Tuesday, October 25

All Time High Count Winner

I was recently looking though some of the statistics for this website and found that the below post has been my all time high for the most page views. This post has been viewed over 1,200 times... It is for a good reason. The author of the blog is a well respected professional in the industry. If you have not have a chance to look at it, I would highly recommend it. I thought it would be fun to repost the original message below!

Post From May March 2nd, 2010

A friend and colleague of mine runs a blog called the "Counter Terror Forum" This is a great website to look at if you are seeking information for current events around the world involving terrorist events.


"This forum will highlight items of interest regarding threats to our national security: terrorism, transnational crime, organized crime, and gangs. The site will also serve to support the law enforcement and intelligence community with open source reporting and analysis. This is a scholarly blog, free of opinion or political views. Your comments that add to this dialogue are welcome!"

Think About it... Carl Chinn (Post 2)

From: www.carlchinn.com (reposted with permission) 

Hate Crime?

Some years ago I (Carl) first heard the term, “hate crime”. I’m sure you recall when you first heard it as well.

When it comes to homicide and other violence, I’m not really sure which ones are not “hate induced” but it is a term we will be familiar with for the foreseeable future.

Having five children, my wife and I often encountered teachable moments. Our youngest daughter was in early grade school when I heard her tell one of her siblings, that she “hated so & so”. She was the most tender of all our children, so that phrase struck me as particularly surprising coming from her.

I sat down with her, and asked if she knew what the word “hate” meant. She responded in such a way that helped me understand she really didn’t have a clue as to the meaning of the word. As I used the example of the Nazi driven hatred of Jewish people, she began to cry as the understanding of the word began to take hold. She is now grown and married, and I don’t think she has used the word since in any conversation having to do with another person.

Not every little boy or girl who grew up using the word encountered opportunities for correction. As they used the word, the feelings grew. At some point, they became adults and the feelings continued to grow with their body, intellect and views on life.

They now look through the lens of life through smudges of hate. If something disagrees with them, they can truly hate that concept, person or group. I know Republicans who genuinely hate the Democratic Party and Democrats who genuinely hate the Republican Party (as one example). I know some who change facial expressions when discussing some political, social or theological persuasion that differs from their own.

Not everyone who hates something or someone commits a violent crime. But violent crimes are committed by haters.

Hate crime legislation is of debatable value. Most violence against persons or groupsis hate based, and to try and define only crimes against certain lifestyles or cultures as hate-based is agenda driven. My complaint is not based on those acts that are categorized as hate crimes -- rather those which are not. The most violent attack in a U. S. school was the bombing of the Bath, Michigan Consolidated School on May 18th, 1927. School Board member Andrew Kehoe became enraged (consumed by hate) over property tax issues and the pending foreclosure of his own property. He rigged explosives into the school that killed 45 (most were children 7-12 years old) and wounded 58. Yet by the definition of “hate crime” that attack would not qualify.

Nor does much of the violence directed against those of us in the Christian Faith. But if someone claiming to be a Christian attacks someone from another persuasion? Katy bar the door…the media frenzy goes wild. And they would be right – it wouldbe a hate crime. Again, my problem is not with crimes that are considered hate crimes, it is with those that are not categorized as such. In fact, I question why the distinction is made at all.

Any congregation of any size or denomination has people in the pews who are haters. Like a drug, they may be fine as long as they are surrounded by others who share their values. But like a drug that is taken away, when something in their life changes dramatically, they may lack the sustaining force of reasonable social skills to keep them grounded in their new world. It could come through a tragedy, mental or physical decline, or even a change in their surroundings.

Think about it …

1. You know who they are in your circle. The one who literally trembles and changes demeanor when you approach a particular subject. Some may brush them off as being “extremely opinionated, but harmless”. Others may find them as simply obnoxious, avoiding contact with them. The danger comes in their lack of tolerance for anyone or anything of a different opinion than theirs.

2. There are many examples of hate-driven groups. Read the recent article in The World Net Daily. We are seeing more and more attacks from homosexual activists like the attacks read of in that article. What you read there of vulgar sex-oriented vandalism happened in several Colorado churches this week as well, but the churches kept it out of the papers. Agenda driven hate groups such as many in the LGBT community are on the rise, and their militancy is out of control. It isn’t only radical gays, there are radicals for or against anything you can think of. There are anti-this and pro-that groups of many persuasions that should be watched.

3. This may be hard for some of you, but if you have someone on your security team that is strongly opinionated, you may need to rethink their appointment. Your church or ministry is responsible for the actions of the people appointed by leadership. If that person is involved in a security intervention, where the stopped party was of a persuasion that your team member is known to despise, count on a tough road of legal defense if they choose to sue the church.

