When Wendy and I started this ministry, I knew it was God’s plan and we would see satan attacking us in all sorts of places. Some would take us by surprise, others we would see right in front of us. We have met some people along this journey that have made incredible promises to us only to see them use us to their advantage then turn on us. We have lost close friends because of difference of opinions but we have stayed true to Him. We know He is in control and sometimes we ask what is the reason for all of this. Yet in every bad situation we learned something of value, or we see His hands in the darkness and know that He was with us during these attacks which has made us stronger in our walk in this ministry.
Satan would love to see houses of worship and law enforcement agencies not get along. When
we share incidents that happen to our churches with law enforcement we are spreading the word
of those that would like to harm us or another a house of worship. It puts evil on notice, “15
When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all
returned to the wall, each to our own work.” Nehemiah 4:15 (NIV). So when God frustrates a
plot to harm a church because of what the safety team and law enforcement put together we are
all working on the expansion of the Kingdom of God. What you must understand Satan doesn’t
want us to work together so we must train both sides to overcome this issue.
Recently, four different churches we work with have been attacked and these are not just minor incidences; these are attacks that need to be reported. During these attacks local law enforcement has been called and right now I am sad to say that I am wondering what is going on with my brothers in arms. Instead of getting into the weeds I want to list things that you need to do when something happens on your property that causes you great concern to the point you contact local law enforcement.
I have said this in all our presentations, you need insurance like USCCA if you are going to carry in the church. When you join USCCA, they provide you with a list of things to do in case you are involved in a shooting.
1. Call 9-1-1
2. Call Critical Response Team:1-877-677-1919
There are more instructions, however I think you get the gist. They want you to call them as soon as everyone is safe so they can also protect their member.
So those churches that have a Trinity Security Allies Church Safety & Security Membership have benefits also. If you have an incident that rises to the level of calling law enforcement, as soon as law enforcement leaves, you need to call me. I am finding more and more agencies are trying to talk churches out of making a report or making statements that cause the church to think that it is useless to make a report. One agency told the church that prosecution might be difficult, so the church thought why bother making a report. We cannot have that happen anymore. As your advocate of protecting your church and the churches around you, we cannot continue to skip making the report when something as serious as a church being vandalized with the Bibles in the church has been decimated.
Let me give you a couple of reasons why. In the four incidents with churches we work with, two of these incidents I would consider as a threat to the church and other churches in the area. We are fortunate nobody was hurt in either of these cases. The information needs to be shared with the safety team leaders of the church. With the information, safety team leaders can make informed decision on how to not let this happen on their campus.
Some of this information is sensitive so unless you make a report, I am going to refrain from sharing that information. This is just to protect the church and myself from being sued. Most of the time there are other ways to gather that information through public means. Public information is just that, available to the public. If I find public information on a person that has come into your church and caused you concern, I will send that information out to the safety team leaders and they can do with it what they please. We say this all the time in our training; this is not gossip or trying to harm someone’s reputation. This is protecting the flock and we must be careful about how we do it and how we share it. With a police report in hand I can share that information and do a little digging on my own. Florida is an open information state. This is a good thing. Other states that will not give out information on an arrested subject cause the public a big disservice. We never want to hurt someone’s character but using Spock logic “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”. This may sound a little harsh but if you have families bringing their children to your church, they have an expectation of being safe. If people don’t feel safe in your church, you won’t have a church.
Here is a list of things you need to do the next time you have an incident at your church that rises to the level of contacting local law enforcement. Copy these and put them somewhere you can find when you have an incident at your church.
1. Make sure everyone is safe. If you need to do a lockdown, do it. It is better to be safe than sorry. Try, if possible, to get a picture of the suspect and the vehicle the suspect is driving. Do this without putting yourself in harm’s way. You and the safety of everyone in your church is the number one priority.
2. Contact local law enforcement. If it is an emergency call 9-1-1. If not an emergency, you can contact their non-emergency number. Have this number written down somewhere, in your phone, so you don’t have to look it up.
