The Government assures your right of religious freedom regardless of religion, denomination, or religious beliefs. However, unfortunately; the world which we live in today does not assure your ability to worship or practice your religion in “Safety”.
Phoenix Investigations LLC, provides that level of Surety, Safety and Security for your, leadership, members and visitors to Worship Without Worry.
“WORSHIP WITHOUT WORRY”Safety and Security for Places of Worship
Highly effective and efficient Security should always be comprised of multiple layers of Security inclusive of perimeter protection and over watch, combinations of electronic security systems, and highly trained physical security personnel. Further, it is essential that the congregation and membership be involved and knowledgeable of all policies, procedures and emergency response protocols in the advent that an active shooter situation occurs.
At Phoenix, we develop customized plans that follow 7 essential steps to make a more safe and secure place of worship.
Each plan helps you worship without worry by providing training on:
1) Handling Violent or Disruptive Incidents
2) Organizing Inspections and Assessments(Sometimes called Site Surveys, Vulnerability Threat Assessments, Risk Assessments, Audits, Inspections)
3) Develop Procedures, Checklists and Plans
4) Educate, Inform and Involve Everyone
Contact us today for a consultation on our Active Shooter Response Training.
12 Tips for Whole-Church Safety and Security
1. Commit to a Whole-Church Focus.
Expand your thinking past main services, to the many events and activities in your Church and the people who participate in them.
2. Develop a phone and text network.
Make it easy for places of worship in your community to alert each other about occurrences or suspicious situations.
3. Limit unlocked doors.
Avoid having unmonitored access, especially after regular hours. Post a number for office staff who can unlock the door.
4. Keep all valuables secure, all the time.
This includes personal items (purses in choir rooms and the kitchen, for example) and church assets (computers, kitchen supplies, etc.). When one item is vulnerable, thieves may go looking for others.
5. Have procedures for money and asset handling.
Have annual audits that look at every aspect of the program. Have monthly accounting of credit cards and accounts.
6. Protect children and youth.
This is the highest-risk area, from birth through young-adulthood. Not only must they be protected, they must also be guided and in some cases, controlled, for their safety and security and that of others.
Develop written procedures, rules and requirements that must be consistently followed, to protect children and youth, teachers, volunteers and the Church. For example:
Background checks on staff and volunteers.
Sign-in and out, for drop-off and pick-up of children.
Do not let children be unattended in any area of the church. During social functions, provide a nursery or a corner of the meeting room, where children can play without leaving adult oversight.
Do not allow youth to wander away from the group, in the building or off-site.
Patrol hallways, restrooms and out of the way areas, especially during special events.
Consider the ages and maturity of youth leaders and ensure that they are capable of providing guidance and control when needed. Perhaps an older couple can assist.
Train staff and volunteers about problem situations and how to avoid them—and about behaviors that are never allowed.
7. Counseling programs should have procedures and protocols for the protection of everyone.
Let counselors help with developing protocols for a wide range of counseling situations. All counseling sessions should be scheduled, with name and contact information.
8. Regularly check the status of appliances, machines and equipment.
Also inspect outlets, wiring and the use of extension cords. These are the source of many Church fires. (So are candles!) They are also the source of injuries and deaths, when electricity is treated too casually—especially around water.
9. Emergency response plans should be well known by leaders, teachers and members.
Most important information: Quickest routes out of the building, what to do in various emergencies, where they could take shelter or find protection and how they can assist others.
10. Make transportation safety a priority.
This includes not using high-risk drivers at any age, having written requirements about cell phone usage or texting, seat-belt use and driving times and distances. Consult outside resources for best practices about this issue. Deaths during church travel happen too often to ignore this!
11. Have safety briefings before off-site events.
include information about the travel, lodging, risks, appropriate behavior and other information before camps, retreats and conferences. This is not only a safety issue—it reflects on the reputation of the Church and the Faith.
12. Assign duties to ushers, greeters, deacons and others.
Ensure that key leaders and volunteers are focused on specific tasks related to observation, assessment of situations, and action to call 911 or get other assistance. When specific duties are assigned they are more likely to be done in an emergency.