4. “Tolerance” is often a Trojan horse for groups determined to justify corruption. When I speak of tolerance that is not the distortion of the word I embrace. Tolerance doesn’t mean we shouldn’t believe in, and hold fast to absolute truths. We should each be confirmed in our faith. Tolerance for the acts and opinions of others doesn’t mean we sell out our passions for a big-tent view. Right is right and wrong is wrong. I hope the value of tolerance is best understood by this examination of intolerance – when those of a different opinion are attacked for their beliefs.

5. As we get closer to the 2012 elections, we will see hatred towards faith-based people and places increase. Count on it. Be prepared, but don’t be swallowed into it.

We should always consider the model of Christ on earth;

He was a master at upholding the standard while ministering to the exception.

Sunday, October 23

Church Surveillance Video Helps Cops ID Burglar

Last week I posted a link spotlighting a story about a church that was burglarized multiple times. After the first two break-ins  the church purchased surveillance video equipment and had it installed. Shortly after the villain struck again, but this time he was caught on tape. Less then 1 week later we have another story outlining the same thing. I hope these stories will serve in providing recent examples of how security works! Does your church or place of worship have a security system? Does your security system include surveillance cameras?

From: WTAE

{GREENSBURG, Pa. -- A man was seen on surveillance video burglarizing a Greensburg church last week, and police say they've been able to identify him because he was recognized by authorities in neighboring Jeannette.

The Rev. Dale Adams told Channel 4 Action News’ Sheldon Ingram that Life Spring Christian Church has been hit by burglars three times in the past 18 months, with the most recent incident occurring on Friday.}

Article Link

Saturday, October 22

Trial Begins for Janitor Accused of Killing Priest

This is an update on a story that we reported on earlier in the year.

From: CBS News

{(AP) MORRISTOWN, N.J. — The trial of a church janitor accused of murdering a New Jersey priest began Thursday with prosecutors arguing that the man stabbed his employer and methodically covered his tracks out of fear he was about to be fired and the defense countering it was a crime of passion in which the janitor snapped under the pressure of unspecified threats from the priest.}

Article Link

Friday, October 21

Brotherhood Mutual Church Security Conference and Courses

I often receive requests for information on Church Security training and classes. I found this information today and wanted to pass it along. It has also been added to our "Security Conference Tab".

Information From: Signal Fire, by Brotherhood Mutual

Ministry Security Courses

If you would like to attend a Ministry Security Course hosted by our partner organization, the Center for Personal Protection & Safety, please visit their site for more information (CPPSSite.com/Training/1).
  • September 20 - Mt. Scott Church of God, Portland, Oregon
  • September 22 - The Rock, Real Community Church, Castle Rock, Colorado
  • October 11 - North Way Christian Community Church, Wexford, Pennsylvania
  • October 13 - Millcreek Community Church, Erie, Pennsylvania
  • October 18 - New Life Bible Fellowship Church, Tucson, Arizona
  • November 5 - Kaimuki Christian Church, Honolulu, Hawaii
COUPON: On behalf of Brotherhood Mutual, we would like to offer you $50 off your $149 ministry security course registration fee. Visit the CPPS website to register and enter discount code BMIMSC01.

24 Churches Targeted In Rash of Burglaries

From: The Ledger

{LAKELAND | After being burglarized twice, Believer's Fellowship is taking measures to beef up its security system and it isn't alone.

The church is among 24 in Lakeland that have reported being burglarized from June 11 to Oct. 12. Some, like Believer's Fellowship, were broken into multiple times.
Police said church burglaries have always happened throughout the city, but the 33 burglaries concentrated in North and East Lakeland indicate that a person or group of people are targeting churches.}

There  are two things in this article to draw your attention to. The first is that police indicated that a person or group is targeting churches. The second point is that churches are taking steps to beef up their security. What is your church doing to beef up its security?

If you need any suggestions or want advice, please fell free to email!

Thursday, October 20

Burglar Caught on Video... Surveillance Camera's Work!

This is a story that came out yesterday and shows the positive results of adding security to your place or worship!

From: Chron.com

{One church, two burglaries and another attempted break-in. Now, the congregation is hoping a piece of video will help find the latest criminal.

When a thief hit the Greater New Grove Christian Worship Center Church, 7518 E. Mount Houston Rd., early Tuesday, the worst he could do was about $1,000 in damage to the security equipment, according to KTRK-TV (Channel 13).

After a burglary five years ago knocked out the church’s air-conditioning, staff made big improvements to security.

This time, the burglar, caught on video, couldn’t even get in. Says Pastor Lionel Parker:}

Article Link

Sunday, October 16

"Think About It" - Carl Chinn

From: www.carlchinn.com (reposted with permission)

For a season, I would send a periodic e-mail to our own church security team entitled, “think about it”. These regular e-mails would recap a story (some recent, some ancient) and suggest some thoughts for our security team to consider.

