Sunday, March 31

Detroit Churches Step Up Security

From: CBS News

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Some Detroit churches are stepping up security following crime that’s included break-ins and muggings.

Pastor Roderick Dallas said his church, True Gospel Tabernacle on Ryan Road near 8 Mile Road in northeast Detroit, was forced to step up security efforts after someone stole $15,000 worth of audio equipment.

“It’s a blatant disrespect for the House of God,” Dallas told The Detroit News. “This is a very unchurched, unspiritualed generation.”

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Church Shooting -- Emporia, KS – 1988 - Carl Chinn - Think About It

Church Shooting -- Emporia, KS – 1988
By: Carl Chinn

A few days ago I answered the phone in my office. When the voice on the line said, “Mr. Chinn, my name is Jerry Waddell” -- I stood up. I had heard of Jerry (though I hadn’t learned his name until recently) throughout my years of research on deadly force incidents at faith-based organizations. To be speaking with him was an honor worthy of my full attention.

I have met some of the folks who were involved with this particular incident. This is a small portion of their story from Sunday morning, March 6th, 1988.

18-year-old Beverly DeWeese was sitting towards the back of the Calvary Baptist Church in Emporia, KS. They were all singing when she heard someone come in through the side exterior door behind her. Looking around, she saw a young man standing behind her wearing red ear muffs. It struck her as a bit odd but recognizing his foreign descent, reasoned it must be some Asian culture inconsistent with the mild Spring-like day. Not wanting to stare, she turned back around.

The young man standing there was 29-year-old Cheun-Phon Ji (aka Paul Ji). Ji had convinced himself that a particular girl (G. M.) would have had him as her boyfriend if the church hadn’t come between them in 1984. In truth, the girl wasn’t interested in him and the church had nothing to do with that. But in Ji’s mind, her rejection of him was caused by the church.

The 3 + years he had been gone from the college town (living in California, New York, then back in California) were years in which his anger festered. In 1988 he headed his car back to Kansas with vengeance in mind. It wasn’t ear muffs he was wearing -- it was ear protection for shooting.

Armed with a SIG 9mm, multiple clips in his waste-band, and plenty more rounds in his duffle bag, he entered the back door (being familiar with the church layout and operations). As he began shooting randomly, some thought it was a prank. The sight of splinters shooting like missiles from the pews, the smell of gunpowder, and the sound of screams quickly revealed this was no prank.

Beverly felt a bullet rip through her shoulder, then she and others hit the floor and began scrambling away under the pews as the shooting continued above them.

Further towards the front, and on the other side of the church, Jerry Waddell pushed his wife to the floor, and got down with her. He heard the shooting pause then recognized the sounds of fumbling with the gun. Looking up over the back of the pew, he could see the gunman struggling, trying to replace the spent 15-round clip.

Simply being angry at the rude disruption of their service, Waddell jumped up and began running towards the shooter. Still unable to work the clips, Ji dashed away from Waddell and back out the door. As they ran across the parking lot, Jerry realized he had his hard-cover hymnal in his hand with his finger still held in the page of the song they had been singing (“Peace Like a River” as Jerry recalls -- admitting his memory could be wrong). As they were both running, he launched the hymnal at the escaping gunman striking him in the back of the head.

Probably thinking his pursuer had struck him with a fist, Ji stopped and whirled to face the defender. The distance between them at that moment, combined with the freight train momentum Waddell had worked up resulted in a body slam that sent both men scraping down the driveway and 15 feet out into the street. Rick Grossenbacher and Richard Goza had also sprung to action and were right behind Jerry. The gang of defenders piled on and held the attacker down.

Police officer Mark Senn was just a few blocks away from the church when he got the call. When he came upon the scene, he could see the commotion outside and quickly determined the shooter was at the bottom of the anger pile. The men began to learn that their friend Thomas DeWeese (who had been sitting on the same pew with his daughter Beverly) had been struck through his chest by one of the bullets, and was dying. At this point Senn’s biggest challenge was to keep the defenders from killing the gunman.

When it was over, the 15-rounds fired resulted in the death of Thomas DeWeese. His daughter Beverly and three others were wounded. The gunman was taken away for life in prison. In his duffle bag they discovered a meat cleaver, several short pieces of rope, 2 loaded .44 Magnum revolvers, and boxes of .44 Mag. and 9mm ammunition -- clear intentions of mass carnage. An attack cut short by Divine intervention and the actions of a few good men.

