In this blog post, Jeff Kearnan our Security Consultant outlines the steps houses of worship should take to create an effective security plan.
Determine the Purpose, Vision, Goals
- Specific, tactical safety and security plan that focuses on what you feel is most important for your house of worship
- Have a plan for different scenarios such as what to do when a trespasser, heckler, or even a violent intruder enters your property.
Discuss with Elders and Leadership Team
- Safety is a team effort. Include and use your elders and leadership team in the planning process.
Create Security Policies, Protocols, Procedures
- Establish policies and procedures to address potential risks and vulnerabilities. This may include emergency response procedures, evacuation plans, and protocols for handling suspicious behavior or threats. It is important to clearly communicate these policies and procedures to all staff and volunteers and ensure they are consistently followed.
Vet the plan with Houses of Worship Leaders
- Again, involving your leadership teams is essential. Be sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to your safety and security plans.
Review the plan with Legal Counsel and Insurance
- It’s important to inform your insurance team regarding any changes or developments in your security team and/or protocols. Be sure to include them as well as legal counsel in your decisions.
Cooperate with Local Law Enforcement
- Local law enforcement should be aware of how to get on your property, where to park their vehicles, and which doors to enter or not enter.
- Informing them about your evacuation zones is also helpful.
Exercise the Plan
- It is important to regularly review and update your plan to ensure that it remains effective and up to date. This can include conducting regular drills and exercises, as well as re-evaluating potential threats and vulnerabilities.
Adopt the Plan, who is the authority to sign off?
- Making your plan a formal document by getting an authority to sign off on it covers your legal bases and ensures your plan was vetted and approved.
In conclusion, putting together a comprehensive security and safety plan for your house of worship is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of all those who gather there. By taking these steps, houses of worship can establish a framework to provide a safe and secure environment for all who come to worship.
If you have questions about designing and implementing security plans for your church or house of worship, Church & Casualty customers can contact Jeff Kearnan at AskSecurity@ccia.com. Jeff is part of CCIA’s Advisory Team, our dedicated team of professionals that assist our customers with free services such as Security, HR, Legal, and Finance.