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Use of Force Policy

Posted by Charles "Chuck" Chadwick, Jr. on

Security and Ushers: Handling “difficult” people

Definition: Difficult People are defined as persons who refuse to adhere to the scriptural practices of good order and discipline in the body of Christ. Hecklers, protestors and other individuals who demonstrate a lack of consideration for their neighbor’s peace, privacy and threaten safety is the subject of this protocol.

Use of physical coercion or force: The Security Ministry has a graduated continuum for using physical coercion or force that is proportional to the threat exhibited by the subject.



Steps to handle a difficult person: The steps in handling a difficult person will mirror the universal Use of Force Continuum starting from the lowest possible level necessary to achieve control or mitigate the situation. If the need arises the continuum can be entered at any point in order to give an appropriate response to a threatening situation. 

  1. Step 1: Team Member Presence – the Ushers or Security Team establish a visible presence near the disturbance. This may serve as a representation of authority that is enough to diffuse the
  2. Step 2: Caring Inquiry – Often an individual exhibiting disruptive behavior has needs (real or perceived) that left unaddressed will cause the behavior to continue or escalate. Ask the person if they need assistance or help. Contact a member of the Pastoral Staff to assist in verbally approaching the
  3. Step 3: Verbal Direction – the Pastoral Staff will provide direction and parameters of behavior for the individual so that they can remain and participate in the Service or activity. If this fails, the Security Team Members (Ushers/Security) at the scene must begin the process of removing the individual from the scene. Provide explicit and simple verbal directions to the individual. In other words, “tell them what you want them to do”. If this works, escort the individual out of the area and have the designated Pastor continue to minister to them. Once out of the area, contact or involve the police if the individual continues to be disruptive or
  4. Step 4: Soft Empty Hand Techniques – If the situation continues to escalate and the individual will not settle down or leave, then they must be physically escorted out. This should not be done alone and is also dependent on the physical skills and capabilities of the Security Team Member. Remember, even a person who is small in stature can be dangerous and cause substantial injury if they are highly agitated. Along with other Team Members, begin escorting the individual out of the area. PPCT and Defensive Tactics are employed here at a low level to assure compliance. If you are unable to handle the individual physically, contain the person until police and reinforcements arrive.
  5. Step 5: Hard Empty Hand Techniques – Individuals that cannot be escorted/controlled or pose a physical threat to the safety of others must be brought under control and placed on the ground until they can be properly restrained by Security or Law Enforcement. Maintaining personal safety and that of others is a priority at this point. Moving the individual to a clear area is essential in minimizing the likelihood of “collateral damage”.

Security and Ushers: Handling “difficult” people

  1. Step 6; Deadly Force – Deadly Force is defined as actions taken that will result in death or serious bodily injury. Deadly force is not limited to the use of a firearm but may result from the excessive use of non-deadly force

As long as members of churches are victims of violent crimes, team members can be confronted with deadly force. It may be necessary for team members to use deadly force for the protection of people attending the church and themselves.

The general policy of the Security Ministry regarding the use of firearms or other deadly force by team members is that such force will be used on another person only when legally justified; when the need to do so is strong and compelling; and only as a last resort.

The use of deadly force is not permitted to protect church property or funds. These things can be replaced. God’s treasures are people and only the imminent threat of grave harm or death will justify the taking of a life. A team member is not justified in the use of deadly force to protect him/her or others from assaults which appear unlikely to result in death or serious bodily injury. Deadly force is not limited to the use of a firearm but may result from the excessive use of non-deadly force techniques.


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