Think About it:
  • The church had no idea the man had any anger at them – a few barely knew him. Yet in his mind he was obsessed with their mistreatment of him. That anger had brewed for years. He had signs in his Apartment in California made of Chinese symbols representing, "Love", "Hate", "Patience", "Anger" (the Chinese “Anger” symbol was interpreted by some in his trial to mean, “revenge”).
  • In a later appeal (May 22nd, 1992 – KS Supreme Court documents), the courts recorded that;

“…Even after he left Emporia in 1984 he believed that the people in Emporia were spying on him. Ji finally decided to travel back to Emporia to punish the members of the Calvary Baptist Church. He also believed if there were truly a Christian God that the bullets would be deflected and nothing would happen to the members of the church. If there were no Christian God, as he believed, the members of the church would be hurt. He believed that the members of the Calvary Baptist Church were criminals and he was morally justified in delivering their punishment. Ji admitted he was well aware of his actions and he realized what the consequences could entail but believed what he was doing was right.”

  • In Ji’s head, the church (and the town itself) was full of "lying white supremacists." In an interview with a local paper in 1990, Ji justified his actions as a “the result of hatred caused by his years of victimization in an oppressive American society.”
  • Threats can come as a surprise from many sources, to any size of a church. Something as innocent as a girl bringing a boy to a few bible studies can be the root of tragedy. Nobody gave it a 2nd thought when G.M would tell folks it didn’t work out and they’d moved on. That scenario happens many times in the lives of our youth. As we know from other studies, an abuser rarely “moves on”. Ji moved away, but he didn’t move on. G.M. wasn’t even at the church when the attacker returned.
  • Ji was an officer in the Taiwanese Army before coming to America in 1983, yet he couldn’t eject and reload a SIG clip under stress. Defenders must operate well under stress, and hope that stress may cause a critical lack of mobility on the part of the attacker (we have seen this repeated many times over). Jerry Waddell took advantage of that stress, setting a model for others to follow. While there is nothing as valuable as a firearm to stop a deadly force attack, there are other things that a true warrior will use as weapons. Waddell showed us that (in the hands of a defender) a Hymnal can be a weapon.
  • In my visit with Jerry he acknowledged the value of the hymnal tactic. He told me however, he would much rather have a gun were he ever in the same scenario again. I love pure simple Kansas logic – makes me proud to be a native Kansan.
  • Jerry Waddell became the first civilian to receive the Gold Award for Valor from the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, (the result of nominations by former Emporia Police Chief Larry Blomenkamp and former Lyon County Sheriff Cliff Hacker).

Easter in Jakarta - Church Security - Police

From: The Jakarta Post

The Jakarta Police will deploy about 4,300 officers to guard 1,129 churches, especially those prone to threats of forced closure or attacks, in Greater Jakarta on Sunday when they hold Easter services.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said on Saturday that the officers would come from police forces at all levels in Greater Jakarta, with additional personnel coming from the Jakarta Public
Order Agency.

“Police officers have been maintaining security at all churches in their respective jurisdictions since Thursday until Sunday afternoon,” he told The Jakarta Post.

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Security At Church: On this Easter Sunday's I thought it would be helpful to remember what other nations are struggling with in order to celebrate Easter Sunday in peace!

Friday, March 29

Troubling Times - North Korea

North Korea's Kim aims rockets at DC, LA, Hawaii and Austin

From: Fox News

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s latest threat is his most specific yet – a vow to strike the U.S. mainland, complete with a photo on the state-run media showing Hawaii, Washington, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, as the targets of choice.

Photos believed to have been taken at an “emergency meeting” Friday appeared in the state-run Rodong newspaper and showed Kim signing an order putting rockets on standby to fire at U.S. targets, the paper said. Behind Kim, a chart titled "U.S. mainland strike plan" can be seen and a map shows missiles arcing into the U.S. locations.

Kim warned Friday he is preparing to "settle accounts with the U.S." after the U.S. deployed B-2 stealth bombers to South Korea to participate in a training exercise Thursday.

Read more:

Metro Church - Safety and Security

From: KARE 11

PRIOR LAKE, Minn. - As Twin Cities churches prepare for Easter services on Sunday, many are making sure their congregations are as safe as possible.

