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Old 09-02-2016, 10:41 PM
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Just a heads up since you live in Michigan. I don't live in Michigan, but I did read a while back that there have been multiple reports of Churches in Michigan being cased. They usually sat in the back and reports said that they were taking multiple pictures of the sanctuaries with their phones.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Iamfarticus View Post
Churches and other places of worship and soft targets and you should have a defense plan in place. There are other threads on churches that have had recent disturbing visitors, possibly casing the place.

It never hurts to have a couple of pairs of eyes outside during the service. Their presence alone may scare off potential bad guys.
Church that I used to attend had 4 people that stayed outside in the parking lot during Sunday School and Church service. Sunday School classes had an assigned week for 4 volunteers. The reason being, cars were being broken into and several people had their car batteries stolen.
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Old 09-03-2016, 10:33 AM
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Don't over think this. You are legal CCW. While it is good to know who other CCW members are there, it is the same as if you were in a mall and something happens. Tactical training is not real applicable here. Just cover and concealment and direct action.
Having an actual security team for the church is a completely different thing. Designated security team members need communications and basic security reaction plans designated by simple short words for a quick reaction by other team members.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:51 PM
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I wanted to give an update.
We’ve had a safety team for close to two years now that I lead, but it is by far, a team effort.

It’s my responsibility to make sure we have a meeting once a month, and I come up with material to talk about.

Last year we had first aid and cpr training, fire extinguisher practice, and multiple drills and what if’s and we armored the podium. We will be having another first aid, cpr and fire extinguisher class this October.

This past Sunday we talked about everyone who has a CPL to carry all the time in church but I also encourage them to practice every month.

We talked about clearing your homes once in a while because I thought practicing that at home would be good practice for at the church.

We talked about practicing drawing your firearm to make it fluid muscle memory.

I tried to create a drill of a missing child at the church that everyone had to go and look for, but it failed because my wife found the doll in literally 30 seconds. (Frustrating)

The second drill was practicing removing a disruptive person from the church that I wanted all of the guys to participate in. It got progressively more aggressive until the last one had to be carried out.

We’ll be taking the pastor to the local gun store to rent a few hand guns and practice with them, this weekend.

If you have suggestions for drills please share them.

Thank you.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:14 PM
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How big is your chapel area? Can your people shoot across it with accuracy? The reason I ask is because most sanctuaries or worship areas are large open areas with a slight uphill angle to them. One additional thing that you might want to consider is discreetly placing a rifleman or two somewhere so that they can cover the chapel area with scoped rifles of some kind.

Your other option is to spread out people across the chapel area. By placing people in key locations you eliminate the distance from a defensive shooter to the attacker. Such placement reduces the chances of missing the bad guy and/or stray shots hitting an innocent person.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:35 PM
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I'll have to assume if you want to do this you'll need to get your security licenses for the state. I volunteer a few times a month at a church I don't go to but me a guy who talked me into it (in TX we need to do a level II and III courses - the III was one week in duration and II was online - weapons qual with pistol and SG). The church has a paid security staff and a volunteer staff which is 30 each session. Seems excessive but it's a mega church.

https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601...470---,00.html
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaquero5 View Post
I attend a small church in Michigan. I have asked for and received permission to conceal carry in the church from the pastor. I want to get together with other people in the church who also conceal carry to get an idea for what their skill and comfort levels are in the church and maybe put together a plan in an emergency. I am looking for ideas of how to proceed.

I currently practice multiple drills at the gun range every week. I practice: draw, rack, and shoot; clearing bad/dead rounds; drawing with off hand, rack, and shoot; reload from cover; and multiple targets. At home I practice combat reloading, and conceal draws.

I recognize that I have my limitations in experience which is why I'm reaching out to you.

Questions:

1. Using a church setting, how would you prepare for an active shooter situation?
2. What drills would you practice?
3. Do local LOE have community out reach programs for this?
IS THERE an elevated choir loft?
Does it take in the whole congregation area?

