The first step to understanding what security needs need to be addressed is understanding the threats and vulnerabilities that your church or synagogue will be facing. This includes structural vulnerabilities, intelligence reports, and current political climate. We must first understand how our church or synagogue is laid out, where all of our entrances and exits, what spots could be choke points for entry/escape, which way do doors open and close and how durable they are, etc.
Secondly, church and synagogue leaders must speak to local, state, and federal law enforcement and understand what current threats they are monitoring. We have seen time and time again that law enforcement had previous intelligence on the attacker but never shared it with anyone (I.E. the Tree of Life Synagogue attack where the attacker posted on various social media that he was going to do it)
Thirdly, the current political climate or more specifically what the news media is reporting on could be a hint of what’s to come or inspire copy-cat attacks.
Security team members must be armed with the correct weapons and gear. Weaponry choices will vary depending on the size of the place of worship, the teams ability to carry and use them, and most importantly their level of training.
Each team member must have proper gear for the job, including medical gear. This includes: holsters, medical gear, body armor, radios, etc. Holsters for uniformed security must have at the very least level II retention. For plain clothed concealed kydex holsters must be utilized from an appendix or 3-4 o’clock position for easy and quick access from concealment.
First and foremost team members must learn to systematically identify potential threats. This includes profiling how a potential attacker would behave as well a key characteristics to look for. Without this, having the right gear is useless. Undergoing firearms training is an absolute must and Church and synagogue security team members must train to a high level of firearms handling proficiency.
For an in-depth guide in security training specifically for places of worship, read our blog to find out key areas of training, the right choices of gear and much more.