House of Worship Security Consulting

We Protect Places of Worship While Ensuring a Welcoming Atmosphere

Keeping Places of Worship Safe from Violence

Places of worship, like churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples, are important community spaces where people share common beliefs and values. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in hate crimes in the U.S. recently, including attacks involving guns and knives. It’s crucial that every place of worship has the best security possible.

Every place of worship is unique, with different sizes, designs, and activities. Some might be a single building with a few attendees, while others might have multiple buildings and entrances with thousands of people attending services and events every day. Because of these differences, each place of worship needs a security plan that’s specifically designed for its needs. This plan should focus on the safety of people, programs, property, and preparedness for emergencies.

Here are some questions you should consider:

1. Have you made security a priority and committed to developing a security plan?

2. Do you make sure all workers and volunteers pass a background check and have their references verified? It’s recommended to know individuals for at least six months before allowing them to volunteer or work with children.

3. Do you have security observing who is coming into the parking lots and the building, and what they are carrying with them?

4. Is each entrance clearly marked with your address and well-lit?

5. Is each entrance to the building attended by someone acting as a greeter during worship times?

6. If a person with a gun enters the sanctuary, do you have a plan?

7. If volunteers, staff, and/or security personnel need to summon additional personnel, do you have a system?

8. At any given time, how do you know how many people are in the building and who they are?

9. Do you have an emergency preparedness plan that addresses weather emergencies, medical emergencies, and man-made emergencies that could happen at your facility or adjacent to your facility?

10. Do you have opening and closing procedures for each building with a designated person?

When thinking about security, remember to consider both potential threats that might try to enter and those that might already be inside. Your first goal is to prevent threats from entering. However, if a threat is already inside, you’ll need to react to it. At that point, you have no choice but to react.