3. Report to dispatch what you have. Dispatch will have a lot of questions to ask you. Be patient, they are getting information for the law enforcement officer (LEO) that is responding to the scene. In 9-1-1 calls as soon as you give your location and the emergency, units should be on the way.
4. If the dispatch tells you do not have a crime and they will not send anyone out, politely ask for a supervisor. When the supervisor talks to you, be professional and polite. Remember we get more with honey than vinegar and these phone calls are generally recorded. Tell them you want to see a LEO; don’t back down. They may try to talk you out of it; do not let them. Try to make sure you get all the names of those you have talked with for future references. Some dispatchers will give you a dispatcher number instead of a name; write it down.
5. After a LEO responds to your call, do not let them talk you out of the report. They may tell you that it is not a crime. Politely explain to them you want to do an “information only report”. Having been a detective I can tell you these types of reports help solve crimes. When we start to see patterns of crimes, these reports help in the apprehensions and convictions of the persons doing those crimes.
6. Ask for the report number. This helps me track down the report.
7. After all of this is over, call me, 727-267-0590. We will talk about the incident and what our next steps should be.
There must be a paradigm shift with law enforcement and houses of worship. Most houses of worship will not contact law enforcement unless there is a true concern. As a crisis negotiator we must learn that those concerns of the ones we are talking to are as real to them as the air they breathe. If law enforcement does not train their staff to respond to every call made from a house of worship as a concern, houses of worship will stop calling. We know what happens when we overlook the information gathered about persons of interest, we have Parkland, Sutherland Springs or the Washington Naval Yard shootings. There were warning signs in all of these and we must learn from our mistakes. If we don’t, we are doomed to repeat them and I don’t want to live with the burden that we didn’t do as much as we could to stop these types of acts of violence. We have to all work together, on the same page and support one another in this fallen world.
There is something that we must accept, as hard as it may sound; unless there is a massive change in our culture, mass shootings are here to stay. All politicians claim that their plans or theories are the best way to alleviate the problem, but sad to say to unless we change our moral compass, we are doomed to continue to see these acts of violence across our country. I am not going to talk about gun control or lack of gun control here, this is the not the proper format. This is to talk about what smarter people than me are saying that we need to start looking at how to prevent the next mass shooting coming to a school, mall or church near you.
While working on this blog, I found two very interesting articles on the issue. Jillian Peterson and James Densley “Here’s what we know about mass shooters” and Tony Perkins on “Solution to gun violence isn’t what you think says former police officer”. One tells us what we should be looking for and the second really hits what we should be doing as the church. If we are going to stop these shootings we have to get involved. Yes I said that right, we the church need to step out of our comfort zone again and get busy.
In the Jillian Peterson and James Densley article “Here’s what we know about mass shooters” They did an extensive two-year study of mass shootings going back as far as 1966, interviewing shooter’s families, survivors, first responders and even the shooter themselves. Peterson and Densley came up with four commonalities in almost all studied mass shootings.
Peterson and Densley found most of the shooters “experienced trauma or exposure to violence at a young age”. This could be anything from physical or sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, severe bullying and parental suicide. Often these were linked to mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, thoughts disorders or suicidality.
The next thing Peterson and Densley described was something in the shooters life they could point to as an “identifiable crisis point in weeks or months leading up to the shooting”. This causes the shooter to become angry and feeling hopeless in their situation. Workplace shooters losing a job, students who experience a breakup, bullying or disappointment in not getting what they wanted at school. Most of the times their change in behavior is a noticeable change or they voiced their disappointment in the situation by talking about suicidal thoughts or acts of violence. Almost always there is some type of red flag on the dramatic change in their lives.
Peterson and Densley continue with most of the shooters had a fascination of other shooters. When we look at the recent El Paso shooter, in his manifesto he discusses the New Zealand Christchurch shooter writing “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto.” With constant 24/7 news, social media, hate filled website and violent games, shooters seek not only the notoriety but want to outdo other shooters in this horrific crime against humanity. In this area Peterson and Densley also noticed that other acts of violence validate their actions, and this causes mass shootings to happen in clusters. We see this with El Pasco, Dayton and four mass shooting attempts foiled by law enforcement over the past few weeks.
