5 Ways To Make Every Church, Synagogue And Mosque Safer In D.C.
Church violence seems to be getting worse.
If it’s a church shooting or some other form of violence in a religious setting, it can cause concern in churches among the congregation as well as the leaders in the church.
The concern is, what should be done in churches to protect the congregation? What can be done without making members of a church feel fear?
The answer is in church security.
And not just any church security, it’s the security that can make members feel safer in a church, so they aren’t looking over their shoulder every 5 minutes.
Here’s what you need to know about church security and how it can help your congregation feel safer and at the same time make visitors feeler safer.
5 Way to Make Your Church Security Better
1. Assign Roles to Members of the Church
If your church decides not to hire a security team, training members of your congregation could be the next best option. You can also assign roles that are designed to help church security.
For instance, you can assign roles beyond deacons and elders; you can have additional roles where members of your congregation work together to put in place preventive measures.
You can assign someone to do a quick walk around the church building every 20 minutes. You can also assign someone to lock all the doors except one door. You can also assign someone to sit near the back of the congregational hall, to provide more ears and eyes in case someone who looks suspicious comes into the building.
The more roles of security you have, the better chance you have of a safer church.
You can also assign roles of who will call the police while someone else ensures the intruder is being watched.
When you assign security roles to your congregation, you are ensuring that your congregation is protected and ensure they can feel safe when they are worshiping in church.
In addition to assigning roles in the church, you should have a security plan in place in case there is an intruder.
2. Offer Training Courses
If you do decide to assign a role within the church, you might also want to send these members of your church to a training course. A training course can provide insight on church security and what precautions to take in the case of an emergency.
A security team should never take on a hostile individual on their own, which is why a training course can be helpful in understanding what you should do to take action against a potential threat.
3. Have a Security System in Place
In addition to having an in-house or outside security team that understands how to maintain safety in a church, It’s important to consider other security measures that maintain this safety.
Security cameras can be a huge benefit for a church.
Having security cameras in place can help you identify someone on the outside that looks suspicious or is acting suspiciously. It helps you and your team quickly figure out what to do and how you should handle the situation calmly.
Other security measures can be knowing if there is a lockdown procedure in place if someone attacks the church. This can help the congregation figure out what to do in case of an attack.
You can also find security services and other specialized services around these services that help keep churches and surrounding areas safe.
4. Create a Single Entrance Into a Church
Part of a security measure that can help your security team and your security system is to have a single entrance in a church.
This ensures that your security team is fully aware of who is coming in and out of the church. You can put this security measure in place after service has started, giving you an idea of who is coming in late to service that may cause any alarm.
A single entrance into the church also adds a layer of protection because, in the case of an emergency, you know directly where the person will be coming from. You can also redirect people out another way if the door opens from the inside, and the attacker can’t come in from that specific door.
5. Contact a Security Expert for a Vulnerability Assessment
Finally, by being aware of some security and safety policies and procedures, you can keep your congregation safer, and there is less alarm raised when an emergency situation does ensue.
One way to start is by having a security expert complete a vulnerability threat assessment for your place of worship.
An assessment will help you define threats and a plan unique to your facility.
It will help determine what to do during a lockdown, who calls 911, what to do when the police arrive, and other situations. It provides organization and order in a situation where chaos is easily created.
Knowing what to do can help you figure the best-case scenario in any situation, which is why it’s important to document and create a policy around these procedures. It keeps you and your congregation aware of what to do in order to maintain safety.
Ultimately, having each of these steps in place creates an environment of safety and more protection than having nothing in place.
Keep Your Congregation Safe
The most important role for any of the leadership in a church, synagogue, or mosque, is to keep the congregation safe. It’s to keep the minister and leaders safe.
A church should always be a safe haven of rest, not a place to feel insecure.
Having a church security system can help prevent shootings or other forms of violence from occurring. You are not only preventing crime from happening, but you are also taking action on the violence against the church that occurs almost annually at random locations.
Taking preventive measures will keep your church and its congregation safer every week, during every meeting, in order to hear a message without feeling that their life is in fear.
If you are also hosting a wedding or another special event at a church, synagogue, or mosque, you’ll find this blog topic insightful on special event security measures.
OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, you can contact us at https://opssecuritygroup.com/contact/