Question: “Brian, very thought provoking post. Do you believe that churches, schools, hospitals and the like should also educate their "customers" to make them force multipliers? I would be interested to hear if you think that is a good idea from a law enforcement perspective and if so, maybe some tips on how to effectively do so.” - Jenni Hesterman
Force multiplication refers to a combination of attributes which give a particular force or group an added advantage. Well-trained employees and volunteers should definitely be considered a security force multiplier. By training those who work for you and your organization you are increasing the eyes and ears of your team. I have a good example of this from a former job of mine. I use to work for a large department store. I was the security manager and was primarily responsible for investigating shop lifting. The company policy was for me to give a five minute speech at the beginning of every shift to all the employees about the importance of looking for shoplifters. If a store sales clerk notified the security department of a possible concern then that clerk would be given a cash award if they were correct and an arrest (from the security department) for shoplifting was made. This policy multiplied the security force by enlisting the aid of all store employees.
The interesting part of the question posted refers to the word “customers”. I think that there is a level of appropriateness in educating all your customers. For churches "customers" would refer to the congregational members of your religious institution. If the members of your church are helping to look after the church from a security prospective then you are only improving the benefit to your congregation. Have them report suspicious activity to your security director, pastor, minister, priest or church administration. This same principle could apply to school, hospitals, and other organizations as well.