Faith-based organizations should be intentional in the safety & security of their staff, visitors, congregations and assets. Being a ministry does not exempt us from the dangers applicable to other places. Ministries, now more than ever before, are recognizing the responsibility to prevent or manage the many dangers facing them.
As an example, in the 10-year period from 2003 to 2012 there were no less than 237 homicide incidents at faith-based organizations (mostly churches). There were also many less violent crimes at these traditional soft targets.
Crimes such as domestic violence, robbery, and active shooters have all occurred in what was once considered the safe haven of our houses of worship.
Faith-based organizations must increase their awareness of, and preparation for, the accidental, criminal, negligent and environmental hazards capable of compromising their primary purpose.
LEGALITY: In many state or area jurisdictions, security operations are regulated by law. Many prohibit the carrying of a handgun in church as a part of a security team (concealed permit or not). Some regulate any intentional security action, mandating proper training, licensing and regulatory compliance. It is common for those with a protective heart to read the laws with such a strong desire to protect, that they make errors in the interpretation of the law.
COST: Many churches recognize the need for effective security, but struggle with the cost of off-duty law enforcement, security contractors or full-time security staff.
CULTURE: Many have been to the courthouse, through airports or have seen police or security at community or sporting events and resist such a look and feel at their open-door culture. Even if they accept security, a conspicuous uniformed officer would not fit in well.
RISK and INSURANCE: Due to the donation-based culture of ministries, security is often by volunteers who have very little, if any, formal training. Many churches have given little consideration to the liability if a volunteer gets hurt or is involved in a litigious action. What insurance would cover both the ministry and the individual in the case of injury or death?
INCONSISTENCY: Many churches are in the process of inventing their own wheel, missing out on the benefits of the momentum of others. The church insurance industry is now faced with many policy holders having a myriad of levels of training and operational protocols.
The National Organization of Church Security & Safety Management™ (NOCSSM™) is the premier & established association focused exclusively on faith-based security operations. NOCSSM™ pioneered the Gatekeepers Program™ in Texas, which is one of the most regulated states in the nation when it comes to security operations in houses of worship. This time-tested and proven model is now being introduced to other states.
The program trains, certifies volunteers and staff in advanced levels of security operations. This is accomplished through two certified levels of Church Security Operators (CSO’s);
- CSO Level 2 - Certified security operators qualified to protect with less than lethal skills and tools.
- CSO Level 3 - Certified security operators qualified to protect with all of the CSO 2 skills in addition to lethal force if needed.
Training specifics—Curriculum Online—Three days of High Intensity Training
Level 2 training—2 days | $300 (per person)
Legal / Arrest Authority & SOPs – Based on State Penal Code and common Law Enforcement and Security Standards
Defensive Tactics – Based on State Penal Code and common Law Enforcement and Security Standards
- Soft and Hard empty hand techniques
- Control and Survival targets
- Takedowns and escort techniques
Handcuffing—Based on State Penal Code and common Law Enforcement and Security Standards
Annual Renewal | $50 for Level 2
Level 3 training - 1 day | $200 (per person)
- Timed draw from holster
- Qualification Course of Fire—Based on State Penal Code and common Law Enforcement and Security Standards. We currently use the FBI standards.
Equipment needed per student—
- Handgun—9MM, 40 S&W, 45 ACP or other approved caliber
- 2 magazines
- Strong Side Holster
- Magazine holder
- 60 rounds of ammunition per Qualification course of fire
- Eye and Hearing protection
Courses are taught at our facilities in Texas. On site/local training is available at an increased cost.
TOTAL FOR 3 DAYS - $500
For further details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (972) 712-8818
OUR FOUNDING SCRIPTURE: 1 CHRONICLES 9:21-14
21 And later Zechariah son of Meshelemiah had been responsible for guarding the entrance of the tabernacle.
22 In all, there were 212 Gatekeepers in those days, and they were listed by genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed their ancestors because they were reliable men.
23 These gatekeepers and their descendants, by their divisions, were responsible for guarding the entrance to the house of the LORD, the house that was formerly a tent.
24 The gatekeepers were stationed on all four sides—east, west, north, and south.