Church Security Consulting

The church gathering environment is unlike any other. It can be like a school, a coffee house, a department store, a gymnasium, a rock concert or all combined, all at once. With this unique environment comes a host of threats which every church needs to address.

Why a Security Consultant?

There comes a time when a church has had enough crime, be it non-violent or violent, directly related to the church when the leadership of the church decides that something needs to be done to address the Security of the church and it's people.

Lets look a some of the dynamics of making a choice.

Definition of Consultant - one who gives professional advice or services; an expert

Definition of Expert - having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience

Who do people listen to? There is a scripture that I like to reference where Jesus is in his home town.
23 Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: 'Physician, heal yourself! Do here in      your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.' "
24 "I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown."      luke 4:23-24
Another way to put this is the common saying of; "Familiarity breeds contempt." or "An expert is anyone who comes from more that fifty miles away".

Finding qualified help can be a daunting task, especially in the largely unregulated area of "Security Consulting".

Church Security Consulting Qualifications - "What to look for in a Church Security Consultant."

(1) Security License -

Ask your perspective consultant if they are licensed to perform the assessment in your state. Do they hold any licenses in any state?

Licensing is a good indicator that they made met some sort of qualifications for performing the assessment. Each state has different laws, state bureaus, rules and statues which specify the qualifications and requirements for such work.

Leading Example - Texas is one state that takes security as serious business; requiring anyone who wishes to do work in the state as a "Security Consultant" or "Security Contractor" to be licensed by the Private Security Bureau.

Texas State Occupation Code reference and definition:

OCC §1702.1045. PRIVATE SECURITY CONSULTING COMPANY.
A person acts as a private security consulting company for purposes of this chapter if the person consults, advises, trains, or specifies or recommends products, services, methods, or procedures in the security or loss prevention industry;

Failure to comply lands a class "A" misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $10,000 and one year in jail. This applies to both the consultant and the company/church that hires them.

It's like making your doctor or lawyer have a license to practice their trade. They have proven their skill by passing the required testing, training and experience. Simply watching the Dr. Oz show doesn't qualify you for the operating room. These requirements assure the public that this person has the credentials to practice.

(2) Relevant Certifications -

Another principle consideration should be the consultant's certifications. A Certified Protection Specialist certification from a prestigious institution like Executive Security International or a Certified Protection Professional from ASIS are two of well respected certifications.

The upcoming "Certified Church Security Specialist" from the newly formed Christian Security

(3) Experience -

Relevant Experience in Church Security - A lengthy career in law enforcement is an admirable life skill, however, that might not qualify you to design and operate access control and surveillance systems. Your Church Security Consultant needs the technical expertise to guide you through the more complex decisions of security systems.

Real World Church Security Experience - While Security Consultants abound, there are few that have practiced the art of actually functioning as the Director of Security of one of the nation’s largest Mega-Churches (5K -20K people per weekend) and multi-campus environments.

We believe that only through the actual experience of performing in the roll of directing the security of a large mega-church in “Prime Time” could you ever envision the dynamics of how your security program functions and how your security systems can give you the upper hand in being proactive in deterring disruptions in service and ensuring the safety of those entrusted to your care. Institute will directly address the knowledge gap between "Secular" and "Church" certification.

(4) Scope of Technical Services - Can the consultant show a portfolio of relevant successful technical engagements?

What is the consultant "Consulting on"? Is it a campus wide camera system or is it your church's total Security Program? Is it a Risk Assessment, Systems assessment, Security Program assessment?

A full Security Program assessment looks at all the facets of the "Three Strands of Church Security" TM. Starting with the base strand of Policies and Procedures, progressing to the second strand of Human Resources/Team Players, to carry out the Polices and Procedures and ending with the third strand of Systems and Tools, like video surveillance and radios, to make the team more effective and efficient.

We hope this article gives the information for churches to make good choices when engaging a Church security consultant.

Gatekeepers Security Services, LLC - is one company to offer a church a high degree of all choice factors identified above.

Licensed | Certified | Real World Church Experience

For more information contact: info@gatekeeperssecurity.com or visit http://www.gatekeeperssecurity.com

Church Security Teams Legally Licensed through Gatekeepers Security

Through an exclusive arrangement with Gatekeepers Security Services, LLC, a licensed Texas security company, several Texas churches are officially meeting the state requirements for volunteer armed plain-clothed security officers in their churches.

Gatekeepers Security Services, LLC provides churches throughout Texas with private security services. In fact, Churches are their only business. Chuck Chadwick, President of Gatekeepers has found a unique solution to the high cost of traditional armed security personnel.

"There is a great deal of misinformation out there when it comes to using a person's Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL) to be part of an armed security team." Says Chuck Chadwick, President of Gatekeepers.

The Texas Department of Public Safety - Private Security Bureau as ruled specifically on this issue at our request. The actual ruling/opinion can be found at:

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/RSD/PSB/Laws/psb_opin_sum.htm under Church Volunteer Security Patrol

Specifically:


Church Volunteer Security Patrol May 10, 2007

A volunteer security patrol made up of church members would generally require licensing under the provisions of Section 1702.108 or 1702.222, regardless of whether any compensation is received as a result of the activities. The only exception to licensing provided by the legislature for nonprofit and civic organizations is found in Section 1702.327, which applies specifically to nonprofit and civic organizations that employ peace officers under certain circumstances and would not be applicable here.

However, there is one exception to licensing under Chapter 1702 provided by the legislature that could arguably apply, which can be found in section 1702.323 ("Security Department of Private Business"). This exception would allow volunteers to provide security services exclusively for one church, as long as they do not carry firearms and as long as they do not wear "a uniform with any type of badge commonly associated with security personnel or law enforcement or a patch or apparel with 'security' on the patch or apparel." See TEX. OCC. CODE §1702.323(a) & (d)(2). Thus, the wearing of a uniform or any apparel containing the word "security" would subject them to the licensing requirements of the act.

The ONLY way to carry a firearm as a part of a concerted security effort in Texas is to be either an Active Law Enforcement officer or a licensed Texas Department of Public Safety - Private Commissioned Security Officer or a Personal Protection Officer working under contract to the church by a Registered, Licensed and Insured Security Services company. To do so without the required licensing, coverage and contract constitutes a class "A" misdemeanor punishable by $10,000 fine and a year in state prison.

"Our program meets and exceeds the state laws pertaining to Private Security. The program was designed to save the churches roughly two thirds of the cost of hiring traditional private security or law enforcement." Says Chadwick. "When it come to guys with guns, there is no free lunch. A church has to come to grips with this issue."

We are also in talks with churches South Carolina and Oklahoma about the program expansion.

For further program details and how your church can get "Legal" contact Chuck Chadwick @ (972) 712-8818 or email chuck@gatekeeperssecurity.com