IF so that is definitely one point where you restrict access and also a point you want manned by a good guy.

There are a couple things you want to know and remember.
From the LE side..
IF their ROE are "do not wait for backup" then as soon as the first officer arrives he will be entering and engaging ANYONE he doesn't know holding a visible weapon. If the good guys have control of the situation have the PASTOR in his attire be the first one seen by the officers and he can tell them to stand down, or direct them to the bad scene. Hopefully the officer(s) will recognize him and know he isn't a poser setting him/them up.
In ANY CASE YOU do not want to be holding a gun when the officer comes in.

IF the shooter is still there and an officer comes in to engage, PUT THE GUN AWAY until the officer has NO DOUBT about who the BG is.
WAAAAAYYYYY back when dinosaurs walked the earth I was trained that in a situation like that, mass shooter, you didn't wait for backup and went in to engage. I asked "how do you know who the BG is? " My FTO, a WII paratrooper who jumped on D day, looked at me and said, "He will be the one with the gun dummy." Then he added, "And, he will try to kill you as soon as he sees you."...GOOD POINT.

Just curious where you are in northern Mich you would have that concern. Where I live the greatest fear would be ALL the lead flying from ALL the folks carrying during services, it would look like THE WILD BUNCH final scene.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:35 PM
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Lost child -- like that drill. Sounds like your wife just knows where to look for a child that is hiding.

Have you done a plain old fashioned fire drill? During Church service and Sunday School?
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaquero5 View Post
I wanted to give an update.
We’ve had a safety team for close to two years now that I lead, but it is by far, a team effort.

It’s my responsibility to make sure we have a meeting once a month, and I come up with material to talk about.

Last year we had first aid and cpr training, fire extinguisher practice, and multiple drills and what if’s and we armored the podium. We will be having another first aid, cpr and fire extinguisher class this October.

This past Sunday we talked about everyone who has a CPL to carry all the time in church but I also encourage them to practice every month.

We talked about clearing your homes once in a while because I thought practicing that at home would be good practice for at the church.

We talked about practicing drawing your firearm to make it fluid muscle memory.

I tried to create a drill of a missing child at the church that everyone had to go and look for, but it failed because my wife found the doll in literally 30 seconds. (Frustrating)

The second drill was practicing removing a disruptive person from the church that I wanted all of the guys to participate in. It got progressively more aggressive until the last one had to be carried out.

We’ll be taking the pastor to the local gun store to rent a few hand guns and practice with them, this weekend.

If you have suggestions for drills please share them.

Thank you.
I suggest that all members of your security team get USCCA insurance.

This will cover each security team member in the event that they become involved in an incident.

Legal fees are not cheap !
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:24 PM
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We are not going to have people with rifles and/or shotguns for two reasons.
1. It’s a small sanctuary with generally a full house. Shooting down from the top balcony is not wise in a panic setting. We do have armed members in the balcony but they are not to shoot into down into the main sanctuary unless they are absolutely sure. We have them assist covering the door from the upper stairwell.
2. The safety team needs to be discreet so as to not distract people from the reason they are there which is to whorship.

We do have people sitting in the main sanctuary sitting in different spots. We rotate one person towards the front of the church that sits in a chair that covers both the front door and the side door. The other two entrances to the church are locked at the start of the service.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:30 PM
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We have done a fire drill but we have not done it during the full service. We have gone over as a team what we would need to do if we had to evacuate out the front. Unfortunately, if we had to go out the back, the only exit is out of the pastors study down a long flight of stairs. Imagine evacuating 60 people down one flight of stairs with some of them arthritic and handicapped.

I hate to say it but it becomes a numbers game and they will have to be either carried or walked down slowly.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:15 PM
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Default Church security

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaquero5 View Post
I wanted to give an update.
We’ve had a safety team for close to two years now that I lead, but it is by far, a team effort.

It’s my responsibility to make sure we have a meeting once a month, and I come up with material to talk about.

