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Old 01-06-2020, 11:17 AM   #1
Gunnyart
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Default Church Security POI

Yesterday I was standing a post in the back of the sanctuary. The lead usher points out to me a guy wearing a heavy jacket and looking around periodically. The rest of the team was informed that we had a person of interest and put out his description and location. I took up a position behind him close enough to where I could "crash in on him" and just watched.

When the meet and greet time rolled around another team member took up a position to offer him a good angle without anyone behind him and I went in to shake his hand to get a "feel" for him. While I had a hold of his hand in a friendly manner I managed to casually brush his right hip.

I didn't detect the obvious presence of a holstered weapon and even if I had that wouldn't be a big deal. We welcome folks to carry at our church. The issue was he appeared to be someone on a heightened sense of alert and dressed in a suspicious manner indoors.

Our goal is to make everyone feel welcome especially newcomers so as friendly as I could muster asked "is it your first time here?"

He obviously had picked up on the fact that we were keeping an eye on him and said,
"no, I've been here three or four times but my job makes it difficult to get here every week" ....and flashed his BADGE!

I didn't ask to see ID at that time and lets face it anyone can get a badge so, we stayed on a heightened state of alert until after the service when our team leader asked to speak with him and long story short I think we have a new LEO team member for our safety/security team.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:26 AM   #2
wsteffen
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It's not an easy situation to be in. We're there to keep everyone safe, but also to welcome new visitors. We've had the same type of situation in the past and all turned out fine.
It's hard to remember at times, that our first goal is to greet new visitors and make them feel welcome. At our church, we have just started having one or two of our team staged at the door to welcome new people and show them around.
We all need to remember that our primary goal is to welcome everyone to our church.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:37 AM   #3
Buckshot-73
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Gunny, good on you for being vigilant. These days, you can’t be to careful. I pray the new member will understand your caution.


DO NOT pay attention to the few conspiracy taxis that will try to shame you into the belief that you should be a victim acause you don’t have the right to protect your flock.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:42 AM   #4
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Nerve racking situation for sure, glad it worked out. Had a drunk walk in about a month ago with a backpack that he refused to move from his chest, my uncle was about to draw on him because he kept walking towards my uncle but luckily he simply passed out from being so drunk. Strangest thing I’ve ever seen.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:44 AM   #5
Gunnyart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsteffen View Post
It's not an easy situation to be in. We're there to keep everyone safe, but also to welcome new visitors. We've had the same type of situation in the past and all turned out fine.
It's hard to remember at times, that our first goal is to greet new visitors and make them feel welcome. At our church, we have just started having one or two of our team staged at the door to welcome new people and show them around.
We all need to remember that our primary goal is to welcome everyone to our church.
I didn't talk to him again after the team lead but I saw him taking his application for a background check so I assume especially being someone "on the job" he understood.

It is a balancing act. You are correct our primary goal is to be welcoming, while remaining vigilant to threats without being threatening ourselves.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:45 AM   #6
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Figuring out the balance of vigilance and welcoming arms is going to be a challenge. We need more discussion and to learn from each other-- thanks for starting the thread.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:15 PM   #7
RattlesnakeDan
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A few years back we had a young man show up in a black trench coat and wearing makeup. People were freaking out and someone came and told me about him. I kept him out of the sanctuary area and sat him in a room and had a long talk and eventually escorted him out of our church. He was there to cause trouble and was a demonic babbling guy. I do not know if he had a gun but it was very possible. So I stayed outside for the rest of the day to make sure he didn't return. Some guys out there with bad intentions to be sure.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:28 PM   #8
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Be careful what terms you use...most churches with well put together programs know to omit the term "Security" or they do things the correct way and get a "Letter of Authority" from the DPS/PSB and build a internal Security team within the guidelines set forth by the PSB.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:38 PM   #9
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We discussed this at meetings after church yesterday as well. Fine line to walk. We are a small rural church but on the main highway. Hate that we have to think like this these days. Do yall know of any good training courses for active shooter type scenarios like this?
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:46 PM   #10
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I find it so disheartening that security teams have become necessary for places of worship. Several years ago I wrestled with the decision to CC at church, wondering what the good Lord would think of such a practice and if it ever became necessary, how does "thou shalt not kill" enter into the whole scenario. Ultimately I concluded (in my opinion) that He would want His children to be guarded against evil doers, and that in the past he had sent followers to vanquish those attackers. Our society has cultivated such a lack of respect for life in so many ways now that people have just become desensitized to violence & murder. It's a very sad commentary.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
Figuring out the balance of vigilance and welcoming arms is going to be a challenge.
So very true. Things are going to be tough for everyone and your jobs/volunteer work are not envied. I can see it now that churches will be scrutinized over their decisions and will appear with less than open arms, so to speak. However it is necessary.

