By Kenneth C. Mitchell, Secure Church International
The first thing I would like to do is praise God for the opportunity to be healthy enough to write this article. He is our Lord and Savior and is the guide for my tenacity to help everyone to become more aware of their surroundings and most of all, HAVE A PLAN!
Even as I write this article, I am in amazement that our society has become a place where someone like me has a calling to help protect our Pastors, Priest, Parishioners or Congregation. Head down, on your knees or hands raised in praise, evil is just a pace away. Our Lord will provide your safe guidance into heaven, but it is up to us to make sure we’re not there anytime sooner than he planned for us. I want to go over the importance of “LOCKDOWN” procedures, as it pertains to a school, daycare or church settings.
First and foremost, HAVE A PLAN, second of all HAVE A PLAN and finally HAVE A PLAN……get it?
We all have heard the old saying, “NO ONE EVER PLANS TO FAIL, THEY FAIL TO PLAN”, this cannot be more true than with “lockdown procedures”. This simple, yet extremely important action can save lives, limit liability and instill confidence in your staff. Yet, without well thought out and practiced procedures, it can hinder, cause panic and heighten incidents of potential disaster.
Recent and reoccurring events have led us to have a need to have such a procedure in place. This heightened awareness has made us all ultra sensitive to the safety and protection of our most valuable assets, our fellow human beings. Having a plan and practicing it on a regular basis creates a feeling of awareness, self confidence and professionalism. But this all has to be done with consistency. You can have the best formulated plan, pay hundreds of dollars for someone to come in and assist you in developing that plan, have charts, graphs, written procedures and a special place on your office shelf for that beautiful leather bound procedure manual, but if you do not practice, it will be a panicked reaction with everyone not knowing what to do.
Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes for perfect execution. Have fun with it, have your staff involved in every portion of the process, open dialogue. Have casual Thursday and make it a day of fellowship and practice, but take it serious and make it part of your routine. Execute roll playing, scenarios that are realistic, don’t work off of fear, work off of confidence. Let your staff know that if some unforeseen event takes place, they will have the know how and confidence to make sure that the crisis scenario they are witnessing unfolding in their presence, will be minimized and hopefully obverted, because of their dedication to the safety of their fellow Christians and their ability to react properly.