National Black Church Initiative President, Rev. Anthony Evans speaks out against church violence and the need for increased security and vigilance on church grounds.
Jimmy Meeks with Cop and Cross
His new website is http://www.sheepdogsafetytraining.com/
Old sites: ( http://www.copandcross.com) and ( http://www.safeatchurch.org ) Aside from being an ordained pastor, Jimmy has served as a hostage negotiator, a police training officer, and a school resource officer. He is a certified police instructor and has his Master’s Certificate as a police officer. Jimmy is also a certified crime prevention specialist. Presently serving at the rank of corporal, he is assigned to the criminal investigation division.
Here is a good resource: Safe At Church
Here are some of the notes I took from a conference which I highly recommend everyone have in their community !
Things that can happen at a church: Shootings, Kidnappings. Sexual Molesters, rapes, murders, suicide, stabbings, robberies, medical emergencies, weather related disasters, accidents, and more…
Sex Crimes in Church are thru the roof, statistically they occur 30 PERCENT of the time from Staff and 50% from volunteers, 2369 kids are molested daily in America.
We have not been taught Biblically to “Believe the best in people” we know from scripture that man is deceitful and wicked. Hosea 4:7, Acts 7:42, Rom 1:28….
Biggest obstacle to protecting the flock is MENTAL. Not knowing the facts and working on assumptions.
75 million believers HAVE BEEN MURDERED For the cause if Christ since ST Stephen was killed in Acts 7
45 million killed in the 1900s… do we think we will escape harm?
230 people have been killed ON CHURCH PROPERTY SINCE MARCH 1999
136 dead bodies have been found OUTSIDE churches since 1999.
IMPORTANT: WATCHING And LISTENING!!!!
EYES AND EARS TEAMS:
1- Select Leader
2- Not the Pastor
3- Do not advertise, hand pick those you want on your team
4- Initiate an interview process- get a resume and know their background…
5- Should not select new Christians or all they will know of church is this. Pick women as well- they can be very intuitive.
6- Do background checks
7- Servant’s Heart – need to accept an assignment and do it cheerfully
8- Physically Fit
9- Not a Police- Wanna-Be
Safety teams need to arrive early at every event and check the perimeter. They have found dead bodies have been dumped at churches and this is something NO CHILD should ever find- it could scar them for life.
• Form a Security Policy
Hire Off Duty Police Officers to just stand in the lobby. Much violence is diverted when people see an officer is on campus.
• Protect the Sunday School Rooms/ Kids, even if you have a desk there with an elderly man who won’t let anyone pass w/o a reason.
• Place people strategically by all kids rooms…no one is allowed to walk near the children without an escort. Kindly tell new people this is your policy and you will be happy to escort them if needed.
• It comes down to the little things churches are not doing.
• When you arrive – come early before the rest of the congregation. Check all Doors from the outside- if any are unlocked- you know the building must be searched before anyone can answer. Homeless people have been known to spend the night in churches…bodies can be dumped on the property, etc….
• Look for anything left outside the building- now we face terrorism and explosive backpacks, pipe bombs are possible.
• Keep building locked during the week, especially if women are left there alone.
• During the week, Do not go into the church with people you do not know
• Have code words for the Safety Team and also for the staff in case you are having trouble with anyone and need help.
• Cameras, intercom systems, panic alarms, any sound that may scare off an intruder or someone who would do harm…
• Program 911 into the phone, so all someone has to do is hit “line 1” to call police.
• Do not keep large amounts of cash
• When answering the phone, never tell someone “ I am here alone”
• Maintain adequate lighting
• Staff during the week should not park far from the door
• Know self-defense – but- better to always have pepper spray and even a few handcuffs available!
• Have a Safety Team in Place at any events that have kids, or have meetings with substance abuse groups, sex addicts groups etc….
ID Those who propose a risk:
1 – Mentally unstable
2 – People who may be off their meds ( Bi-Polar)
3 – The Angry
4 – Domestic Violence problems
5 – Problems between members
6 – Is the person dressed according to the weather…does he have a trench coat in 90 degree weather? Could be a problem.
Other issues to address;
Lovingly confront all known sex offenders and tell them you are glad they came, but do they have a plan for recovery. Help them implement that plan by not getting access to children AT ALL!
You can tell ANYONE to leave, anyone who disrupts the service can legally be ordered to leave, call 911. Especially if they are using “Fighting Words.”
Pay attention during the invitation- protect the Pastor at all times and protect the Front- stay visible but allow people to get ministered to. Some pastors have been assaulted during the “Prayer Call” – so stay vigilant.
Watch people’s hands police always watch where a person is placing their hands – if they are tucked into a pocket- the person could have a weapon.
Monitor the parking lot- MANY incidents happen in the parking lot before or after a service…fights, domestic violence, pipe bombs, etc…stay until everyone is gone. It is also the first line of defense- if a person is coming there to do harm- they will have to come thru the lot.
Call 911 at anytime you feel there COULD be a problem- immediately!
Monitor the Foyer…. Stations people at every door.
Look at a person’s physical appearance, facial expressions, what they are wearing. DO they look you in the eye, are they sweating or shaking?
Approach anyone suspicious. A Soft answer turns away wrath. If someone looks despondent, ask them how they are, and say, I am also having a bad day, can we come over here and talk? Try to get them away from the general public and call for additional help using your code word.
Remember- some come to hurt but MANY are HURT – we do not want to scare people off – just be wise.
Inside the sanctuary-sit strategically so you can see entrances, sit in the back, monitor stations…have several eyes inside the sanctuary.
Report Terroristic Threats of any kind!
NEVER touch people unless you have to.
USE WHATEVER FORCE IS NECESSARY to RESTRAIN them if NEEDED!
Do not allow skits that involve weapons….
To disarm someone- DISRUPT THE RHYTHM….you may get shot…but do what you have to if there is a shooter. Throw chairs, books, coffee, tackle and get the gun away….they are not usually expecting a fight!
Radios- Good ones UHF to be able to use inside buildings.
Golf Carts to be able to patrol the campus.
This is a recent shooting in Florida:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Another one from Tennessee
Said he had a “Problem with Christianity”
RICHMOND, Calif. — Richmond police Thursday arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with a brazen shooting at a Richmond Church during a Feb 2010 Sunday morning service.
March 2009, Illinois: A gunman walked down the aisle of a church during a Sunday service and killed the pastor, then stabbed himself and slashed two other people as parishioners wrestled him to the ground, authorities said.
“Some thought it was some type of skit”
Experts say churches should have security plans in place, but often don’t. First Baptist Church in Maryville, Ill., where the Rev. Fred Winters was fatally shot Sunday, was working on a security plan but had not yet implemented it.
Garland Texas – Youth Meeting Shooting: Youth Pastor Shot !!!!
A Brockton teenager has been charged with shooting a 51-year-old woman in the back just after she left church.
A Catholic priest pleads for the City of Kansas City to do more, after a man is shot and later dies on the steps of his church.
The Church shooting at New Life Megachurch in Colorado springs Colorado in December 2007. New Life is the megachurch founded by Ted Haggard.
here is another act of violence