I have always used 2 stories in my training and teaching of customer service about judging a book by it's cover. Both are from personal experience and are very relevant IMO. I will still relay the same info but with a caveat for sure considering the changing times.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuffbroadhead View Post
Be careful what terms you use...most churches with well put together programs know to omit the term "Security" or they do things the correct way and get a "Letter of Authority" from the DPS/PSB and build a internal Security team within the guidelines set forth by the PSB.
I am not speaking in anyway on behalf of the church and used the term Security when I should have said safety team. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan C View Post
We discussed this at meetings after church yesterday as well. Fine line to walk. We are a small rural church but on the main highway. Hate that we have to think like this these days. Do yall know of any good training courses for active shooter type scenarios like this?
We had a local guy come to our church that goes around to schools, churches, & businesses doing active shooter training. I was suckered into playing the role of an active shooter which I didn’t care for but someone had to do it.
This guy was out of the Tyler, Tx area.
We’ve also had training at our workplace via local county PD. You might check with your local PD on any training available or they may point you to a good resource
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:13 PM   #14
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I have been carrying to church for the past several months. This past Sunday while talking to our pastor we shook hands and hugged after our conversation. While letting go he felt my sidearm during disengagement. After a momentary surprised stare he leaned in a whispered a thank you in my ear and reminded me that I could carry open or concealed anytime at our church.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuffbroadhead View Post
Be careful what terms you use...most churches with well put together programs know to omit the term "Security" or they do things the correct way and get a "Letter of Authority" from the DPS/PSB and build a internal Security team within the guidelines set forth by the PSB.


I believe churches are actually from those requirements. I could’ve been given bad information on that though.




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Old 01-06-2020, 04:01 PM   #16
meltingfeather
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“The regulations of the Private Security Act, including the fees required thereunder, do not apply to Texas churches when providing volunteer security services consistent with the requirements of section 1702.333 of the Occupations Code,”
~Attorney General Paxton

Sec. 1702.333. PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP; CERTAIN VOLUNTEERS.
[...]
(b) This chapter does not apply to a person who is providing volunteer security services on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:32 PM   #17
Tuffbroadhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
“The regulations of the Private Security Act, including the fees required thereunder, do not apply to Texas churches when providing volunteer security services consistent with the requirements of section 1702.333 of the Occupations Code,”
~Attorney General Paxton

Sec. 1702.333. PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP; CERTAIN VOLUNTEERS.
[...]
(b) This chapter does not apply to a person who is providing volunteer security services on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.
Very nice to hear that!!! But you left off this.

(c) While providing volunteer security services under Subsection (b), a person may not wear a uniform or badge that:
(1) contains the word “security”; or
(2) gives the person the appearance of being a peace officer, personal protection officer, or security officer.

With the additional use of the term "Personal Protection Officer" could cause some issues, PPO's are plain clothes/concealed carry by regulation.

Last edited by Tuffbroadhead; 01-06-2020 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:55 PM   #18
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Had a guy tell me a story like that for his church's training with a police department in louisiana. They ran through a practice drill (paint bullets) where shooting would occur at random. They were to profile everyone, but remember the job is to asses the situation once guns come out.

Well there was a guy dressed oddly like you stated, and my friend had an eye on him. While the odd guy did not shoot first, he went to the hip immediately and my friend "shot" him. They debrief and inform him he shot the off duty officer.
Point of that aspect in the exercise is you really need to assess the immediate situation. Definitely profile and have assumptions, but situational awareness comes first.
One of my bigger fears at church is being shot by an old man who doesnt know me at church in a high stress situation lol.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooverfb View Post
Had a guy tell me a story like that for his church's training with a police department in louisiana. They ran through a practice drill (paint bullets) where shooting would occur at random. They were to profile everyone, but remember the job is to asses the situation once guns come out.

