range.

The machine at our department had about a 6 foot screen, ours will have a 12 foot screen.  Ours will have 51 branching scenarios, and you can build your own, with your own digital video camera.

At the conclusion of each conflict, the instructor can play how the situation took place, and it will stop, showing the location of each of the shots taken by the participant.  At that time, he can be asked to justify his shot.

I had thought that I could put the whole system together for about $1,600.00.  However, that was loading it on a 5 year-old computer.  My wife (church secretary) told me that it would be smarter to install the $1,200.00 Program on a new computer.  So we are now at about $2,200.00.  The Pastor was OK with the upgrade.

Now, this computer is so new and "high speed", that I have to get adapters for our older monitor and projector to plug into the dedicated video ports.  They are all HDMI and Display Ports.  (What the heck?)

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Claymore
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Re: Church Security

Post by joecool on March 5th 2018, 10:46 pm

When you're done with your simulator, please post the details.

At our recent men's breakfast, a sheriff's deputy briefed us on security training. (It turns out that our church is hosting a private security company's seminar later this year.) One of our older gentlemen stood to say that this was all wrong, and that we needed to pray and trust in the Lord. Our pastor was respectful, but told him that the church was moving forward with trained "sheepdogs".

On the way out, a friend told me that he also was in favor of prayer only. I asked him why he spent 20 years in the Army defending his country. I also said, "If we should depend only on prayer, are we going to get rid of medicine, doctors, and law enforcement, too?"

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Re: Church Security

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