Sunday, December 23

Carl Chinn: "Think About It" Series

Evil Among us
By: Carl Chinn

I am angry, can’t sleep, and am literally sick to my stomach. My wife’s throat hurt Friday from screaming out in anguish as the horror out of Sandy Hook Elementary became news to the world.

How do we stop such evil? At what stage can we stop it?
  • Before it clutches the mind and soul of the attacker?
  • If not then, perhaps before it plays out on innocent victims?
  • If we can’t interrupt it before it starts, can we stop it short of its intended finish?
  • If it runs a full course in one scenario, can we prevent it from the same source in the next?
It is incumbent upon us as protection professionals to give due diligence to every one of those phases. The 4 questions above fit into the security concepts of prevention, preparation, response and recovery.

As we brace ourselves for this thing to turn political, as protection professionals we need to stay out of the passionate arguments. We observe the horror to harvest our own lessons learned, and to sharpen the saw of our own readiness.

Think About it:
  • Stand strong at your churches and ministries this week. Look into the eyes of those you protect and thank God for every one of them.
  • I have studied and dissected 255 attacks which resulted in the death of others at faith-based organizations since 1999. Of those 255 attacks, only a total of 24 were stopped in the process by others (12 by law enforcement, 12 by volunteers). The troubling statistic here is that 90.6% of the time, the attacker did not stop until they were ready to stop.
  • There is nothing like a gun in the hands of a defender to stop a gun in the hands of evil. I recall reading some of the criticisms in letters to the editor on our use of deadly force to stop the attacker at our church shooting in 2007. People actually suggested we should have used pepper spray. There really is a serious disconnect of reality in the minds of people who don’t understand evil – pure idiocy. That idiocy is observed in “gun-free zones”. We have to start fixing that issue. Gun free zones (like Sandy Hook Elementary) only provide a field of no resistance for evil. It is time we allow teachers, custodians, or any other workers who are willing to invest in training, and possess the character and desire of protection, to do so.
  • Outside teams take notice. At Sandy Hook, the attacker parked in a drop-off zone. He was dressed tactically, and forced his way inside. Watch those DLR’s! (for those of you who are new to reading my website; DLR = “Don’t Look Right”).
  • I thank you for your service of protection. Extend your thanks to those you serve with. Thank those in leadership for allowing you to serve in protection.
  • Thank God for allowing us to do our parts in the deterrence, detection, delay, denial and destruction of evil. May He enlarge our steps as we work towards success in the protection of the innocent.

Saturday, December 22

Louisville, KY Church Seeks Security After Threats

Louisville church receives threat: "I am going to kill you all, I am going to kill everyone of you"

From: WLKY News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —A violent threat was made against a Louisville church that has been targeted before.

The threat was enough to make the church consider getting security, especially for Christmas services.

Now, the children's pastor is trying to get the person behind the threat arrested.

"He said, 'I'm going to kill you all. I'm going to kill every one of you,'" said pastor Joseph Vittito.

It was a threat that has Vittito and Tabernacle of David members on edge.

Church Security Training & Tips

Anthony Coppedge is a church technology consultant, speaker, and author with experience identifying strategies, building scalable systems and processes, and focusing efforts to stay true to the vision and DNA of an organization. He recently published an article on his blog featuring our friends Carl Chinn and Church Chadwick. I have included several of his points below, but encourage you to click on the link to view the full article.

From: Church Central Leadership Community

Church Safety & Security Tips

HIRING OFF DUTY LAW ENFORCEMENT
Many larger law enforcement agencies do not allow officers to serve as security volunteers when they are off-duty. However, extra-duty agreements are often an option with those agencies. There are often officers willing to serve from smaller jurisdictions in the region that do not have no-voluntary-service employment clauses.

VOLUNTEER SECURITY ROTATION
Try to organize volunteers into two teams – odd & even – each of which serves only on the Sundays with odd or even dates. This way you don’t burn out volunteers, and they are able to attend service with their family every other Sunday. A few times a year (on months with 5 Sundays) they need to work two weekends in a row

VIDEO CAMERA SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS
CCTV (surveillance) systems not only deter crime and capture incidents, but verify what didn’t happen as well as (critical in false accusation cases).

INTRUSION DETECTION
Intrusion detection systems can be integrated with automated lighting controls. For example – when a door is forced, window broken or motion sensors are activated at night, all exterior building lights and the parking lot lights can come on. Lights always on can be almost as vulnerable as lights never on. But lights that come on due to some action catch the attention of both perps and night-time patrolling officers.

FIRE ALARMS
Pre-alarm covers on pull stations prevent most nuisance fire alarms. In addition, you may check with your fire alarm system provider regarding PAS (Positive Alarm Sequence) programming. This allows operations staff 180 seconds to investigate any alarm before the horns go off. The fire department will require evidence of effective staff training on fire alarms, which is a mandated benefit.

LIABILITY DUE TO SEXUAL PREDATORS
If you knew or should have known that a person had the potential and / or history of harming children, you may be liable. Beyond that man-made legal mandate is the far more important God-given order to look after those little ones with sincerity. When it comes to sexual predators – you won’t recognize them when you see them. Develop recurring background investigations for all volunteers and all staff regardless of whether their position is related to children, youth or vulnerable adults because all staff and volunteers will be around them in some way at some time.

