Good morning everyone!
I wanted to take a quick minute to write all of you regarding something that I am responding to a lot recently: Church Security Teams looking for training.
First of all, it is awesome to see so many organizations realizing that the first and most important “rung” of defense lays within the congregation. Time and time again, we see that it is the person who has the firearm there at the moment that stops bad actors from continuing vs. waiting for a law enforcement response that “eventually” stops the threat.
That being said, one trend that I am noticing in the emails I receive when teams are looking for training is that they immediately want to jump into “active shooter training” with their armed team but are devoid of any type of formal firearms training program aside from their team having “CPLs.”
There is a huge difference between a church that allows members of its congregation to lawfully carry and being a member of a “Church Security Team.”
When you are a member of a formal team, you are on the hook for the actions taken of that team, and when that team is charged with the protection of the flock, any lackadaisical approach to standards and training is nothing but a liability for the organization and more importantly for you and the members of the congregation. The guy that “can’t shoot but everybody likes him, so he got to be on the team” and then shoots the wrong person and/or violates lawful force standards – That is your team member. He wears the same title as you and you get lumped into his actions. (and the Church will pay for it.)
Insurance? Shooting Qualifications? Mandatory Firearms and Use of Force training? Standard Operating Procedures? Formal Security and Response Plan? If these topics are non-existent in your team’s construction, then you are playing it pretty fast and loose with your own well-being as member of that team.
While I try to pass this info on to the many folks who contact us looking for more training with their security team, I know that there are lots of organizations out there who won’t, and as such, I wanted to share some thoughts on what concerns come from throwing a security team title on a group of people that simply have CPLs and carry at church vs a formal and well developed/protected Security Team.
If you are part of a team that wants outside evaluation and training, don’t hesitate to contact us. If we can’t help, we will at least get you the best direction to head to make your team better prepared and better protected.