As I write this (Thursday, December 3), I’m on stand-by to go to San Bernardino as part of the Seal Beach Police Department’s “Peer Support Team.” Four years ago, a disgruntled man killed eight people at a hair salon a couple of blocks from Grace Community Church in Seal Beach. We can’t say, “It can’t happen here,” because it has.
- Does your church have a “This facility is a weapons-free zone” sign posted? If so, take it down. Why advertise your vulnerability?
- Do you have members with CCW (carry concealed weapon) permits? Consider asking them to be armed when they are on-site and have a plan for them if something happens.
- Take a look at the federal government’s (FEMA’s) PDF document on how places of worship can develop an Emergency Operations Plan. It has a section on “Active Shooter Situations.” Click here for the document or see Protecting Houses of Worship.
- Your insurance company might offer assistance on developing a plan. Church Law and Tax Report has material available. Check with your local police department on what advice it might offer. It would be more expensive, but you could obtain the services of a safety/security consultant.
- Church Law and Tax Report has a check list, “Are We Prepared for Gun Violence at Church?” Click here to review the list.