SecurityatChurch.com recommends IntelliCorp for background check screening. Use Promotional Code: SAC001when setting up an account. Click for IntelliCorp Website

VEHICLE THEFT
A car broken into in a church parking lot is a serious issue. Police should always be notified instantly, as these thieves often take information from the vehicle registration to determine the home of the owner – drawing a conclusion that the home will be unguarded then, or at the same time in future weeks. In some cases, they take the garage door opener and before the investigation is over at the parking lot, they are already in the home. As a precaution, vehicle registration and other owner address information should be kept in a secure place in the vehicle.

SECURITY PROGRAM LOCAL HELP
Don’t re-invent the entire wheel when developing a security program. Local ordinances often require Shelter in Place, Emergency Action or Security Plans for schools. Police school resource officers will often share relative school district programs when asked.

LOGGING ACCIDENTS
Keep an incident log of medical emergencies, and quickly pass on the names of any persons treated for medical issues to pastoral staff for prompt personal follow-up ministry.

DISCREET LIVE NOTIFICATIONS
The best eyes on the audience are those of the announcer, Senior Pastor or Song Leader (depending on the time of service). When and of these folks see something that may need the attention of security, they can point with a unique gesture (not a normal gesture for them). To anyone in the audience, it simply looks like a normal speaking hand gesture. To those in security, you will know where to focus attention.

OFFICE RECEPTIONIST ALERTS
You can train receptionists to make an announcement to equally trained staff responders over the intercom system of “Tom Smith, you have a call on line 1” any time a situation is making her uncomfortable at the front lobby. Choose any name that is not someone working for you – it is an announcement requesting assistance.

SecurityatChurch.com recommends ePainic Button as an easy an inexpensive solution to notifications during an emergency. Click for ePanic Button Website

SECURITY PERSONNEL IDENTIFICATION

There are two primary ways of security personnel identification – uniformed, or non-uniformed. Non-uniformed is preferred in almost all ministry environments. Should a significant incident develop, there will be a need for identification as first responders arrive – they must be able to distinguish between the good and bad human elements on scene. Badges are good, but in a high-adrenalin incident they won’t be seen. Following are some options;
Professional jackets that look like good usher jackets but have tactical pockets. In a security or emergency situation extra flaps are available out of the vest pocket and collar that identify SECURITY.
Undercover (non-uniformed) local, state and federal law enforcement agents have the same concern – other responding law enforcement to their scenes also may not recognize them as the “good side”. The most dangerous time for “blue on blue” shootings is after the assailant has been engaged or disabled and multiple responders are arriving on scene. A great resource (tool) is the DSM (don’t shoot me) pull-out banner available at www.DSMsafety.com.

CHILD CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT

Check-In -
Register child in system
Print 2 tags/stickers and affix to Child and Parent
Check child into room

Check-Out -
Match parent tag with child tag upon Exit.

Pretty Simple, Right? Not so fast. What if you have to evacuate in the middle of the service? How will you reconcile all of the children to their parents? Did you make a list/log of the children as they entered the room that you could take with you outside in an evacuation? (Check-In step 3)

Here’s a pretty cool addition to a sticker system I saw implemented at one of our church clients; Instead of printing just TWO stickers; print THREE. Use the third sticker to stick on a classroom Log Book. Initial beside each sticker as the child is matched with the parent at the classroom door for checkout. If there is an emergency, take the log book/sheets with you. This is a list of children in the room and a way to check them out after the evacuation.

RISK & VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENTS
Risk & Vulnerability Assessments are critical as a first step in developing any security program. Law enforcement and insurance agencies both perform them without charge. It is good to modify one (after the first one done by others) to repeat annually to record progress and make certain nothing has slipped.

Friday, December 21

Update Church Shooting: Breaking News

Update: Associated Press Reports:
  • Member was fatally shot while decorating for a children's Christmas party
  • Shooting is 70 miles west of Harrisburg
  • Shots fired through the church hall's windows
  • Police say the gunman killed two other men at another location 
  • Gunman was fatally shot by state troopers
Click for Article


Church Shooting: Pennsylvania church shooting: Man Shoots, Kills Ex-Wife During Church Service

Note: I friend just emailed me about the church shooting at Juniata Valley Gospel Church. As I hit the Internet to look from the news article I noticed that there was another church shooting in Pennslyvania two week ago. Below is that article.

From: CBS News

COUDERSPORT, Pa. - An elementary school music teacher walked into a church in the middle of Sunday services and fatally shot his ex-wife as she sat in a pew, police said.

Gregory Eldred, 52, is charged with first-degree murder, simple assault, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment after allegedly shooting Darlene Sitler, 53, twice.

The shooting took place at the First United Presbyterian Church, where Sitler served as organist and choir director.

Click for More

Breaking News! Church Shooting, Pennsylvania, 4 Dead

From: CBS Pittsburgh

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — Emergency officials are on the scene of a deadly shooting in Frankstown Township, in Blair County.

