Many times we think as security teams as the total package for security. Let me plainly say that relying on one thing (such as cameras, a security team, or individuals in church carrying firearms) is a serious mistake that many churches make. Layered security allows the church to have three or more layers in place. If one does not stop them, then perhaps the other two (or more) will.
Just like the cameras and the automatic door locks, posting someone at the door is another method of keeping evil people out. This would be the first layer of a security team. Access points should be limited to one or two doors. While parishioners may have become accustom to coming into whatever door the found convenient, the overall safety of the church should be a priority over someones convenience.
After you limit access to one or two doors, you can have greeters, ushers, or a whole host of other individuals fill the job of door security, but they need to be trained. It is up to your church if the should be armed or not. No matter what the decision on arming them, teaching them to call out for locking the doors and/or evacuation is critical. In smaller churches, this can be accomplished by yelling “Gun, gun, gun!” In larger churches, it might be a call over a radio that says “Gun at the front door”. With the call, the area by that access point should be evacuated, and the security member should hide and position themselves to either run, or to hide and engage the shooter. It should be noted that if your churches plan is to engage the shooter, then the security team should all be trained by local law enforcement, or if the church allows the carrying of firearms, then they should be trained by local law enforcement and a tactical training course at a gun range. Also, it is important to make sure the church is covered by insurance if individuals are carrying.
We need to remember that just by putting guns in our church does not ensure that we can stop shooters from entering. Guns are not always the answer, and neither are outsourced security teams. Thinking about hiring a security team? Let me discuss those tomorrow, because I have a few things we need to talk about. Thanks, … Mark