Last year we had first aid and cpr training, fire extinguisher practice, and multiple drills and what if’s and we armored the podium. We will be having another first aid, cpr and fire extinguisher class this October.

This past Sunday we talked about everyone who has a CPL to carry all the time in church but I also encourage them to practice every month.

We talked about clearing your homes once in a while because I thought practicing that at home would be good practice for at the church.

We talked about practicing drawing your firearm to make it fluid muscle memory.

I tried to create a drill of a missing child at the church that everyone had to go and look for, but it failed because my wife found the doll in literally 30 seconds. (Frustrating)

The second drill was practicing removing a disruptive person from the church that I wanted all of the guys to participate in. It got progressively more aggressive until the last one had to be carried out.

We’ll be taking the pastor to the local gun store to rent a few hand guns and practice with them, this weekend.

If you have suggestions for drills please share them.

Thank you.


We’re doing similar training but those of us who CC have to do a yearly qual shoot, we use the OPOTA course and times.

For First aid we had a stop the bleed class and drills using our trauma buckets, wheel chairs and stretcher.

So far this year we’ve had two prolonged power outages on Sundays and a couple of elderly medical emergencies.


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Old 09-12-2019, 04:29 PM
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Check out Sheepdog Church Security. Two of my coworkers and good friends are commissioned through them and are active security officers for their church. Both are also veterans. They work directly with your church to train officers, and are a great group to work with with lots of experience.

Also check out StressVest. I've had personal experience with those training for active shooter situations. They offer great training tools with either prop guns or real. Just get ready for some light shocks to the gut.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaquero5 View Post
3. Do local LOE have community out reach programs for this?
Absolutely. I haven't been as involved as I've just recently returned from working in Afghanistan the past year and half, but our church as really taken a big step forward.

Yes, many of us who rotate as ushers are armed, but that's not the best place to initiate your focus.

Physical security is the first place to start. Can you block, lockout and minimize entries during Sunday school and the main services? Do you have a perimeter and parking lot patrol?

Our pastor actually gave the security team a budget, first item purchased was radios. Our campus isn't huge, but is spread out a little, communications are a necessity. Flashlights was another purchase. While some of us carry our own, we often have events in the evening during the week, so having them available for others is important. They just recently purchased several external Wi-Fi cameras and are setting up a small security operations center to monitor them.

HAVE A COMMUNICATIONS PLAN with your local LE and emergency services. Many offer services to help discuss and develop emergency plans. If there's a fire or active shooter do parishioners know where the exits are, covered rally points, etc? What's you plan to notify LE if you have armed church members? Do those carrying concealed know those procedures? If a worse case scenario of an active shooter or shooting incident occurs, it's imperative to have that communications plan established with your local LE office.

They had a security specialist come in and he's done physical security training, first aid/CPR training, discussed profiling and conflict resolution training. He's a talented firearms instructor, but hasn't even touched on that yet. Next up are some basic drills to immobilize/restrain an unarmed threat and the SOP of calling LE. We do have a couple LEOs in the congregation along with a few former LEOs and military.

Our church has had a few incidents, mostly with some troubled people attending a service or wandering around the church campus. They had an incident on Easter involving an individual from an Arabic foreign country who showed up and taking pictures of the outside the back of the church...it's was reported and the FBI now has it.

The one thing they are now following up on is their SOP/security policy so everyone knows what to do for various incidents.

A guy I train with up near Atlanta is a retired Marine who's the head of security for a very large church campus (actually they have two large campuses). He's also a certified firearms instructor with several different classes and does many of the qualifications for the Atlanta Police Department. There pastor is a big proponent of carrying concealed and just asks parishioners if they want to carry, take a class and get certified (at a church discounted price). It may see a little like a scam, but they've made their church policy and it follows the state law (you can CCW in churches if allowed by the church leadership). You can still carry, but could be charged with a misdemeanor.