Right now, sources tell KDKA-TV that four people are dead, and three Pennsylvania State Troopers were also hurt, but are expected to be okay.

Sources say at least part of the shooting took place at the Juniata Valley Gospel Church.

We Moved!

Over the last month I have been a little distracted. My family and I moved from Maryland to Virginia. Unfortunately, the big move has kept me away from the computer and updating my readers on important current events related to church security. 

Virginia is also the new location for securityatchurch.com. 

Much has happened over the last month in the world of security. My telephone has been ringing constantly with churches concerned about their safety related to the tragity in Newtown, CT. If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email at brian@securityatchurch.com.

Thursday, November 15

Teen Sentenced to Attend Church as Part of Probation

From: Tulsa World
MUSKOGEE - Attending church on Sunday for 10 years was one of the conditions a Muskogee County judge placed on a teenager whose sentence in a manslaughter case was deferred this week for 10 years.

Defense attorney Donn Baker said that although the church requirement is unusual, it is not something he intends to challenge.

Click for Full Article

Tuesday, November 13

ePanic Limited Time 25% Discount - Panic Alarm

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Receive a 25% discount off of your initial subscription fee if you Purchase ePanic Button by December 7, 2012. An invoice must be created by December 7, 2012. Subscription renewal fees will be regular pricing.

Security at Church has partnered with ePanic Button to deliver a simple, affordable system that improves security in faith-based organizations and helps protect church staff and volunteers.

ePanic Button is PC-based panic button system. With just one discreet click of a mouse, keystroke, or tap of a foot pedal, employees and volunteers rapidly send desktop alerts, email and text messages. You customize the messages by level of urgency and role of the receiver to ensure the right messages are sent to the right people for each situation, letting you respond quickly and appropriately to incidents and threats as they occur.

Click for Free 30-day Trial


Thursday, November 8

Man Who Lost Leg in Crucifix Mishap Sues Church for $3M

From: The Washington Post

ALBANY, N.Y. — David Jimenez was so elated over his wife’s recovery from cancer that he offered to clean the large crucifix outside the Hudson Valley church where he spent many hours praying for her to beat the disease. On Memorial Day 2010, he was scrubbing grime off the cross when the 600-pound marble statuary toppled over, crushing his right leg.

The then-43-year-old immigrant from Mexico was flown to Westchester Medical Center, where doctors had to amputate his injured leg. He’s suing the Roman Catholic church where he was hurt, and early next year his $3 million lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial.

Wednesday, November 7

Christian Emergency Network INCIDENT COMMAND BRIEFING 1PM

CEN INCIDENT COMMAND BRIEFING

The CEN Incident Command Team briefing will take place today, Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific. Christian leaders in emergency response will provide information on the churches role in meeting the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical needs of Hurricane Sandy survivors.

Situation Report

During the 75-minute conference call, Sandy Buresh, Program Director for the Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) and CEN Incident Commander will describe the situation. Many areas are still unreachable, and lack power or sufficient housing for aid workers. As the snow melts, new flooding may further complicate response efforts. Without coordination, volunteers may be turned back by the National Guard, unable to find sufficient housing and also become victims.

Lisa Crump, CEN Prayer Officer and Director of the National Day of Prayer will present the critical prayer concerns, followed by Jim Morgan, Meet the Need President and CEN Logistics officer who will describe how churches can receive prayer coverage for their field response, and use the online Meet the Need platform to register needs and connect with donors and and volunteers who can respond. Victim Relief is providing access to chaplains trained in crisis counselling. CEN will present tools and training for assessing capacity and quickly organizing a response.

Mary Marr, President and Founder of CEN, will also be on the call. She encourages all church leaders to participate. “They’ll learn how to request help from the Christian community, or identify places to give aid, and access resources for organizing a recovery effort. Don’t become part of the disaster by trying to help without preparation.” 


Church Shooting Prompts Security Concerns

From: The Augusta Chronicle

It was once unthinkable.

An armed gunman on a church campus?

“That didn’t happen. Messing with the church back when I was younger was taboo,” said the Rev. Phillip Maxwell, the assistant pastor over security at Augusta’s New Life Christian Center. “Not anymore.”

The fatal shooting at a College Park megachurch two weeks ago reminds pastors that their churches are uniquely vulnerable.

Tuesday, November 6

NEW: LA Church Killing over Graffiti

From: Seattle PI

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The service was in full swing at the storefront church near downtown when a parishioner spotted a woman spraying graffiti on the building. He told her to stop, and she shoved him to the ground. Two other congregants rushed to his aid.

One of them met his death when a gunman stepped out of a waiting car and opened fire, killing the 25-year-old church deacon and wounding another worshipper.

Church Shooting Outside Atlanta Should serve as Warning

From: The Washington Post

In the wake of a fatal shooting of a man inside an Atlanta church led by the Rev. Creflo Dollar, a number of pastors of Washington area megachurches say such incidents underscore the need for increased security at church sanctuaries.