Well there was a guy dressed oddly like you stated, and my friend had an eye on him. While the odd guy did not shoot first, he went to the hip immediately and my friend "shot" him. They debrief and inform him he shot the off duty officer.
Point of that aspect in the exercise is you really need to assess the immediate situation. Definitely profile and have assumptions, but situational awareness comes first.
One of my bigger fears at church is being shot by an old man who doesnt know me at church in a high stress situation lol.


This^^^^^
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:23 PM   #20
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As a pastor, I appreciate all those who take this issue seriously. I've been a hunter and around weapons all my life with LEOs and First Responders in my family. I don't find it necessary or practical to carry on Sunday, because I have many like you who in the church body. However, several years back 2 pastors were killed in our area by benevolence cases in the middle of the week. In one instance, the elderly secretary was beaten and left for dead. It was then that I made the decision to carry regularly during the week. If not for myself, I feel responsible for the flock placed under my care.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuffbroadhead View Post
Very nice to hear that!!! But you left off this.

(c) While providing volunteer security services under Subsection (b), a person may not wear a uniform or badge that:
(1) contains the word “security”; or
(2) gives the person the appearance of being a peace officer, personal protection officer, or security officer.

With the additional use of the term "Personal Protection Officer" could cause some issues, PPO's are plain clothes/concealed carry by regulation.
Good call, thanks.
I think "wear a uniform or badge" is the operative phrase here.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:32 PM   #22
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I've been carrying to ourbChurch since I got my CHL. That is one of the main reasons in got it a few years ago.

Couple of years ago someone made public threat against our Church and Pastor. Several of us told turns walking around the church before during and after Worship. The person who made the threats had since passed and I've become an unofficial official greeter at our Church. I carry every Sunday. Would carry on Wednesday but the boss friend on us carrying at work. Plus it's not practical with my job.

As Always My Heart is filled with Love for You and Your Families. Not because I am commanded to Love my Neighbor, but because I can, am able to and it brings me Joy.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:34 PM   #23
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OP I rest your thread your and was confused.
In thought POI was for Point Of Impact not Person of Interest.

As Always My Heart is filled with Love for You and Your Families. Not because I am commanded to Love my Neighbor, but because I can, am able to and it brings me Joy.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Pushbutton2 View Post
OP I rest your thread your and was confused.
In thought POI was for Point Of Impact not Person of Interest.

As Always My Heart is filled with Love for You and Your Families. Not because I am commanded to Love my Neighbor, but because I can, am able to and it brings me Joy.
Whoops!
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:59 PM   #25
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Whoops!


As Always My Heart is filled with Love for You and Your Families. Not because I am commanded to Love my Neighbor, but because I can, am able to and it brings me Joy.
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Old 01-06-2020, 07:17 PM   #26
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must be a large church not to recognize a guy that had been there 3-4 times already
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:29 PM   #27
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must be a large church not to recognize a guy that had been there 3-4 times already
Four services and rotating volunteers
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:45 PM   #28
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My question is why did this officer show up and appear as he did. Dressed strangely and acting suspicious? Surely he knew better to present himself that way?
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:19 AM   #29
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We are having revival at our church all week. We had a small incident last night will a guy acting very strange and ZERO concern about the service going on. I’m the leader of our safety team, and the guys did a great job. Not too much in his face, but made a presence. I don’t wanna give too many details because these are the people that we need to reach out to, and I don’t want this to somehow get back to him and keep him away. I just want everybody to act right. My hats off to you folks willing to step up and protect the sheep....we are sheepdogs. God Bless


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Old 01-07-2020, 07:08 AM   #30
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My biggest concern has been a good guy reaching for his concealed weapon and gets mistaken for a bad guy and is taken out. Never know who is over the top and has the itchy trigger finger.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:38 AM   #31
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for past 6 years myself and another, have been carrying at our church, with the Priest knowing and welcoming it . especially after last weeks incident. we have always been watching out for the Parrish during Mass. and now have several guys wanting to Usher and lend a hand in helping us keep a watch. it a shame this must be done. but, this is are world we now live in.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:14 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnyart View Post
Four services and rotating volunteers
That’s the real struggle with church security...it is impossible for everyone to know everyone.

More congregations deal with you exact scenario than you think.