I do think it's good to get an idea of who is willing to work as ushers and security and if they're carrying. Personally, I consider myself trained and have served as both a primary instructor and assisted in a few classes, but I would contact a reputable local firearms instructor. Request a class you can all take together, and many will offer group discounts, especially for church members. If anything, it will increase the level of safety and proper handling, but I would go further and do some dry-fire, scenario training drills (even if just walking through them) in the church.

What we as ushers have found, is that if someone enters the church (during the main service), it's controlled entry point where we can conduct our initial profile and assessment. If someone is acting "off", the security team can communicate that to the whole team. We have and have executed plans to position security closer to the individual to either "assist" them, interdict them, or restrain them.

We use this TTP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herd Sniper View Post
Your other option is to spread out people across the chapel area. By placing people in key locations you eliminate the distance from a defensive shooter to the attacker. Such placement reduces the chances of missing the bad guy and/or stray shots hitting an innocent person.
While lethal force training is good, it's really the last aspect of church security that should be addressed. There are dozens of other aspects that need attention first, and most start with basic, phsyical security of the church campus.

ROCK6
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:09 AM
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Well a few members conceal carry and I open carry. We can't have a offical security team as it would legally force us to be unarmed. Insurance companys are stupid.

So what I did create a threat assessment plan. Its working and I operate as a door greeter.
We lock all doors after 20 minutes into the service. All but the main doors where we keep a eye on who comes in.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:34 AM
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A few bullet points as I drink my coffee and ponder on this:

1. If your building has a lobby or area that is outside of where the service actually happens and you are worried about security, perhaps close the doors during service and have a person or two who is okay with sitting in the lobby. That way if someone is a regular and shows up late they can wave them by, or if it's someone unrecognized there would be someone there to ask them how they're doing and if there's anything they need.

That little barrier to the doors where the folks are could be a great risk reducer, if not for an incident at the time, for being cased out and giving away intel. When I was in the national guard it was a pretty common practice that if someone was just sitting outside an armory watching, someone would walk out and ask them if they'd like any info on joining the NG! Of course, they didn't, but it did get them moving along and we rarely saw from them again. Making them aware that you're aware will scare ill-intentioned folks off.

2. Angles are important. Know where the entrances are and probably have our sheepdogs around there. Shooting over or past those you're protecting is a terrible idea. Learning to keep on-line with your allies is gunfighting 101.

3. Take a lesson from many schools these days and have a closed facility once service starts. Have a volunteer be the doorman and if people have to show up late for whatever reason, they can let them in. Everyone entering the building past the start of service will then need to be identified tacitly.

4. Consider holding service on a gun range!
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:42 AM
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Have not read them all....

I went to a large church in Tennessee when visiting. My son introduced me to a friend of his who is on the Armed Security Force for the church. There are usually at least six of the force members on duty at each service. They all have communication with each other. You can see the ear pierces they all wear and they carry radioes.

The church takes in many thousands of dollars on every Sunday. Armored car service picks up the. The local police directs traffic at the beginning and end of each service. It is my understanding many area churches have armed members for security.

It is sad we have come down to this level because of bad people. BASS

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Old 09-18-2019, 11:01 AM
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Don't forget the people who are in the church but not at the worship service. About a year ago I spoke to a lady who works in the church office, and when I went there to drop off some paperwork, she had me call ahead and tell her when I'd be there because she said she was concerned for her safety and won't come to the door unless she knows who it is. Also, some churches have a separate nursery section where children are watched and taught while the adults attend the main service. There may be church ladies, janitors or other workers, and children in other areas who are also vulnerable.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:33 PM
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One thing missing from this discusion is communications. Church security should consider radios and comms procedures.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:59 PM
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Default Church security

We have radios and we station team members both inside sanctuary and in narthex.

my post is in the corner where I monitor the hall leading to children’s wing, also watch front door. As of now management won’t lock front door but all other doors are open from inside only.

We are a rural church with a regular attendance of 600-700 souls per Sunday split between 2 services.

Some of the suburban churches we train with have reported organized protests by militants.

With the law being what it is we are limited in our handling of problem people, restraint is a no so we’re forced to contain or escort out and call LEO.


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