Peterson and Densley close with the shooters must have “the means to carry out their plan”. When the shooter decides that it is time to act and that life is over for them, they must have the means to commit the act. Most school shootings the shooter obtains their guns from a family member and we have seen that most adult shooters have obtained their weapons legally. There is nothing in the criminal history check to show that a person has had mental health issues or has attempted to commit suicide and in the case of juveniles, most criminal records are not included in the adult record check so crimes against person by a person under 18 is not found when someone does a criminal history check with National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
And just to add a personal note on the mental health issue. When I worked for the Town of Belleair we had a person that attempted suicide multiple times. Every time we received a call that this person was threatening to kill them self, we would remove all weapons from that person’s home. Every time that person got out of the hospital they would go down and retrieve their firearms only to have them available when they committed the next attempt. We were in constant fear that this person would eventually try suicide by cop; shooting at us with the weapons that were given back to them after every suicide effort. One time the weapon was destroyed only to have that person go out and purchase another weapon. The law would not allow us to put those suicide attempts in NCIC.
So, where does the church come into play. Looking at the first three reasons a person may become a mass shooter we have to understand several things. Christ has been removed from the schools, homes and sometimes even in churches. In Tony Perkins article “Solution to gun violence isn’t what you think says former police officer” he states “As Jesus observed in Matthew 15:19, from the human heart comes murder. To talk about the "why" and not just the "how," requires we go beyond external, environmental factors to focus on the internal aspect of morality. And we can't have an honest discussion about morality without including religion.” Man, I wish I would have said this, “we can’t have an honest discussion about morality without including religion”.
The first reason Peterson and Densley talked about were the issues within the home. We have seen the value of the home decay over the last 50 years. Broken families, domestic violence and bullying at the schools is a major cause of the “nature of their exposures” as Peterson and Densley write. Since we have been taking God out of our schools, our homes and just about every where else how can we expect anything different coming from our children. Where is their support right now? Do they get their validation from outside sources like social media, the shows they watch or hearing it on the streets, or do they get it from the parents, church members and church staff? Who are the people raising and influencing our kids?
Who do they talk to in times of crisis? Do we listen? Are you looking for those warning signs? The last three mass shootings that were foiled by local law enforcement were because of information received from friends, family members or social media where the shooter made threats or statements that alerted those close to that person that this person really needed help. When you get that low that you are thinking of killing innocent people and possibly yourself that is a diffident cry for help. Let’s be realistic people; that is not in most people’s DNA so to get to that point something has gone terribly wrong in that person’s life. Where are we when those that are hurting need us?
A good friend of mine, Phil Chalmers, who has interview over 200 teen killers and school shooters list as one of his “The Ten Causes of Teen Murder” the “lack of spiritual guidance and proper discipline”. In Phil’s seminars he talks at length about the social media, music and games children who murder watch. A lot of the games, music video and movies glorify death and killing. Parents wake up! What video games are your kids playing? What videos are they watching on YouTube? What music are they listening to? A disturbing trend we are now seeing in our kids is the sharing of nude pictures of themselves to each other over programs like Snapchat or Instagram. And every time we approach a parent about these issues, they tell us that is just growing up or their child would never do anything like that. Unless that child has a strong family value system to support them, one day you will see something that will break your heart.
So, where do we go from here? We must become more involved in our children’s lives. We have to look for the warning signs, and if we see something, we have to say something, this is no longer an option. We must become proactive and not re-active. We need to bring Christ back into our homes, our families, our schools and our country. Tony Perkins said it best (still wish I would have said it) “To achieve security for our families and communities while preserving the freedom that has made America great, we have only one option: Restore morality by renewing our commitment to the free exercise of religion. In other words, we should protect, not prevent, religious freedom.”
Who is with me?
