Security Programs Overview

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Stop, if you are a member of the clergy, a house of worship administrator/security manager/director, or board member and you exploring ways to improve the safety and security of your facility and congregation please start at the agencies and organizations below first.

These government agencies provide services and resources to houses of worship for free.

  

     

  

 

 

 

** The ISA House of Worship Security Program is partnered with a “501c3 nonprofit” that provides our services at no cost to faith-based organizations that qualify**  Contact us for more information.

But why worry about security at all?

Houses of worship should be the safest places on Earth; sadly, they are not. Every day, across the United States, they are victimized by criminal occurrences. 
William S. Carcara, Chief of Police (Retired), Jefferson County, Kentucky

Quick Facts: From January 1, 1999, through October 27th, 2018 there have been no fewer than 1,716 violent incidents, including 18 fatal house of worship shootings.

Since 2012 In addition to Christian churches, fatal shootings have happened at a Benedictine monastery, a Sikh temple, an Amish school, and a Jewish temple. And the number of violent incidents that are taking place on the grounds of churches and other faith-based facilities nationwide are increasing.


Now that you have done your research you may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. This is why the Independent Security Advisors House of Worship program exists.

What we do for you

 ISA consultants contact these agencies, as well as state and local law enforcement on your behalf as your direct representative to request and bring together the resources, subject matter experts, trainers, and risk assessment specialists available to work on improving the safety and security of your house of faith, the ministry team and the congregation. If there is a Federal or State program that provides materials, financial aid or expertise that will get us closer to our goal, we will work with them to ensure those resources are made available.    

At the community level, we will sit down with your security team, local law enforcement, and other first responders as we work together on preparing your security and emergency action plans, and we will build the closest working relationship and open communications between your ministry and first responders. 

The job isn’t done yet

 After working with the Federal and State agencies and they have provided every possible resource, and we have attended all the meetings locally, and the final recommendations and plans are in front of decision makers, the ISA team will still be here to provide follow up services that include;

Supplemental Security Services:

  • Security Team Building;  Selection, training & SOP development
  • Risk Assessment Team: We will complete updated risk assessments periodically or as new information or situations arise. 
  • Close Protection Agents: We will provide close protection for your clergy and the ministry team as threats are identified or as requested. 
  • Trained Security SpecialistsTo assist your security team during holidays or other events within the facility should they need some additional assistance.
  • Domestic Violence Intervention Agents: If members of the congregation are believed to be the ongoing victims of domestic violence our agents provide close protection, transportation, or relocation until the situation is resolved by law enforcement or until no longer needed.  

Supplemental Training Services: 

 Note: After the initial completion of all the available Federal and State training programs for your ministry and security team, we can conduct periodic refresher training or initial training for new members of your ministry and security team. 

  • The Risk and Threat Assessment Process; See something say something, Updating threat assessments, rehearsing emergency procedures. 
  • Physical Security Measures; Including access control, CCTV systems, use of physical barriers, lighting and motion detection systems, interior movement control.
  • De-escalation techniques and the continuum of force; Verbal means, use of force, lethal & non-lethal.
  • Active Shooter & Work Place Violence; Identifying the threat, reaction procedures and mitigation techniques.
  • Behavioral Analysis (Body Language) (Verbal/Non-verbal communication); Indicators of threat; physical and behavioral indicators of violent intent, drug, and alcohol abuse, recognizing the indications of a concealed weapon,  domestic violence, and human trafficking.     

Why does the ISA House of Worship Program focus on the indications of domestic violence?

The 2017 Church Law & Tax report entitled “Why Domestic Violence in the Home Endangers Your Church” published the following statistics: https://www.churchlawandtax.com/blog/2018/march/violence-at-churches-in-2017.html

 About three-quarters of pastors (74%) estimated that less than 20 percent of their congregation had experienced domestic violence, according to a 2014 LifeWay Research survey.  

Unfortunately, those numbers are well below the national rates that show that 1 in 3 women (33%) and 1 in 4 men (25%) have been victims of intimate partner violence.

There is a disconnect between the facts and the pastor’s perceptions of the cases of domestic violence in their churches. 

The vast majority of pastors (87%) believe their church would be a safe haven for domestic violence victims, according to the LifeWay survey.

Almost half of the Protestant pastors (45%) said their church does not have a plan in place to respond if someone says they are a victim of domestic violence and yet the deadliest events (with the most victims) were rooted in domestic violence.

In 2017 the attack on the First Baptist Sutherland Springs Texas was a domestic violence incident which resulted in 26 dead including an unborn child. 


Case Study; Attacks on Houses of Faith  (Click on image)

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
Burnette Chapel Church of Christ
First Baptist Sutherland Springs
Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue
Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ministers and other religious leaders occupy a unique position in their members’ lives. Often they are revered, respected, and honored. Other times they are judged harshly for some individual shortcomings or are seen as the individuals responsible for an adverse event in either a member’s life or in the organization as a whole”.   “Ministers and other religious leaders have the right to conduct their ministries without fear, to live safely, and to enjoy their lives without undue anxiety”. 

William S. Carcara, Chief of Police (Retired), Jefferson County, Kentucky

Case Study; Attacks on Clergy  (Click on image)

Imam Alauddin Akonjee
Pastor Tamarkus Cook
Father William Graney
The Rev. Norman Hayes
Reverend Carol Daniels