About 20 people were gathered for a Wednesday morning prayer service at the 30,000-member World Changers Church in College Park, Ga., where Atlanta police say a 52-year-old former maintenance man walked into the sanctuary and fatally shot a church volunteer.

Sunday, November 4

Texas Pastor Beaten to Death with Electric Guitar

From: EMS1.com

FOREST HILL, Texas — A pastor in suburban Fort Worth was killed Monday by an attacker who rammed a car into a church wall, chased the pastor and beat him with an electric guitar, police said.

Forest Hill police did not say why the unidentified suspect attacked the Rev. Danny Kirk Sr., the founding pastor of Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church.

The suspect, who police subdued by using a Taser, died a short time after being taken into custody.

Wednesday, October 10

Creating an Emergency Plan

From: PublicAdministration.net
Creating an Emergency Plan

Emergency action plans keep you and your family calm and safe in case of a natural disaster, fire or terrorist attack. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that businesses have plans in place in case of an emergency. Planning for these events is just as important for families, in order to ensure everyone is prepared when a disaster occurs.

Shooting: 84-year-old Detroit Church Security Guard

From: Detroit Free Press

The second Detroit teen charged with the shooting death of an 84-year-old church security guard has been sentenced to spend 15 to 30 years in prison for murder

Alandre Boone, 18, was sentenced today in Judge Michael Callahan’s court in connection with the May 9 death of Joseph Lewis Jr. He also received a 2-year sentence for using a gun while committing a felony.

Workshop to Focus on Church Security

From: The Augusta Chronicle

As the administrator of First Baptist Church of Augusta, Jacob Malone has encountered everything from people trying to take over Sunday morning worship services to rabid animals on campus.

He has had deranged people confront church secretaries and light fires in the sanctuary. Cars have been vandalized, and once, he said, a flasher disrupted the church’s Wednesday night program.

Such events inspired him to invite the community to a church safety training event, put on by the Center for Personal Protection and Safety. The agency’s expert on church security will present a full-day workshop at First Baptist on Oct. 18.

Tuesday, October 9

Oklahoma Church Bomb Plot

From: Huff Post Chicago

A 23-year-old Illinois man accused of planning to attack dozens of churches in Oklahoma with Molotov cocktails has struggled with mental illness, substance abuse and grief, said his cousin, who expressed relief that no one was hurt in the plot.

Gregory Arthur Weiler II, of Elk Grove Village, Ill., was arrested Thursday after a motel maintenance worker spotted the makings of Molotov cocktails in a trash bin and alerted police. Officers found bomb-making materials in Weiler's motel room, along with plans to attack nearly 50 churches in Miami, a community of about 13,500 in northeast Oklahoma, according to a police affidavit.

Click for More

Texas Man Killed Pastor At NorthPointe Baptist Church

From: Huffington Post

FORT WORTH, Texas — A man convicted of killing a North Texas pastor caused various problems while jailed after his arrest for the crime – including assaulting jailers – and had been committing offenses since he was a teenager, according to testimony Monday during the punishment phase of his trial.

Steven Lawayne Nelson, 25, is facing the death penalty or life in prison without parole for the suffocation death of the Rev. Clint Dobson at Arlington's NorthPointe Baptist Church in March 2011. Nelson also beat the church secretary before stealing her car and other items.

Click for More

Monday, October 8

Facebook Hits 100 "Likes"

I just noticed that our "Security at Church" Facebook Page has reached 100 followers. This is a great context for passing and receiving church security related information. If you have not signed up please "like" our Facebook Page and pass it on to your friends!

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/securityatchurch

I thought you'd find this interesting...

This article is a couple of weeks old; however, is good news related to access to background records for searches.

From: Security Info Watch
Legislation supported by the Electronic Security Association that would give companies in the industry access to the FBI’s database for criminal background checks was recently approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will now go before the full senate.

The "Electronic Life Safety and Security Systems Federal Background Check Act" was actually approved as part of an amendment to another bill, the "Child Protection Improvements Act" (S. 645). According to John Chwat, director of government relations for ESA, the legislation simply secures permission from Congress and the Department of Justice to give ESA members in states that do not have licensing or federal background check requirements for security installers access to the FBI database. 


Looking for a background check company? 
Contact, Alan Larkin Directly with Intellicorp at 1-800-539-3717 ext. 109 or via web at www.intellicorp.net  Promotion Code: "SAC001"

We're Back...

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last couple of weeks. Life has been a little busy with travel... We should be back up and running now...

Sunday, September 16

10 Questions Parents Need to Ask About School Security

10 Questions
By: Carl Chinn

Sometimes I see an article written by others that is just too good to keep to myself. Such as it was when I read the following written by my friend, Eric Smith. Currently, Eric is the Director of Security of a healthcare system. He is the sitting President of the International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS), Colorado Chapter. Previously, Eric was a police officer where he served as a firearm and emergency driving instructor, as well as a field training officer.

