According to FBI statistics, acts of crime and violence targeting places of worship occur somewhere in America every single day. To fulfill their mission, however, places of worship must be open and inviting spaces that seek to draw all people to them.
How can places of worship perform their missions while providing the most safety possible to the people who enter? This course provides practical, “nuts and bolts” information for clergy and staff of churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques. This information will give attendees the tools they need to make their places of worship safer. This course provides crucial information on realistic and sensible steps places of worship can take to improve safety and security while never losing sight of the mission of the institution. This course was designed with sensitivity to the diverse needs and resources of houses of worship of all sizes, from the small churches plant to the larger churches or cathedrals, realizing each has different needs.
Specifically, this course will explain the nature and motives for criminal offending at places of worship, and use this as a basis for developing strategies to reduce the likelihood of victimization. It will address proven techniques for protecting building structures and reducing the likelihood of victimization.
The course will describe strategies for protecting people, including staff, volunteers, attendees, and children that help develop a culture of safety. It will deal with how to plan ahead for handling a critical incident – active shooter, mental health crisis, fire, etc. – and what steps to put in your plan. Case study examples will assist with this planning.
Finally, attendees with be provided with useful tools to take with them in order to assess their own safety issues and train their own staff and volunteers in light of their unique security needs.