One day a man dies, who was a devout Christian. Saint Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates and begins to give him a tour of Heaven. As the tour goes on, Saint Paul points out all the different Christians. "There's the Catholics, there's the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Presbyterians", and so forth. As they come to this one group way off to themselves, Saint Paul motions for the man to come closer and whispers. "Now, for this next group, we need to be really quiet. They are the Baptists and they think they're the only ones in Heaven."
Okay before my Baptist brothers and sisters start sending me hate mail or requesting to be removed from the mailing list you must understand I grew up Southern Baptist. I can remember Baptist preachers insinuating this in some of their sermons. So give me some freedom here. We all have our specific beliefs that makes us who we are, if not there would not be all the different denominations. So, I can joke about my roots in the Baptist Church. But what I can’t joke about is when we put together training at a church that is open to everyone and other denominations will not come to that training just because of that reason. Why do we develop safety and security teams? We do it to protect the flock. This should be universal across the board for every safety team, no matter what denomination. You create these ministries to protect the flock. Isn’t this what it is really about?
Several weeks ago I was asked to come and do a security assessment at a local Mosque. This was just after the New Zealand shootings. I jumped at the opportunity to serve. Isn’t their families and children just as important as ours. I had seen the raw uncut video of New Zealand shooting. The slaughter of innocent women, children and elderly people was devastating and should not be experienced in any religion. You will band together to protect the schools whether they are private, public, charter or any other variation. Why should church safety be any different?
We were invited to Venice, FL by the Venice Police Department to do our church safety training. When we first kicked it off, we immediately got over 150 church members signed up and by training day we had over 300 signed up for the training. The amazing thing was that there was every know denomination there. Over 80 churches, we even had a Jewish Synagogue. I asked the question if the participants believed in miracles because having Baptist, Methodist and Catholics agree on anything was a miracle. What frustrated me if we had gone to any church in Venice with any known denomination, we would have only gotten 20 percent of those that we had at this training. Why? Because the police department was hosting the training and not a church. Most have the mindset of, hey if the police department is hosting something it must be the real deal. We must change our mindset, if it is about protecting the flock, it doesn’t matter the denomination, it is the real deal.
All of my years in police work we were always training. We had to have 40 hours of recertification training every four years just to hold our position on the department. We would go to classes to learn of other ways to handle people in crisis or how to do proper traffic stops. Other things would occur across the country and we would look at each other and think to ourselves we are not ready for this if it happened in our jurisdiction. An example, Columbine, 1999. Before Columbine our agency’s response to any active shooter situation was to surround the parameter, wait for the SWAT team to arrive and then let them decide to breach or not. Columbine changed all of that and we started active shooter training and because there were six other cities next to us, we started training with their agencies police departments.
When I started working with Belleair, I understood that we sat in the middle of three jurisdictions, south was Pinellas County, north was Clearwater and east was Largo. I knew nobody in the agencies, so I went to all the county networking meetings. It didn’t matter if it was on burglaries, robberies or sexual assaults, I went to them all. We shared information on what was going on in our cities and it gave me a network of detectives with the same mindset of mine, catching bad guys. Building these relationships anytime we had crimes close to the Belleair boarder I would contact the jurisdiction next to us and see if they were having the same issues and if they had a suspect. We on so many occasions were looking for the same suspect so by sharing information we were able to get these people off the street faster than by working alone.
Brothers and sisters, bad things are still happening against churches. Read the papers, shootings are still occurring, vandalisms appear to be on the rise and if church goers were aware of how many sexual assaults have happened across the country, they might not let their children go back to church. We must understand that we live in a fallen world and attacks on church property is not slowing down. In fact, to us it only seems like it is getting worse.
Please understand I am not a person that thinks every weekend there will be a shooter waiting to come into a church and up the body count from Sutherland Springs. But I would be a fool if I didn’t think that every weekend there is a possibility of an ex-husband who has reached the end of his rope and finds himself in a very dark place. He may be contemplating if this weekend he will wait for his wife at her church to hurt her. What if that wife decided to leave your church for fear of running into her ex-husband? You understand her fear because of his violent past. Are you prepared and will you share that information to the other church safety teams so they can be ready in case the husband shows up on their campus looking for his ex-wife?