One of our team leaders recently asked me to start doing it again, so I thought I would share them with all of you at the same time through the website.

I will try (for a season) to do this as a weekly briefing tool for your security teams.

If this works for you let me know.
“How will you answer when asked, “…?”


On October 2nd, 1900 55-year old John Gleason knocked on the door of the parochial residence of the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in Boston Massachusetts. When a church resident answered the door, Gleason asked to see Father McCarty. When the reverend Lawrence P. McCarty came forward, Gleason asked if he had been born in Ireland. The priest answered that he came from East Boston.

Upon hearing the answer, Gleason pulled out a previously concealed .44 revolver and shot multiple times, striking the priest once in the back. Gleason then went to Boston police station #7 and began talking illogically to Police about multiple confusing things as reports of the Priest’s shooting came into the station. Soon the dots were connected that the insane man they were speaking with was the shooter.

Gleason, who was very poor and living on state aid, said the Priest had been trying to injure him for a long time. It had been six years since he had seen the Priest, but he said he had “stood it as long as he could”.


On September 15th, 1999 47-year old Larry Gene Ashbrook parked his car in a handicap spot then walked into the Wedgewood Baptist Church smoking a cigarette. Jeff Laster was working at the Ft. Worth Texas church and approached him, intending to ask him to put out the cigarette. Before Jeff could speak, Ashbrook pulled out a pistol and began shooting as he asked, “Is this where that religious meeting is going on?”

Jeff was seriously wounded and felt as if it were very unreal – like a movie he was only watching. Ashbrook walked on past him shooting and spewing profanities as he killed 36 year old Sydney Browning where she sat nearby.  He eventually made it into the sanctuary where teen-agers and young adults were gathered for a Wednesday night youth event celebrating earlier “Meet me at The Pole” activities. When the rampage was over, Ashbrook had randomly killed Browning, three 14-year olds, a 17-year old and two 23-year olds before turning one of his two handguns on himself.

Ashbrook had only one minor criminal violation (for possession of marijuana in 1971). Though he was considered by many to be mentally instable (neighbors considered him, “Crazy Larry”), he had never been treated. He would call local newspapers and tell of his fascination with Ricky Lee Green and other serial killers. Journals found in his home were a series of his written ramblings complaining about people he had encountered dating well back into the 1980’s. But there was no connection to the church ever discovered.

Ashbrook had lived with his dad in recent years, but his dad had recently died. He had wrecked that home (on the inside) before going to the church, but had manicured the lawn and trees (though it would be discovered later that he had also poisoned the trees).

His suicide came when teenager Jeremiah Neitz confronted him face to face in an aisle in the sanctuary and just asked him point blank to stop it. After a brief argument with Neitz, Ashbrook responded that, “I’m not interested in y’all – I wanted adults”, then put the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger.

LDS (Mormon)

The LDS Church in Visalia California had 2 services each Sunday. At about 12:30 PM (between the two services) on August 29th, 2010 a stranger walked into the church asking to see “the Spiritual Leader”. Someone directed him towards the office of volunteer leader Clay Sannar, who was doing routine paper work in the office.

Moments later several shots rang out, the stranger vanished, and Sanner was dead.

As law enforcement processed the chaotic scene, 911 dispatchers received a call from a man who plainly said he had “just shot the Mormon Bishop”, gave them a fake name, but a real street address where police could find him, and told the 911 dispatcher they better come “prepared to throw down in mortal combat”.

As police converged on the scene, he opened fire on them which was returned with a barrage of gunfire killing the shooter.

Kenneth James Ward was angry at the Mormon Church for excommunicating him 16 years earlier (even though he had since rejoined the LDS church in an eastern U. S. state). The home where he told the police they could find him – where he died in the gun-battle – was the home he had lived in as a child.

You never know …

Sanctuaries of all faiths, from one end of our nation to the other, have been invaded by pure senseless evil throughout time. It could be a long-festering anger from years before or misdirected insanity having nothing to do with the church at all. But when that stranger (or familiar face such as often the case) walks into the doors of your church, you don’t know what baggage they are carrying.

There are some very sick people out there. What may sound as an innocent question to any greeter could be something far more sinister.

Be kind, open, caring, and a model of your faith. But be alert at all times.

Never forget you are a sheepdog.

As Jesus told His disciples,

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

"Think About It" - Carl Chinn Intro

Carl Chinn, who has become a friend of mine over the last few years, runs a website called www.carlchinn.com. Carl just added a new page to his website that I wanted to draw your attention to. I will be posting Carl's weekly post at www.securityatchurch.com.

