It may seem that the last place anyone would want to break into or steal from would be a house of worship. But unfortunately, the bad parts of society have reared their ugly heads here also.
It wasn't too long ago when most churches would leave their doors unlocked all day in order to accommodate people who wanted to pray or were just seeking a place of solitude for a while. That generosity offered in the past by churches has been replaced by concern for church property as well as the safety of the parishioners.
At the very least all churches should have a basic intrusion detection system consisting of door and window contacts, motion detectors and a sounder to make noise in event of an intrusion. Many churches have gone a step further by implementing CCTV and access control systems.
I recently did a security survey for a church in my hometown that also operated a very successful day-care operation. Every weekday over 100 kids from newborns to age 12 came to the church daycare.
Before I was asked to do the security survey they found a homeless man wandering through the church carrying a baseball bat looking for things to steal. Imagine if this person intended to harm a child. The liabilities of situations like this and many other things which can occur in a daycare operation make having full security solutions a must.
Just because your church does not operate a daycare does not mean you are not at risk. In the past few years just in my hometown several churches have been broken into and had precious artwork and statues stolen. While these items may not be worth a lot of money the sentimental value to the members of the church are priceless. In addition, there have been instances of thieves coming into church during services looking to rumage through coats at the coat rack or to look for purses that are unattended. Not only that, but what about the money from the collection plate. That is usually taken to the church office and counted before being put into a safe. That is why CCTV and access control can help keep the churches assets safer.
In addition to protecting the inside of the church do not neglect the parking area. In 2007 in Colorado Springs a teenage gunman started shooting at parishoners as they were leaving church only to be stopped by an armed security guard. Now I am not suggesting that all churches hire armed guards, but a smart crook can figure out worship schedules and break into cars during those times.
It is sad when the one place we go to worship and pray for those who must steal in order to pay for drugs or other habits has to secure itself like a bank. The safety of the church members, employees and the children of church operated daycares or Sunday Schools need to be thought of due to today's criminal element.
Posted by Mathew Davis. Posted In : Guest Security Articles