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Old 01-17-2017, 04:39 PM
hdwhit hdwhit is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: North Texas
Posts: 787
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jimmyj wrote:
I am a new member of a church security unit.
Several members are retired LEO.
The main purpose is security in the main sanctuary. The building is one story.
The sanctuary is approx. 75 feet from main door to pulpit and approx. 75 feet wide.
The sanctuary is normally full on Sunday mornings.

To my mind, over penetration is a main concern in the event that an active shooter has to be dealt with.

A large slow moving handgun bullet is what I am thinking ?
I led the group that developed the security team procedures adopted by a number of large churches in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area starting in the late-1990's.

There's not enough room in one of these posts to go over three years worth of work and training, but suffice it to say that among the situations the security team was expected to deal with, an active shooter was considered the least likely. Trespassing, Property Crime, Simple Assault and Ensuring that no adult was left alone with a child were the biggest concerns and they were predomoinately what was trained for.

With respect to an Active Shooter situation, following a detailed analysis of the likely threats as well as the capabilities of the security team members that were potentially armed (all were required to be currently serving LEOs and thus up to date on their training) we concluded it would be irresponsible to position armed guards within a crowded sancturary where the backdrop to any shot was another member of the congregation.

Instead, we opted for a system that created three security perimeters; one outside the building using unarmed observers, a second around the children's area and another within the building but outside of the sanctuary. This third perimeter did allow for the guards to be armed (provided the church's leadership agreed - although few did).

I would recommend your church's leadership check with their liability insurance company about whether or not posting armed guards within the sanctuary is permitted under the terms of the policy. I would also suggest that any armed security team members carry their own general liability insurance policy to help protect them in the event they injure or kill someone.
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