What Churches Need to Know About Security Risk Assessment!

the problems that churches face has changed since the 1950s.  Churches were considered “safe”, but the Sikh temple shootings in Wisconsin, shootings in Colorado Springs Churches, and the burning of black churches, have changed the security posture of churches.

Take a look at violence in churches today.  In 2008, the FBI recorded 23,547 crimes attributed to location code for “Church/ Synagogue/Temple”.  Deaths from church attacks rose 36% in 2012 according to the January 30, 2013 edition of Christianity Today.  Guns were used in nearly 60 percent of all “deadly force incidents” at churches since 1999 according to Carl Chinn who has been tracking these incidents.

Arson incidents are so widespread that the Dept. of Justice has a National Church Arson Task Force, and “Arson at churches has been a problem for a long time,” said Patrick Moreland, an executive with the Wisconsin-based Church Mutual Insurance Co., which insures 63,000 houses of worship.

No church leader, or church member wants their place of worship to become a crime scene, as the country watches it unfold on CNN.  And there’s a pro-active way to analyze a church’s security profile

And determine:

  • How Likely the Church is to have a Violence Incident
  • What Other Churches in the area are experiencing
  • What the Threat Level is in your Geographic Area
  • Exactly What Controls You Need to Add to Stay Safe

A Security Risk Assessment is a quick, easy to use model that can take streams of data and information and use these actual events to produce a simple report that can track the threat levels, and match these to potential and existing controls to see how existing controls can be implemented, what new controls need to be added, and how to do it all in a cost-effective way.

One of the key points of a security risk assessment is that it measures solutions in terms of COST-EFFECTIVENESS.  No one wants to over-spend on something and not have enough money left for a critical security element.

Out in the field, we often find that controls are not effectively implemented, or they are not 100% implemented, and if there’s even a 10% gap, it’s just like the control never existed at all.

And you don’t need to be an expert to perform a security risk assessment on your church, school, temple or summer camp.  There are new automated software applications, like Church Facilities Risk-Pro, similar to the app on your iphone, that will do the assessment for you, showing you the data you need, and even writing and formatting the reports for you.

The Control Reports become a blueprint for improving security and can become part of a 3-year plan that will protect the physical facility, the congregation, and the entire community.