The following was posted on his website (which is a good one to add to your favorites bar): www.businesskarate.com


10 Questions Parents Need to Ask About School Security

Summer is winding down. That means school has started, or is about to, depending on where in the country you are. Amidst the rush to get supplies, school clothes and back to a more hectic pace of life, parents should ask some basic questions about their kids’ school security. Schools are normally safe havens for our children, but are very vulnerable to becoming a target. They are generally ‘soft’ targets with little in the way of security staff and attract a lot of attention when things go wrong.

As a concerned parent, take a few moments to ask some basic questions about the school’s security program and verify that everything reasonable is being done to keep children safe in school. Just by taking an interest and following up with the school will send the message that safety is important and helps ensure that the best steps will be taken.


1. Who’s in charge?

The first item is to find out who is responsible for security. Is it listed as a duty in their job description? It is a good bet that if no one is responsible for security, then security is just an afterthought at the school.

2. Access control –

How many doors are left unlocked during the school day and who locks them up afterwards? Are all the open doors in a location where they can be supervised by staff? How are visitors identified?

3. Background screening –

All employees working around kids should be screened during the hiring phase. Does the screening process look for criminal convictions around the country or just locally? What is the policy on individuals with criminal histories – at what point are they considered non-hirable? Is there any screening on long-term employees after they have been hired, such as an annual criminal record check?

4. Crime tracking –

Is there a record of criminal events or suspicious activity that occurs on the property? How about periodic tracking of data to see if crime is increasing or decreasing around campus?

5. Security risk assessment –

Every year, a security risk assessment should be completed to identify high risks and that information should in turn be the focus of efforts to fix the gaps. Does the assessment include a review of policies and procedures, crime reports, local crime, as well as building security including lighting and landscape?

6. Security drills –

When was the last security drill? Were areas for improvement identified and what steps were taken to make those improvements? Along the same lines, what kind of security awareness training has been provided to faculty? Has staff been trained to identify suspicious behavior?

7. Video surveillance –

Video surveillance can be a great tool for evidence gathering after an incident, as well as a chance to detect and deter suspicious problems. Does staff know how to use the existing video surveillance system to search for events, as well as download images or video for law enforcement? Is the software updated routinely and how often are the cameras cleaned or serviced?

8. Threat assessment team –

Does the school have a team to assess any risky events or threats? A mix of staff and local law enforcement should be part of the team to evaluate threats or violent behavior and develop an action plan on how to respond.

9. Tracking of custody issues –

This applies to parents with sole or shared custody following a separation. How does the school track and enforce who is allowed to pick up kids from class? What steps are taken to prevent parental kidnapping? Are copies of restraining orders kept on file along with any court-issued custody papers?

10.Special events –

How is security maintained when off campus? Field trips or even on-campus events may require additional security measures. What steps are considered and how is protection maintained?

As a parent, one of the best things that you can do to help keep your children safe at school is to ask these questions and show an interest, and let administration know that security is an important consideration.
Think About it:
  • While Eric was writing about schools, his thoughts are applicable to any organization that has a regular population of children.
  • Churches sometimes fear they will offend parents by taking measures such as locking certain doors, or having a posted guard in the area of their children. While there are some dissidents to any measure, most parents (and certainly us Grandparents) appreciate active, intentional measures to protect those children. While you are concerned about offending them, the parents should be looking at your church with questions such as Eric listed as they consider attending there.
  • If your church can answer all these questions positively, you are confirming your care of children.

Friday, September 14

Security Threat Alert! Faith-Based Organizations

The Joint Intelligence Bulletin issued by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said “the risk of violence could increase both at home and abroad as the film continues to gain attention.”

“First responders should remain aware of the potential for spontaneous large crowds and protests that could overwhelm resources and should be vigilant for possible efforts to encourage peaceful protesters to commit acts of violence,” the warning said.

It urged “faith-based organizations to promptly report suspicious activities that could indicate pre-operational plotting against Jewish, Coptic, Islamic, or any other faith-based communities.”

Thursday, September 13

Why ePanic Button?



Why ePanic Button?
Don’t wait for a dangerous, disastrous incident to occur before giving all your employees the tools they need to protect themselves in every type of situation.  Public-facing employees must be able to identify troubling, threatening incidents when they first begin.  They must be able to summon and receive help in all levels of urgency – from low level to high.
ePanic Button is the incident notification system that gives all your front line employees control and peace-of-mind.

ePanic Button Fills the Void Between Employees and Mass Notification Systems

Unlike centralized mass notification systems that alert groups of people after a major security incident is identified, ePanic Button empowers front line employees to identify incidents when they first begin, discreetly take control of the situation, and summon and receive help for low level to high level incidents. Early stage, lower level incidents do not always require deploying mass notification and emergency notification systems.
With ePanic Button, front line employees improve early stage response and intervention in any type of situation, and protect themselves and everyone around them.

ePanic Button Is More Flexible Than Traditional Panic Buttons

Unlike traditional, hard-wired panic buttons mounted to furniture with limited capabilities, ePanic Button is completely customizable and flexible.  Alerts are distributed via desktop alerts , email and text messages.  Messages say what you want them to say, and identify the sender’s name, phone number and location.  Receivers can quickly respond to let the sender know their message was received and help is on the way.

