House of Worship Security Consulting
Our Houses of Worship Security Consultants assist in managing risks of targeted violence while fostering
environments conducive to worship and community celebration.
Houses of Worship Security
Houses of Worship including, Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, and Temples are places of faith, religion, ideology, and emotions. It is a place where most individuals feel safe and supported by their community while sharing common views and morals. In recent years, there has been an unprecedented increase of religion-based Hate Crimes in the U.S. Active-Shooter and Knife yielding attacks are no longer strange to the world, and security must be at the best interest of every House of Worship.
Every religious institution is different in size and design. Some places of worship may be a single building with a few attendees. Other places may contain multiple buildings and entrances with thousands attending services and events every day from morning to night with activities for all ages. The design and purpose may be as different as the theology and philosophy taught inside.
Therefore, a Houses of Worship Security and Threat Management program must be uniquely designed for your facility, placing equal priorities on the safety of people, programs, property, and preparedness for emergencies. The level of security will often be determined by financial and personnel resources; yet it is imperative that you do something to protect those who worship with you.
Here are a few questions you NEED to be thinking about
1. Have you designated “security” and "threat management" as a priority and are you committed to developing a security plan?
2. Do you ensure that all workers and volunteers pass a background check with fingerprints and ensure the references are verified? NOTE: It is recommended that you know individuals at least six months before allowing them to volunteer and/or work with children.
3. Do you have security observing who is coming into the parking lots, then the building, and what they are carrying with them?
4. Is each entrance clearly marked with your address and is each entrance well-lighted?
5. Is each entrance to the building attended by someone acting as a greeter during worship times?
6. If an active shooter enters the sanctuary, do you have a plan?
7. If volunteers, staff, and/or security personnel need to summon additional personnel, do you have a system?
8. At any given time, how do you know how many people are in the building and who they are?
9. Do we have an emergency preparedness plan that addresses weather emergencies, medical emergencies, and man-made emergencies that could happen at your facility or adjacent to your facility?
10. Do we have opening and closing procedures for each building with a designated person?
As you begin to evaluate your property, keep in mind two distinct threats: A threat from the outside coming in or a threat from the inside that is already there. Your first goal is to eliminate the threat from coming in. However, if the threat is already inside, the first layer of security has failed, and you must then react to the threat. At that point, you have no choice as you must react.