In our church sometimes I feel we have seen everything. We have had the prophets, the panhandlers, those that have mental-health issues that ranged from being violent to just needing extra attention. We’ve had sexual predators, impostors and disruptive attendees. Everyone one of these we have listed has either come from another church or have left our church and went to another only to start up where they left off at their previous church. So why is it that church safety teams refuse to get together and share information about what they have seen in their own churches? This is not gossip, this is being proactive and protecting the flock.
Brothers and sisters, if you have a safety team leader in your church that tells you they don’t need outside help, I would tell you that person is not the right person for your safety team. I am considered by many an expert in my field, but I still read articles, go to seminars on church safety and have a whole network of professionals I can reach out to for help on a question I might have. It would be prideful if I thought I was the be all to end all and we know how God feels about pride. Don’t let a prideful safety team leader put your church in danger. We are all working on this together.
There should be no competition in the safety of the flock. I see no competition in my field as a consultant of church safety, I see others in this line of work as my brothers and sisters in protecting the flock. I heard it once said, ““Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.” Mark 9:38-40 (NIV).
I know who is against us and he loves that fact that we as Safety Team Leaders are not working together for the Kingdom of God. You see if we were to unite maybe we could stop some incident like Sutherland Springs or The New Zealand shootings. Maybe we could change laws to create better protection for the churches. Please come and join us at our networking meetings and let all of us work toward the protecting of God’s people, His chosen, His sons and daughters. I pray that you will leave behind whatever stops you from coming to a Church Safety Network Group meeting. Go to our website Trinitysecurityallies.com for information on our next networking meeting and join us on our new Facebook Group.
God bless you for what you do and look forward to seeing you soon.
Since Wendy and I started this ministry back in October of 2015 we have been working on ways to better serve you in the protection of your houses of worship. We started off with teaching the basic on why you need a church safety team from a biblical point of view. We started to network churches to share information on concerns and persons of interest that are possible threats to the order of the church services. In doing this we have found disruptive people who have traveled not only from church to church but from county to county.
In 2016 we started to teach a class on threat profiling, being able to identify those that are coming into your church that are hurting or maybe wanting to do harm. We have now taught this class all over the country with great success. We hear stories of safety team members using the information provided in this training to spot and successfully halt potential threats in their houses of worship. This last year we have added verbal de-escalation teaching safety team members how to approach a hostile situation and move it from a threat to an opportunity to witness the love of God. Now with the aid of our new simulator we have been able to put safety team members in real life situations. These scenarios force safety team member to make split second decisions on whether they can verbally talk the threat down or must draw their weapon to defend members of your congregation. This month we are putting out a booklet, a free resource on “Developing a Safety Team, A Biblical Approach to Church Safety”. Over the next few months we plan on putting out more of these free resources to assist you in reviewing what you have done and what you can continue to do in protecting the flock.
Since our first Church Safety Conference in October of 2017 we have worked on bringing in speakers from all over the country to talk about relevant issues facing the church. Our third conference this November 2nd, 2019 we will bring in another set of keynote speakers that promise to instill in you that you are doing God’s work. Here are just two of our keynote speakers, Kevin Smith the Director of the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity and Judy Workman, a survivor from the Sutherland Springs shooting who because of her training and faith in God was able to save multiple victims on that horrendous day.
Over the past three years we have touched over 450 churches across the United States. This has been possible with the gracious funding provided by the churches for this training. We have been all over the state of Florida, in North Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. We have made brief introductions to churches in Texas and Georgia with the understanding when funds are available we will be back. The church memberships and monies received from these trainings have kept Trinity Security Allies’ doors open with the accepting that this is not a get rich position but one of serving God. Yet over the past few months, Wendy and I have seen the vision that we need to do more and in order to do more we have to come to you and talk about possible funding options.