ePanic Button Is Simple and Does the Job

  • One click sends desktop alerts, email and text messages - not feature heavy with too many bells and whistles
  • Designed for early stage, low level incidents that do not require complex mass notification or emergency notification systems

 Advantages of ePanic Button

  • Simple – easy to install and use, no additional hardware or software required
  • Customizable – create your own buttons, messages, and receiver groups according to a situation’s level of urgency and receiver’s location, department or role
  • Manageable – runs on your network with support from our cloud-based administrative system
  • Flexible – send any combination of alert messages to any combination of receivers
  • Mobile – no wires or hardware mounted on furniture, desktop alerts on PCs, email and text messages
  • Versatile – also use for medical and weather alerts, meeting reminders, visitor notifications
  • Cost Effective – less expensive yet equally powerful compared to other incident notification systems

Benefits of ePanic Button

  • Empowers front line employees to be in control of situations and their personal safety
  • Enables front line employees to own their personal safety and the security of co-workers and customers
  • Expands your ability to successfully assist co-workers before contacting 911 or on-site security
  • Prevents situations from escalating into threatening, dangerous, or tragic events
  • Reduces your dependency on contacting police for lower level incidents and situations
  • Improves the safety and security of your organization and peace-of-mind of your employees

For more information email epanic@securityatchurch.com

Wednesday, September 12

Church Security Conference - Wyoming, MI

UPCOMING CHURCH SECURITY CONFERENCE
FEATURING SPEAKERS 
Chuck Chadwick and Carl Chinn
  
TOPICS includes:
Three Strands of Church Security by Chuck Chadwick
3 strands
  • The Threat
  • Strand One - Team Players
  • Strand Two - Systems and Tools
  • Strand Three - Policies and Procedures
Carl Chinn will speak on the subject of ministry environment security and emergency response and his eye witness recount of New Life church shooting and Focus on the Family hostage incident.
Click here for more information...

WHEN: March 9, 2013
WHERE: Grand Rapids First
LOCATION: 2100 44th Street Southwest
Wyoming, MI 49519
COST: $50 until February 27th and $75 at the door
REGISTRATION: Link - COMING SOON!
SCHEDULE
  • 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast (Included)
  • 9:00 - 12:00 p.m. Session One
  • 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (Included)
  • 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Session Two
ACCOMMODATIONSClick here...
CONTACT: Sally or Kim (616) 531-2100 for questions.

ePanic Button Information



Faith-based institutions are sanctuaries and places of worship with an open, welcoming environment.  However, faith institutions also encounter the same security challenges and liabilities as any other for-profit or non-profit organization.
Because places of worship are also prone to threatening, dangerous, and criminal activities, you’re obligated to protect your clergy, staff, congregation and students with a church security solution.
You need a simple, easy-to-use incident notification system for all your employees and volunteers who encounter irate, troubled or violent visitors to your facilities.
ePanic Button is a computer-based panic button system that lets anyone identify a situation early on and discreetly and rapidly summon the help and support they need.  You customize your alerts according to levels of urgency – whether you just need other staff to come to your desk for back-up support, or you need someone to call 911.

Situational Uses

  • Front desk or lobby
  • Counseling offices
  • Assistance centers and areas
  • Administrative offices
  • School offices and classrooms

ePanic Button Incident Notification System

ePanic Button is a completely customizable incident notification system with two components -  a web-based administrative site hosted by ePanic Button, and a small client installed on workstations.  The program is easily downloaded from the web-based administrative site and quickly installed onto your workstations within minutes.
Desktop alerts are sent and received on workstations in your local area network.  Email and text messages are sent on your outgoing SMTP server.  With just one click of a mouse, keystroke, or tap of a foot pedal, front line workers rapidly and discreetly send any combination of desktop alerts, email and text messages to any combination of receivers you specify.
You create your buttons, alert messages, and receiver groups on the web-based administrative site.  ePanic Button lets you customize your alert messages according to levels of urgency, department, location, role – whatever you require.  The web-based administrative site does not send and receive alert messages.

Small Client Installed on Workstations

  • Sends any combination of customized desktop alerts, email and text messages to any combination of receivers you require
  • Sends and receives desktop alerts peer-to-peer over you local network.  Pop up alerts appear over any open program and flash with an optional audible alarm whenever an alert message arrives
  • Sends email and text messages through your outgoing SMTP server.  They can be sent to anyone, including employees and contacts who do not have ePanic Button software installed on their workstations.
  • Respond feature enables receivers to confirm receipt of pop up alerts by clicking a button that stops the flashing and audible alarm and dispatches a signal to the sender, letting them know their message was seen and help is on the way
  • Reporting feature lets you add notes to incidents and import them to a text file
  • Quick installation using an ePanic .msi file
  • Optional foot pedal enables users to send an alert with no visible hand motion

Web-based Administrative Site

  • Hosted by ePanic Button
  • Cloud-based control center where you manage your users, easily configure buttons, messages, and receiver groups, and update your system profiles
  • Even if the connection to our server is down, alert messages are still sent and received on your network
For more information or for a free trial email me at epanic@securityatchurch.com

Tuesday, September 11

Never Forget 9/11


A day to remember! 9/11


I took this photo last year during the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This is looking at the fountains where the North Tower once stood. This photo also shows the base of the new "One World Trade Center" Building.

