Let me preface this short blog with, this is NOT a political post or statement of any kind. It was created to provide relevant information as you formulate a Safety plan for the Church. With that said let us begin.
The question at hand is, “Should Local Law Enforcement provide our Church Security Consultation?” Like most questions there is not a strictly a yes or no answer but there are factors that can be provided that weigh into your decision-making process and outcome. First, I think that it is important for every Church to have a great relationship with your local law enforcement agency. This should include getting to know the Chief of Police, meet some of the officers, see if any officers want to do reports in your parking lot, or even make your facilities available for bathroom usage or coffee (if the Church is open). A great relationship can go a long way and provide significant benefits.
Here are some positives of having them do an assessment:
Law enforcement knowing your facility could be of huge benefit if there is ever an incident that requires their response.
They can provide great insights to intruder response
It helps determine response times
It builds the relationship
Here is the negative:
In many cases, it is not a well-rounded consultation. Typically, single focused on intruders and maybe burglaries.
Notice there is only one point on the negative. This bullet is crucial because a Church Security and Safety Ministry MUST be Well-Rounded. In other words, it should include some of the following topics beyond an intruder:
Sunday Morning Procedures
Weekday Office Procedures
Security in the Children’s Department
Team Development + Needs
Church Security and Safety MUST be intentional, proactive, and well rounded. Focusing simply one or two potential incidences leave you vulnerable for much more.
To summarize, having law enforcement come to your facility and walk through has benefits but it should not end there. Partner with a consultant, that helps you develop a proactive + intentional + well rounded ministry.