Atlanta churches have truly moved from the assurance of the sanctity and safety of places of worship to the reality of the necessity of eternal vigilance.
As we’ve seen in the news lately, churches have become more frequent targets for acts of violence. Today Christian churches in Georgia are considering new security measures like those taken by leaders of Jewish and Muslim faith communities that have been targeted for years.
Churches are a place of great importance both on a cultural level as well as an individual level. Whether it’s an isolated domestic situation that turns violent or an intent on mass killing the church is a growing target. Churches by their natures are soft targets for attack by anyone wanting to create fear and obtain wide spread notoriety. That desire to welcome all comers without question or suspicion is also a weakness.
We must all be aware of our surroundings and those we encounter where ever we are, but we must never think of the place of worship as a place without a need for caution. The pastor at the Texas church where 26 were killed and 20 injured indicated the shooter visited the church only a few days before the tragedy occurred. The shooter gave no outward indication of offering any threat to the church. The significant point was reported by the pastor in the aftermath of the event when he said he had a “feeling” after meeting the young man that there was something wrong and he was fearful of him.
Every place of worship should undergo a security needs assessment. Weaknesses and vulnerabilities should be identified, and steps taken to remedy as best possible. All staff and key church members should be trained in how to respond to a variety of emergencies, not just active shooters.
In addition to an active shooter, churches may be faced with more common medical emergencies. Sufficient Staff and members should be trained in First Aid and CPR. A first aid kit with tourniquet and blood control supplies as well as an AED should be readily available and maintained.
Most importantly, all planning and training must be frequently reviewed and repeated.
Perhaps best said by the Coast Guard moto …. Semper Paratus
If your church has concerns about safety, from a basic needs assessment to armed or unarmed guard services in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia, call BOS Security at 404-793-6965 today.