Tennessee and Las Vegas –
Obviously, the Tennessee incident is applicable to church security. The Las Vegas incident also has implications that could affect church security.
Tennessee – What can we learn?
It started outside; have Gatekeepers or Watchmen outside. What’s a Watchman? Watchmen are Eyes and Ears personnel that have radios (or cel phones) that can alert your armed Gatekeepers to incidents or suspicious behavior outside.
After he murdered the lady outside he went into the church. What can we learn? Have armed Gatekeepers inside.
Here’s an excerpt from one of the news articles. It is like a broken record that keeps repeating itself, over and over and over again.
“Everyone is saying don’t jump to conclusions and he was a nice guy but I think it was planned,” Goad said. “He knew what he was doing and picked out a place he knew where everybody was elderly, and didn’t expect to encounter anyone who was armed.”
After Samson shot Spann and the other parishioners, another man inside the church, Robert Caleb Engle, confronted him. As the two men struggled, police said, Samson’s gun went off, hitting him in the chest, and he fell to the floor. Engle then retrieved his own handgun and stood over Samson until police arrived.
Las Vegas – What can we learn from this horrific incident?
My son, William Chadwick III, has been intimately involved in church security for almost a decade and is our primary instructor at the Christian Security Institute. William has a comment he makes in our Pastoral Protection class where he talks about “the smoke machines are going full blast, the lights flashing and swirling around, thousands of people packed into the venue, the band playing at over 100 decibles, people jumping up and down”; yes, he’s talking about the church service! Can you reflect on the Las Vegas incident for a moment? What’s the difference?
Put your “Bad Guy” hat on for a moment. How could the bad guy get a weapon into your church main auditorium? We always had the security team “Clear” the auditoriums before handing it over to the ushers. The ushers cleared the auditorium between services to look for anything left behind (bomb or weapon).
Think about these questions:
- Was the church auditorium locked down all during the week?
- Who has access to it?
- Could the bad guy sneak a weapon into the auditorium, maybe in the back of the balcony, during the week?
- Are there places to hide a weapon in the auditorium?
- Do you allow backpacks, luggage or packages into the main scantuary?
- How would your Gatekeepers respond to a shooter in the balcony?
- What is your effective range with that micro-concealable, 2 inch barrel, 6 shot pistol you think is a great opion for you, as a Gatekeeper of your congregation?
- Have you even practices at ranges greater that 15 yards?
- Under what circumstances would you even try a long shot?
- Do you have long guns (patrol rifles) available to your Gatekeepers?
- Are they trained to respond to such an incident?
- Do you have proof of training with such weapons?
Training Opportunities at the Christians Security Institute:
We offer our Patrol Rifle courses to any verifiable Gatekeeper of a church. Our instructors are certified instructors. At the end of the class you receive both a Christians Security Institute certificate, but also certificate of completion/passing of the NRA Law Enforcement Patrol Rifle Instructor “Course of Fire” from a certified NRA Law Enforcement Patrol Rifle Instructor (if you can pass it). These are placed in your personnel training files as proof of training.
Please contact us for further details on courses for your Gatekeepers.
Highest Regards and God Bless,