Here is a little bio on Carl:

"The 2007 shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs was one of the most significant attacks on Christian ministries in recent years. The gunman / hostage incident at the “Focus on the Family” headquarters in 1996 was another ministry incident of note. Chinn played a key role in the preincident emergency planning and was an initial responder in both incidents. Chinn will speak on plan development and shares inside recounts of these infamous incidents. Carl Chinn speaks on the subject of ministry environment security and emergency response."

Friday, October 14

Sacred Silver Stolen From Church


COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Last week, thousands of dollars worth of sacred silver was stolen from a church in Council Bluffs. But the two chalices taken from the Holy Family Catholic Church are priceless to the priest.

Father Dan Kirby's associate discovered that -- sometime between Tuesday and Thursday last week -- thieves took advantage of a forgiving Holy Family Catholic Church to do, seemingly, the unforgivable.


Thursday, October 13

Las Vegas Pastor Pleads Guilty to Stealing $650,000 from Church

From: Los Angeles Times

{Parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a Catholic church in Las Vegas, were baffled. Why would their beloved pastor steal from their parish?

But steal, he did. Msgr. Kevin McAuliffe stole from the church mission fund. He stole from the gift shop fund. He even stole from the pot of money for votive candles.}


Wednesday, October 12

Church Treasurer Sentenced to House Arrest for Embezzling $75,000

From: Kingsport Times News

{ROGERSVILLE — A former Rogersville church treasurer was sentenced to eight years of house arrest and ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution Friday by Judge John Dugger for embezzling church funds over a three year period.}


Tuesday, October 11

Guns in Church Case goes to Federal Appeals Court

From: Gainesville Times

{For decades people have argued over gun rights.

That battle continues to rage in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals where the gun-rights group GeorgiaCarry.org is hoping to persuade a three-judge panel that a Georgia law banning guns in "places of worship" interferes with the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. Only Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and North Dakota prohibit firearms in churches, synagogues and mosques.}


Monday, October 10

From: Chron.com
{CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Collection plate money, copper downspouts and even church van parts — for some unscrupulous thieves, Franklin County's houses of worship have apparently become a source of easy cash.

At least eight area churches have fallen victim to some type of crime in the past month. All but one of those incidents, the reported vandalism of a van, involved thefts. Many agree that the trend is likely a product of an ailing economy.}

Sunday, October 9

New Website Look

Do you like the new look to the website? This is not going to be our final resting place; however, I felt that it could use a little facelift. 

Thanks for supporting me and securityatchurch.com 

Wounded Pastor in Church Shooting Speaks Out

From: The Christian Post 

{For the first time since last month’s church shooting in Lakeland, Fla., Pastor William Boss, who was shot in the head while kneeling in prayer, has spoken out – declaring his survival was based solely on God’s hand.}

Saturday, October 8

Church: Safe and Secure?

From: The Baptist Standard

{By definition, a "sanctuary" should be a place of refuge and protection where people feel welcome and feel safe.

In practice, churches struggle with what it means to open their doors to everyone while providing a sense of security for people inside their walls.

And if that holds true when groups gather for worship, the tension mounts for personnel who work alone on weekdays in a church office.}

Friday, October 7

How to Conduct a Basic Church Security Survey

From: The Baptist Standard

{While you can depend on the police to assist you with risk assessment and crime prevention advice, you should understand the police will investigate your crime after it has occurred and rarely are able to prevent church crimes. At a church shooting in Illinois, police responded in 90 seconds, but there already were seven dead worshippers and 11 more injured. In Securing Houses of Worship: A Community Service ManuaI
, Philip Purpura wrote: "The police response is primarily reactive, and departments are under great pressure to solve crimes. As a result, the proactive efforts that would reduce risks at houses of worship are rarely in place."}

From Article: Quarles lists basic crime-prevention advice for churches:

• Stop denying the threat. "Churches are not safe havens. Criminals hold almost nothing sacred."

• Seek God's guidance. "We need wisdom beyond ourselves and a recognition of the evil in our society."

• Form a security committee. Quarles suggests a group representative of the specific congregation's ministries and age groups, with both men and women included.

• Assess the risks. Talk to law enforcement officials to find out if other churches have been targeted.

• Use discretion. Security cameras, alarm systems and security personnel are provided by for-profit companies. "Always remember that private companies offer a service or a product. So, sometimes their assessments are biased in favor of a profit."

• Spend if necessary. If security does demand a financial investment, keep in mind the church's vulnerability if risks are not addressed. A security system may be much less expensive than a lawsuit.

• Empower greeters as guardians. A church member stationed at each entrance who welcomes every person who enters the church facility is an effective crime deterrent.