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Why Big Church Events Need Better Security

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It’s simple math and common sense: the larger the crowd, the greater the chance that something could go wrong. Unfortunately, large church gatherings can be considered “soft targets” for terrorists and acts of violence often because they are perceived as having fewer security measures in place. 

Does your church have an updated plan in place for security for your events this spring?

The Easter Season Means More People on Campus 

The Easter season is an exciting time of year for churches—celebrating the highlight of the Christian faith. Of course, we host events and services that are out of the ordinary and bring new people to campus. Make sure that you have beefed-up basic security measures for all of these larger gatherings—the kids’ Easter egg hunt, the Passion play performance, even Easter morning worship services. 

Here are a few basic security measures to consider: 

1) Get a plan.

Make sure you have a plan for addressing security concerns. Enlisting the help of a security expert can give you a valuable third-party viewpoint. Work together with staff and professionals to delegate responsibilities and the proper response during a crisis situation versus preventative measures in place every day of the week. A working plan will be the foundation from which you build a strong security policy. 

2) Role-play responses during a “trigger event.”

It’s helpful to think through possible threat scenarios before they occur so that everyone is prepared to act accordingly should something happen. Define several “trigger events” and communicate with staff, volunteers, and security personnel the appropriate response. It should cover the range of possibilities from a tornado alert sounds to a person enters the building with a visible weapon. Knowing exactly what to do in each type of situation means a safer outcome for all in the event of an emergency.

3) Stay alert.

During events, make sure all security personnel (church members, staff, or law enforcement) are trained and communicating with one another. Everyone should be on high alert and should communicate immediately any suspicious activity. 

4) Know your property inside and out!

All entrances and exits should be monitored and/or locked (one way in and one way out is ideal). Beware of any back or side entrances or propped-open doors. Any of these can give easy access to someone who may otherwise be questioned if they could only enter through the front door. 

5) Screen all volunteers and staff.

Everyone working in your church—whether employees or volunteers—should be thoroughly screened. You want to make sure that those entrusted with the care of the people in your congregation are safe and do not pose any risk for harm.

You can easily perform all types of background checks with Realm®. We have partnered with Verified First to provide your church with the most comprehensive background checks available. This service integrates seamlessly into Realm and makes it super simple to run thorough background checks on anyone in your church directory or whom you may be considering for your staff.

You choose the types of checks to run, which includes national criminal records; sex offender registries; Interpol, terrorist, and FBI watch lists; driving records; and more. 

With basic security planning in advance and solid security measures in place, your church’s spring activities should be safe and fun for everyone. 

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