Planning the exercise

When we plan exercises, we want to make them as realistic as possible. That is why choosing which person should play the¬† perpetrator (or patient) is so important. You want someone that is imaginative, and who can think on their feet. With this, you should give them the basic scenario (man with a gun, robbing the church, heart attack, etc.), then let them do their thing. You should tell them the basics of what you want to test, but you should not tell the team what is coming. You don’t want the actor to follow exactly what you tell them to do, you want them to do the unexpected so that you can get a firm grasp on how your team will respond to surprise situations. You will find that if you pick the right person, they will push your team to the limits.

Even better, try using multiple people who could be the perpetrator or patient. If you have four or more people willing to play the bad guy or patient, then it tests you even more. Let them come in a sit down in different spots. Behaviorally profile them to see who is acting strange, or who is showing signs of carrying a weapon. If it is a medical issue you are testing, then the patient can be ill, and the person next to them is panicked or ill. Perhaps they become enraged and pull a weapon. Perhaps one is a perpetrator, and they injured (stabbed or shot) someone so you have to neutralize the situation, then treat the patient. You could even go with less probable situations, such as one active shooter that stands up and draws a firearm, and when the team responds, a second shooter engages the security team.

If approached properly, these exercises can be a lot of fun. In fact, several people I know have said “We need to do another exercise day soon! That was fun!” While it may be fun, it also allows the security team to look and act on different scenarios. Additionally, if and when the time actually comes, they will most likely not have to think about what to do, they will fall back on their training.

Finally, when all is said and done, then everyone should meet and talk about what went right and what went wrong. If the church has cameras, or someone is recording the exercises, you can even go back and look at the video. Make sure you incorporate the evaluators’ feedback, because they are a totally neutral party.

Tomorrow, I will discuss what to do with the feedback. May God bless you and keep you safe, … Mark

Planning for an active shooter.

Whether in a business, a house of worship, or even at a mall, planning is a critical part of making sure you prevent and/or survive an active shooter or bomber. Throughout this week, I will be sharing tips on how to create a plan specific to your needs.

While I have mentioned some items that may help protect you, it is important to realize that each house of worship (and business) is unique. Each has their own little idiosyncrasies that make them different from others like them. Because of this, it is important for planning to be done in-house, then reviewed by a professional. While you can have a professional do it all for you, it likely cost a lot of money, or they may miss something that is easy to see by those who use the building.

Before I go into explanations about planning at your house of worship, or your business, I think you should see the attached video about planning. Some of you have already seen this video, but it is worth another watch.

As we go through the week, I will try to help guide you through setting up layered security for your own church or business, as well as how to create the best plan for you. Until next time, I ask you to be aware of your surroundings and all that is going on, … Mark