In the book of James 4:13-15, James states “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”. Wendy and I truly feel that “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
We have been praying and the dream is to expand Trinity Security Allies over the United States. In order to do that we need funding to help us travel to these states and hold seminars on how to protect the flock. In our research we have found that 94% of the churches in the United States are under a 500 member congregation. That over 59% of churches are under 100 in membership. These churches deserve the training and understanding that protecting their flock comes from within and not with outside assistance. They must rely on themselves when evil walks in their door until law enforcement can get there. In the case of Sutherland Springs Texas shooting, after the shooter had left, over 15 minutes passed before the first responder got into the building. We must provide this training no matter the size of the church to protect their flock. We are looking for individual and business donors who would sponsor a church so that we can provide the training necessary to protect their children’s ministry and those that come and worship from this fallen world. We are looking for organizations that would be interested in helping us share this messages to those that cannot afford our training. There should be no church left behind in this ministry.
The world is changing and it is not for the good. Yes we know that God is in control but we have to protect His flock. He has given us this responsibility to share this training and information and we need to reach out to help fund it. Please pray on this and let us know your feelings on this. Share this with businesses that are looking for ministries to work with. We can show them the need to continue to get the word out and their funding will go to a worthy cause, protecting Christ’s Bride all over the United States.
Wendy and I truly believe of our calling and we want to continue and we need your support. For those of you who have supported us so far in the journey you are on our heart and in our prayers every day thanking you for your support. We continue to ask for your prayers and we know God has a plan. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Thank you for your support.
No weapon required for most threats. Verbal de-escalation and scripture can be key to eliminating a threat
A lot of great things going on at Trinity Security Allies. We just finished filming 25 different church scenarios with Laser Shot Simulations. These scenarios are based on actual situations that have happened in churches across the United States. We are really excited about getting the finished product so we can bring it to you. Thanks goes out again to Laser Shot and the two hard workers Anderson and Christian. This was an incredible week of a lot of hard work. I want to thank all of those that came out to help us film these scenarios along with Generation Christian Church and Faith Baptist Church in New Port Richey for letting us use their facilities. This training is going to help churches and law enforcement across the country seeing scenarios that could happen in their church and learning how to respond when faced with these situations.
We have been working on something that will have a huge impact on Trinity Security Allies, we have started working with James Simmons with Simmons Law Group. I met James through one of our Board Members and the first thing that stuck me about James was his love of the Lord. This is a person that understands “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 and he is here to protect your church and your families. I am looking forward to working with James not only to help protect those that fight for what is right but also serving with him in sharing the Word. We are ready to work for you, just give us a call.
We also had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Kevin Smith the Director of the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives. Kevin will be at our November 2, 2019 Church Safety Conference and talk about ways churches can beef up the security of their church with government help. Through a DHS grant churches can apply for monies to purchase items to make their churches safer like good doors with easy to operate locks to lock down, cameras and also safety training. More information is coming soon on these grants.
Wednesday night I had the honor of being on Kevin Haggarty’s Facebook live The Godlogic Project. Kevin and I have been friends since Trinity Security Allies started and now he has a podcast that he does called The Godlogic Project. I would ask everyone that subscribes to our blogs to go out and subscribe to Kevin’s YouTube channel. Kevin talks about a lot of things churches don’t want to because churches don’t want to discuss what is going on in the real world. They want to paint a picture of it won’t happen in our church or to our families but Satan is out there and looking for the unsuspecting sheep. You can go here to listen to our last podcast.
During our talks with both Kevins I started to think about how we are constantly talking about church shootings. I have heard over and over that you have a better chance of getting hit by lighting than having an active shooter at your church. Please understand I could not agree with you more. We call constantly pushing an active shooter in churches “the fear factor” or like watching a train wreck. You can’t turn away from it, we don’t understand why but we have to watch the carnage. Let me say this again if you have a company that does not want to talk about domestic issues, disruptive attendee, children ministry issues in their training be leery of them. There are things that will come into your church that will cause people to feel unsafe and it isn’t always a man with a gun.
