Three of the most important concepts for a church to consider when building an in-house security team.
Timothy J. Fancher · February 17, 2017
3) Proper Training.
It is natural when envisioning a new security team to think about the most extreme threats, ranging from child predators to active shooters.
Yet, as many security teams quickly find out, even the most mundane things can tie up too many resources if protocol is not followed. In addition, there needs to be some formal training that includes physical role-playing and crisis rehearsal.
Crisis rehearsal includes mental and physical preparation. It is the act of practicing, rehearsing and role-playing out security situations, ranging from the minor to the most dangerous, in great detail, repeatedly, and always with positive results.
Along with role play and rehearsal, an officer should be encouraged to mentally rehearse these situations and their training.
If an individual is trying to access an area of the church he does not belong, or begins to get disruptive in service, officers will likely have to go hands-on for the safety of the congregation. Hands-on means using the proper use of force to remove or subdue the subject until the police arrive.
Certainly, a trained and qualified street self-defense expert should train the team in verbal commands and pain-compliance techniques (using pain to direct a subject to comply with your commands) and restraining techniques. A restraining technique holds the combative subject in a neutral position until they agree to stop fighting or until the police arrive. Officers must understand the legal and medical implications of going hands-on, in addition to the proper and accepted use of force continuum. This is why training with a highly-qualified individual must be seen as a critical part of this ministry.
Training also needs to include routine situations, such as a child who has locked himself in the restroom, or a person that is overwhelmed with emotion and needs to be taken to a separate room.
Officers must also role play out their expected duties such as escorting the ushers who have taken up the offering, perimeter checks and if the pastor is escorted before or after service.
An officer will always revert to their training in a true crisis. For the safety of everyone in a dangerous situation and for the good of the church in routine situations, officers must have had the proper training so they can perform their jobs with maximum efficiency and minimal hesitation, regardless if it is routine or extreme.