I’ve been hired by a handful of businesses and churches to step up their security on a permanent basis as well as just for the Christmas and New Year Seasons. Part of this is creating an EOP (Emergency Operations Plan), which is a comprehensive plan that covers all aspects of “house of worship” and small businesses.
The HOW’s have proven to be a bit of a challenge. As part of this EOP the major top tier topics are Deterrence, Protection, Response and finally Mitigation. The most recent church was all on board with the entire EOP, we were into our 5th meeting and had created an internal EOP team from congregants and elders. They were very enthusiastic, we had already ordered, received and installed a security system with multiple panic buttons, and camera’s that transmitted a live stream in the event of a DCI to a call center. We had ordered, received and installed Trauma IFAK 's in select locations and had training on their use.
The next part of the plan is where things imploded. “We just aren’t comfortable with implementing the rest of the plan, the congregants being told what we’re doing will scare them. Telling them where to go and which door to evac to! We’re just going to have Sam sit in the back of the church because he carries a gun.”
A congregant in the back with a gun! Wow! What formal training has he had, will he go to a knee to reduce the risk of a penalty of a miss, will he close the gap, be aware of a second shooter, be able to watch the main exit door in the event the second shooter is outside the church watching for congregants to rush out the front door in a panic?
Now, this same excuse is what I’ve heard from some of my students, "I’m not going to carry even though you just taught me CC or and I am getting my license from the state. I don’t think it will happen to me. I’m not traveling to scary parts of town.
In both scenarios I understand it’s not a comfortable topic to think about. Even my own son-in-law, after “loaning” him a firearm will NOT get a LTC or formal training from me (free of course). It’s like, “If I don’t get a colonoscopy I won’t get colon cancer, it’s too scary to think about”.
In conclusion, make a plan and commit yourself to following through with the plan however uncomfortable it may be. Don’t be the guy sitting in the back of the church with a gun.