Thank you to all who serve and protect this nation!

Monday, September 10

Additional Information on Louisville Church Shooting

From: WDRB News

A bible study and at least one soccer game was taking place inside and outside the church at the time of the shooting, several people told WDRB News.

One person inside the church ran out and screamed, "Run!" to players taking part in a soccer game.

About 10 to 20 people were inside the church when the shooter opened fire. Police spent several hours interviewing each of them after the shooting.

About 10 to 20 people were inside the church at the time of the shooting. LMPD police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley credits the retired police officer who arrested Hindi with keeping things from getting much worse.

"Fortunately, despite this tragedy, there was a retired LMPD officer who was also at the church at the time that this occurred. What he did was subdue that person, he was able to detain him until our officers arrived".

Read More: 
http://www.wdrb.com/story/19479169/police-one-person-dead-another-critically-injured-in-church-shooting

My Thoughts: When I originally posted an article about this shooting I did not realize that church events were also taking place during the time of the shooting. I was under the impression that the complete building was being rented out by a local homeowners association. As you can read above, multiple church related events were occurring inside the building during the shooting!

I want to draw your attention to the last line from the story above. This tragedy could have been much worse if there was not a retired police officer present that was able to subdue the shooter. Similar to other events like the New Life church shooting in Colorado, a quick response from onsite security staff, stopped the event from being much worse! 

You are not going to be able to prevent everything; however, having a plan in place to reduce the outcome of a tragic event is still a good plan!

Ushers Stop Purse-Snatching in Pittsburgh Church

From: Fox News

PITTSBURGH – A man who claims to be a heroin addict has been jailed on charges he snatched a woman's purse while she was taking communion during Mass at a Pittsburgh church.

Pittsburgh police say parishioners, including the off-duty chief of the Port Authority of Allegheny County police, tackled 31-year-old Eric Csurilla on Sunday morning and held him until officers arrived.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/10/ushers-stop-purse-snatching-in-pittsburgh-church/?test=latestnews#ixzz264a2XAaq


My Thoughts: Although short, this is a great article! Ushers & greeters are often your first line of defense in a church setting. Many churches do not have the ability to have a trained security team; however, by providing a little extra training to the ushers and greeters you are one step in the right direction. Larger churches that do have security teams should still incorporate their ushers and greeters into their overall plan. 

Introducing ePainic Button

About two months ago I received an email from a company called ePanic Button. This is a new business (less then 2 years) that has developed a computer based epanic button system. In the past I have talked about the importance of having a panic button in your facility. The problem for many churches has been the cost of installing a hard wired system into their facility. ePanic button provides a solution that that dilemma. Securityatchurch.com now has a distributorship agreement with ePanic Button and we are able to help get this product into your facility!

Why should you have a panic button?

Most facilities have receptionists that serves as the front line of defense when a customer or member enters your facility. Many times this receptionist is alone and out of the sight of others. By providing a panic alarm you allow that receptionist to have the ability to receive instant help in the event of emergency. A standard panic button is normally installed under a desk. A power source and wires then has to be installed and run to the location of the alarm. Sometimes this can be extremely costly, especially if it is integrated into your existing alarm system.

ePanic allows you to simply install a program on your computer and it is instantly connected to any other computer that is running the same program. You can even install a panic foot pedal via a USB port! ePainic allows you to customize hot-key alarms on your keypad and provide multiple messages based on different scenarios. 

Scenario #1: Your receptionist is sitting at the front desk and a member of your church enters the building. The member is evidently upset for an unknown reason. The receptionist tries to calm down the individual; however, the situation only escalates. The receptionist could simply press a "hot-key" on her computer that blasts a message out to all staff members requesting assistance at the front desk due to a irate individual. 

Scenario #2: A pastor is in his office providing council to a member of the church. The door is closed and the person begins to get upset. The pastor feels that the situation is escalating and that it would be helpful to have another person in the room with them. The pastor can have a "hot-key" with a preprogramed message that blasts out only to other pastors asking for assistance in his office. 

Scenario #3: A unknown person walks into your facility. The person presents a weapon and demands money from. He states that he knows his wife has been giving to the church behind his back and that he wants all the cash from their recent offering. The person at the front desk is able to tap the foot pedal which sends a pre-programmed message that says "call 911 immediately"! You happen to see the message and contact the police. You are able to respond to the message and so the receptionist knows that help is on the way. 

These are just a few example that I came up with while sitting at the airport typing this post. The are countless ways to use this program for your benefit! 

I will be providing more information this week on the ePanic system. If you are interested in more information send me an email at epanic@securityatchurch.com and I will send you some information over email. Free trials and demo's are also available via request.

Sunday, September 9

Second Victim in Louisville Church Shooting Dies

From: WDRB News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A University Hospital spokeswoman has confirmed that a second victim in Thursday's Springdale Community Church shooting has died.

Melissa Deaver confirmed that Marvin Fisher passed away this morning.