Way to stay vigilant, sounds like Romans 8:28 being acted out before you
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:31 PM   #33
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I hope some unarmed person “acting funny” doesn’t get taken out by an untrained and trigger happy CHL holder. It’s not going to play well.
A guy walking toward you in a public place— backpack or not, doesn’t seem like a reason to draw to me. I wasn’t there, but practicing restraint in the reality we live in is going to be harder for some than others— and more importantly, absolutely necessary.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:03 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
I hope some unarmed person “acting funny” doesn’t get taken out by an untrained and trigger happy CHL holder. It’s not going to play well.
A guy walking toward you in a public place— backpack or not, doesn’t seem like a reason to draw to me. I wasn’t there, but practicing restraint in the reality we live in is going to be harder for some than others— and more importantly, absolutely necessary.
I agree. Part of the problem is folks are amp'd up a bit just following a shooting.

In our case we don't take it lightly.

1) Background checks and serious evaluation of safety team members is conducted.
2) Clear guidelines and well defined plans are established. (includes natural disaster plans, which is a much more likely situation.)
3) Members are required to attend training to include scenario based drills.

At the end of the day everyone has to take responsibility for their own actions and hopefully we can weed out folks with a hero complex.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:00 PM   #35
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Bumping this to the top in an effort to increase awareness
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:33 PM   #36
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thanks so much for the thread. Our church is initiating a security team as well and are in process of finding a person/persons that does formal training of this type for groups.
Is a shame we have the necessity for it but we must protect ourselves.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:22 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayouboy View Post
My biggest concern has been a good guy reaching for his concealed weapon and gets mistaken for a bad guy and is taken out. Never know who is over the top and has the itchy trigger finger.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooverfb View Post
One of my bigger fears at church is being shot by an old man who doesnt know me at church in a high stress situation lol.

Yuuuuup




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Old 01-14-2020, 03:08 PM   #38
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Gunnyart, you have a PM inbound
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:08 PM   #39
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You too savin yours
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:09 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by tdwinklr View Post
thanks so much for the thread. Our church is initiating a security team as well and are in process of finding a person/persons that does formal training of this type for groups.
Is a shame we have the necessity for it but we must protect ourselves.
If you find a good class, please let me know. We're starting a program at the church I attend also.

Thanks
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:35 PM   #41
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If you find a good class, please let me know. We're starting a program at the church I attend also.



Thanks


I just got this in an email from our church insurance company. Classes in houston

https://strategosintl.com


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Old 01-14-2020, 04:57 PM   #42
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Here is a link to a 12 part video series that won't cost you a dime.

https://warriorpoetsociety.us/church-security/
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:16 PM   #43
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I’m suprised an off-duty Officer would stick out like that. I’ve been a cop 16 years and I can assure you people at at my church don’t know
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:21 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuffbroadhead View Post
Be careful what terms you use...most churches with well put together programs know to omit the term "Security" or they do things the correct way and get a "Letter of Authority" from the DPS/PSB and build a internal Security team within the guidelines set forth by the PSB.
Sheepdogs
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:43 PM   #45
wsteffen
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Originally Posted by Gunnyart View Post
Here is a link to a 12 part video series that won't cost you a dime.

https://warriorpoetsociety.us/church-security/
Thanks Gunnyart
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:43 PM   #46
savin yours
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnyart View Post
Here is a link to a 12 part video series that won't cost you a dime.

https://warriorpoetsociety.us/church-security/


Yea, he’s got some good videos.


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Old 01-14-2020, 08:23 PM   #47
bawhit2
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DHS and FEMA have grants to assist Houses of Worship with security improvements. In 2019, they had $60 million in grants available. Haven't heard 2020 figures yet. It's not a ton of money considering all the Churches out there but its something. They also have a lot of resources on their website to assist Churches with starting, improving and implementing their own security plans and programs. It's a good place to start.

https://www.fema.gov/faith-resources

https://www.cisa.gov/hometown-security

https://www.grants.gov/
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:00 PM   #48
lovemylegacy
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:27 PM   #49
billfromtx
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Carry everywhere. All the time. And practice.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:57 PM   #50
xman59
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Originally Posted by Preacher Man View Post
If you find a good class, please let me know. We're starting a program at the church I attend also.

Thanks
contact Danny Valdez at Beaumont PD,,, they are doing some training for churches ,,, he is a good officer and a good man,,
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