"It is a necessity for churches, even smaller churches to consider all the things that could happen," says Kris Moloney. "My eyes have opened to the issue."

Moloney directs security teams at Friendship Church in Prior Lake and Shakopee, but also consults other local churches on how to keep their buildings and people safe. His organization, Sheepdog Church Security assists places of worship on their protocol, plans, and helps train volunteers.

"In light of Newtown and other events, awareness among churches is skyrocketing," he says. "Churches are desperate for information on starting up teams."

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Tuesday, March 19

Pope Tests His Security Detail by Wading into Crowd

From: Yahoo News

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis gave his security detail a taste of his new papal style on Sunday by stepping outside a Vatican gate to greet a boisterous crowd of well-wishers.

The pope said Sunday morning Mass in the small church of Santa Anna, just a few feet inside the gate of the same name, for Vatican workers who frequent it as their parish.

He arrived in a black car, again shunning the papal limousine, and immediately went over to hundreds of people who had gathered at the gate to get a glimpse of him.

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Sunday, March 3

Inspire Spring 2013 - Carl Chinn - Think About It

Inspire Spring 2013
By: Carl Chinn

Most of you know Al Qaeda has resorted to publishing an English language, on-line publication to recruit and train aspiring Jihadists. The fact that it is English speaking and on-line evidences the primary target.

Military operations had taken out American born Samir Khan (one of the key figures of the magazine) in the same operation that killed Anwar al-Awlaki on 9/30/11. While those strategic strikes were no doubt effective, and continue to prove the long arm of American law, the magazine continues. The Spring 2013 (or 1434 as they prefer to call it) has just been released.

These radicals are emboldened by past terrorist attacks, boasting how those attacks were effective by pointing out that;

  • The number of mosques in the US has increased by 74% since 9/11.
  • The national Muslim population in Britain has doubled since 9/11.
  • The attack in Spain on 3/11/04 swayed the election and public opinions to be more favorable (I would say “cowered to”) Islamic opinions and against American influence.

There is a section called “Open Source Jihad” which is (by its own definition in the section subtitle) “A resource for those who loathe the tyrants; includes bomb making techniques, security measures, guerilla tactics, weapons training and all other Jihad related activities.”

The current leading article in that section encourages readers to use a simple match to combat all the “superior technology” of their enemy (that’s us by the way). The article goes on to say how gas can be carried in an apple-juice bottle as a disguise. The article boasts how 1,200 vehicles were torched in France on New Year’s Eve recently. By providing the procedures, they have also provided American security professionals and law enforcement with helpful counter-terror observations.

The procedures applicable to us as security professionals to note are;
  • Carry your bottle(s) of fuel.
  • Find a deserted parked car.
  • Avoid CCTV cameras or areas where people could see you.
  • After finding a suitable place, plan your escape route.
  • Pour the petrol on the vehicle(s), do not forget the tires. You can pour a line away from the vehicle.
  • Leave the bottle(s) to burn so as to not be caught with it (them).
  • Do not touch the vehicle(s), just in case there is an alarm.
  • Use a matchstick to torch the vehicle directly or the line of petrol.
  • Quickly execute your escape plan acting natural so as to avoid suspicion.

Of all the news articles I have read on this today, none have pointed out the most concerning thing I discovered in the article related to those of us in church security. These Jihadist wannabes are cautioned to avoid the vehicles of fellow Muslims. One way to do that (according the article) is to “go to non-Muslim neighborhoods during their ceremonies”. That comment made me sit up, and should you as well.

Think About it:
  • We all know it is a matter of time until the next front-line news story of an international terrorist attack on American soil. A common virus in American churches (even – I am sad to report – in ones with active security operations) is a culture that “it won’t happen here”. Somebody will be wrong about that.
  • By being vigilant for such rare possibilities as terrorism, our eyes and ears teams will observe lesser impact but higher likelihood criminal and mischievous plans.
  • In a section of Inspire written for women by a woman, they are reminded that, “We refuse humiliation and rejection, misery or subservience; and we want to be free from having to bow from the cross-worshipers.” This and many related comments throughout the common dialogue of this and other Inspire articles evidences that the teaching of Christianity is viewed as a direct attack on them, and they are poised and ready to counter attack.
  • Every major metropolitan area, and many isolated small populations have a resident extremist population. Count on it that not far from you right now, are radical extremists who look forward to every new issue of Inspire magazine.