73-year-old David Merritt also passed away as a result of the shooting. Police say 55-year-old Mahmoud Hindi shot the men at a homeowners association meeting Thursday night.

Read More Here

Why? - "Think About It Series"

Why?
By: Carl Chinn
(Excerpt from the book, Evil Invades Sanctuary)

Before 9/11/01 airline crews were instructed simply to cooperate with the demands of hijackers. The model of hijackers capitalizing on that quiet compliance to use the plane as a suicide bomb had never happened. It is not a bad mark against the crews and passengers of the first three planes that day that they didn’t take action. They complied as most would have, given the models to go by. It is really quite remarkable that the passengers and crew of flight 93 so quickly created the new model.

Now airline protocol (as well as passenger response) is different, and because of that difference Richard Reid now shares prison with the likes of Ted Kaczynski instead of sharing history with Mohamed Atta. Flight attendants and passengers took 6’ 4” Reid down hard with creative weapons of seatbelt extensions, headphones and brute force as he tried to bring down American Airlines flight 63 over the Atlantic shortly after 9/11 with a deadly bomb hidden in his shoe.

Just as law enforcement agencies, schools and airlines learn and adapt from incidents, churches should do the same. Threats are endless and unpredictable, as are their triggers (reasons for the attacks). The triggersoffered for heinous examples following are not spiritual theories. That angle can be written by someone else. These are simply the reasons discovered in the investigations.

On April 27th, 2003 Daniel Bondeson laced arsenic into the coffee in the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden, Maine. Walter Reid Morrill died, and 15 others were hospitalized as a result of the poisoning. It was discovered to have been retaliation over petty church politics, personal grudges, and being offended by nasty tasting coffee at a previous church event.

On April 25th, 2008 an argument over damaged mailboxes erupted in the parking lot of the Pinedale Baptist Church in Ashville, Alabama leaving one man shot and killed.

In Wheaton, Minnesota on September 3, 2009 Claude Hankins and David Collins got into a fight in the sanctuary of Thy Kingdom Come World Ministry over a washer and dryer. Collins swung a baseball bat at Hankins hitting Hankins’s 14 month old daughter instead, killing her.

At a party on March 11th, 2011 at the Bethlehem United Methodist Church Community Center in Edin, North Carolina, Eric Blackstock and Akeen Laquan Clark got into an argument over the best place to live in the area. Clark produced a handgun and shot Blackstock in the chest.


Think About it:
  • How can you determine when someone walks through the door of your facility where their mind is at? How do you know who or what may have set them off? It may not have anything to do with your place as the source of the retaliation. Often an offense simply came from an obscure church member or stranger. Ministry leadership was often not aware of, nor did they have any control or influence over the situation until it exploded under their roof or in their parking lot.
  • In many deadly force incidents at churches and ministries there was at least some level of observation of the brewing storm. For various reasons it wasn’t taken seriously until it was too late and became an investigation. In Louisville, KY this week a shooting erupted inside the Springdale Community Church. A neighborhood housing association was meeting in the church (as a bible study and athletic program were occurring in other areas of the church and grounds). 73-year-old David Merritt was killed and 69-year-old Marvin Fisher remains in critical condition after 55-year-old Dr. Mahmoud Hindi became enraged over a long-standing dispute over a driveway, fence, satellite dish and no-trespassing sign on his property and started shooting.
  • Many crimes (violent and non-violent) occur when we least expect them. But since the beginning of times when people interacted with others, there have been conflicts. When those conflicts are observed, we should pay attention. Of 581 incidents studied at faith-based organizations, 15.05% were due to a conflict between two or more people that erupted into deadly force actions.

Friday, September 7

1 Dead, 1 Wounded in Louisville, KY Church Shooting

From: Fox News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Louisville man who recently was told his driveway violated city zoning codes shot and killed a neighbor and critically injured another at a homeowners association meeting inside a church, police said Friday.

Mahmoud Yousef Hindi, 55, is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday morning in Louisville on charges of murder, assault and seven counts wanton endangerment in the Thursday evening shooting...

Springdale Community Church is a popular community gathering place, hosting several youth sporting events. Police say seven other people were in the room when Hindi fired the shots.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/07/1-dead-1-wounded-during-kentucky-homeowners-meeting-held-in-church/#ixzz25oKSlOOf

Visiting Church Websites ‘More Risky’ than Going to Porn Sites

Note: I was note sure if I wanted to post this article in fear of someone taking it the wrong way. After thinking about it, I felt that the point of the article overcame the risk! This article is NOT saying that pornographic websites are good; however, it is using them to compare how religious websites are in risk. Please take the time and invest the money to protect your website from Internet crime! This report comes from Norton, which is the leading provider of Virus and Internet Security.
From: The Financial Express

According to Norton chief cyber security advisor, Adam Palmer, pornography sites were generally free of viruses, because their operators wanted users to return and keep spending money.

Instead, the sites most likely to carry viruses and malware were pirating or illegal file share websites, and religious websites.

Going to church websites is more risky than going to pornography websites,” the Age quoted Palmer, as saying.