We had an intellectually disabled (politically correct) person come into our church and disrupted the church service. He was sitting in the back, raised his hand and asked for prayer while the service was still in progress. He asked for prayers for all of the women he had raped and killed. Read that again, prayers for all the women that he had raped and killed. So was this a threat? People sitting around this person perceived it as a threat and didn’t feel safe while this was going on. So how would you handle this person without becoming physical, do you have a plan in place for a disruptive attendee? Do you know your rights during a situation like this? You will have more of these types of situations than you will have lighting strikes so how do you handle them? Training. Most all situations church safety team members deal will do not require a weapon. We need to keep being reminded of that. Stop arming all your people in your congregation. You are only asking for trouble.
Our training is for churches that want to protect their congregation without force if possible. If you don’t want a firearm in your church that is your prerogative. We are still the ministry that wants to come in and teach you situational awareness and threat profiling so you can get ahead of a possible bad situation. One of the great things Laser Shot did in these church scenarios was include a submission piece in every scenario. That means that if your Safety Team Member verbally de-escalates the situation then the violent person gives up. You want to use the most powerful weapon in the world, the Word of God to handle all situations. You want to become the most powerful weapon against “the powers of this dark world and the forces of evil in the heavenly realms” and “put on the full armor of God…and use the Sword of Spirit” Ephesians 6:10-17. Use His Word as your weapon and let’s see how evil stops coming in your churches’ door because they will know that God is protecting you with a big angel at your door.
Follow me here, the shooting at Chabad of Poway Heroes didn’t have security training yet because people were aware that evil could walk into their synagogue at any time, lives were saved. I am not saying that if they had a safety team it would have had a different outcome but God had placed the right people in that synagogue that day to only have one death when the subject was armed to kill many more. Let’s praise the heroes during this tragic event, let’s lift up their names and pray for their bravery. Lori Gilbert Kaye gave her life shielding the rabbi by jumping between the shooter. She gave the ultimate sacrifice saving the rabbi. Almog Peretz’s who still lives in Israel was visiting his family in California. Almog was wounded but still had the forethought to go to an emergency exit and get all the children near him to run out to safety. We have the Army veteran that was in prayer when he heard the gunshots and ran toward the danger. Oscar Stewart stated because of his training, he didn’t think about it, he just ran toward the threat. It was because of his actions the shooter didn’t kill more people. Oscar didn’t have a weapon, God had been training him all his life for that moment. The last hero was an off-duty border patrol agent. Jonathan Morales had just recently been asked, by Rabbi Goldstein to carry his weapon while he was at the synagogue. Even though Morales actually didn’t confront the shooter while he was in the house of worship he did stop him from leaving and possibly going to another synagogue and kill more innocent people. To read more about these heroes go here.
When we take a look at the mosque shooting in New Zealand the person at the second mosque that halted the shooter from killing more people use his head and a unique weapon to stop the attacker. Abdul Aziz screamed at the shooter trying to distract the shooter away from the mosque so others could get to safety. Using his voice and the only thing he could get his hands on as a weapon, a credit card reader. He threw the credit card reader at the shooter which caused him to drop his weapon and run back toward his car to get another weapon. Abdul grabbed the weapon and realized it was empty but then threw it at the suspect who then drove away. The best weapon Abdul had was his desire to save people and not to die that day.
So let’s land this plane on what are we saying here. You who read this blog should be talking to your friends and family that go to other churches. If you care for them you should be asking them if they have some sort of safety team and procedures in place. If they tell you they don’t because they don’t want a bunch of people running around with guns in their church tell them to call us. The heart and soul of Trinity Security Allies is expanding the Kingdom of God and protecting those doing it. It does not have to be with guns, it can be with their voices, their smarts or a credit card reader but you have to train. You have to know how to protect your perimeter, know what to look for when that person comes into your house of worship and understand that evil comes in all shapes and forms and it might not be carrying a weapon that day but you still have to deal with it.
Do you know how to do that? If not call us.
Jim has many years of law enforcement experience and has run the safety team at his church for several years. TSA was formed after he realized God's calling when multiple churches reached out and asked him to present at their church.