Church Security Expert Reacts to New Government Guidelines for Houses of Worship
First time Federal guidelines for Houses of Worship a mix of good and bad
CINCINNATI, June 19, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — For the first time the Federal Government has released guidelines for developing emergency operation plans specifically for Houses of Worship, an acknowledgement that is long overdue.
“It is encouraging to see government agencies acknowledge that there is a crime problem in our religious community in the United States because there is a lack of awareness and planning on most church’s part,” stated Jeff Hawkins, a Subject Matter Expert in the area of church security and emergency planning.
“The report gives solid basic advice that many of us have been telling church leaders for years regarding emergency planning, however the guidelines seems to downplay certain crimes and gives, what I believe, poor advice in planning and dealing with an Active Shooter situation,” Hawkins continued. “I know it is not politically correct to talk about guns and armed security as a preventative and reactive measure, however I am never comfortable telling people as a last resort to attack the shooter with a fire extinguisher, as recommended in the guidelines.”
Hawkins, author of the book “Introduction to Security & Emergency Planning for Faith Based Organizations,” lectures at churches around the country on a regular basis and recently completed a seminar in Los Angeles drawing over 200 attendees with a mix of church staff and law enforcement from as far away as Alaska.
“I don’t dwell on the topic of Active Shooter because realistically someone is more likely to die of a heart attack in a church than a gunshot, but it does have to be addressed in a realistic manner. People I speak with around the country are concerned for their safety and their loved ones while in church and churches remain a soft-target for all crimes,” Hawkins concluded.
Jeff Hawkins (JeffreyHawkins.net) has served as Chief Security Officer for a worldwide Christian ministry and is former Executive Director of the Christian Security Network. He now provides training, resources, and support for churches and ministries in the areas of security and emergency planning. Hawkins has an M.S. degree in Management and over 1,000 hours of training with such specialty agencies as the Chicago Police Academy, the FBI, and counter terrorism agencies in Israel. He has served as an Adjunct Professor and has written numerous articles for publications such as The Counter Terrorist, Law and Order, Police Magazine, Church Executive, Security Management.
- Rock Church Hosts National Church Security Conference in San Diego June 20 and 21 (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
- Federal Government Issues Guidelines for Churches on How to Deal With Gunmen (blackchristiannews.com)
- US releases school massacre survival manual (smh.com.au)
Posted on June 20, 2013, in Church Leadership and tagged Active Shooter, Church Safety, Church Security, Introduction to Security & Emergency Planning for Faith Based Organizations, Jeff Hawkins. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.