Museums and Cultural Properties,-Secure-Spaces.aspxOpen Doors, Secure SpacesGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652018-09-01T04:00:00Z, Holly Gilbert Stowell<p>​Bold Believers Church of Christ in Dayton, Ohio, strives to maintain a hospitable, welcoming environment for people coming through its doors, but it also keeps an eye out for people who don't have good intentions.<img src="/ASIS%20SM%20Callout%20Images/0918%20Case%20Study%20Stats%20Box.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:246px;" /></p><p>"We have principles and policies in place that allow us to make some discerning decisions about who's really in need, and who's trying to take advantage of the situation," says Cleavon Matthews, minister at the church. </p><p>Like other houses of worship, the church also faces the reality of attacks on soft targets around the world. A shooting in September 2017 hit home for the congregation: in Tennessee, a gunman opened fire during Sunday morning services at a fellow Church of Christ, part of the same denomination as Bold Believers. One person died and seven were injured.  </p><p>In 2017, when the church wanted to upgrade its worship space to accommodate its growing congregation, it moved into a building that had formerly housed a Jewish synagogue. The new space features three levels and 40,000 square feet of space.  </p><p>But leaving its former building meant abandoning a sense of comfort and security, Matthews says. </p><p>"We were at the other location for 30 plus years; there's a level of comfort and a sense of safety there, and it's a much smaller facility that didn't require as much security," he says. "Moving here was a tremendous cultural change for our church." </p><p>The new worship space is in a less-developed area, and one of the major hospitals nearby is preparing to close later this year, which Matthews calls a significant blow to the neighborhood. </p><p>"There are efforts being made by some groups to revitalize the area, but the socioeconomic status of the area is poor," Matthews says. "One of the reasons we came here was to make a difference in the lives of people here—especially children, women, and families."  </p><p>When the church began to renovate the building's interior and exterior, it knew it wanted to invest in a security system to protect the facility and expensive construction equipment. </p><p>"In this area, security is of the utmost importance to us and it was one of the first things we invested in once we acquired the building," Matthews notes. </p><p>The previous owners of the synagogue had a subscription with Sonitrol of SW Ohio, a video and audio verification service that monitors for alarms in real-time. There were already a few cameras installed around and outside the building. Bold Believers decided to take over the existing subscription to Sonitrol and add additional cameras and a video management system, both manufactured by 3xLOGIC. Sonitrol of SW Ohio was also the integrator for the technology upgrades, which began in April 2017.   </p><p>The surveillance system includes Multi-Sensor NVR cameras from 3xLOGIC that detect motion and glass break. There are also door contact sensors that alarm when a door is opened. The church has more than a dozen cameras in and around the building, seven of which are multi-sensor. </p><p>"It's not a small building, so that's why it's so important to have the cameras to cover all of those different levels and the corridors," Matthews notes. "That way, you know if someone's in the building and you can find out where they are." </p><p>The church can arm the system at any time, usually when no one is on the premises. If an alarm goes off—whether it be a door contact sensor, motion detection, or audio—it's immediately picked up at the Sonitrol monitoring station. Sonitrol dispatchers can view a live feed of the cameras to verify that the alarm is legitimate, and contact law enforcement. </p><p>Another element that appealed to Matthews about Sonitrol was the ability to arm the system and view camera feeds and alarms remotely through an app on his smartphone, which other church leaders have access to as well.  </p><p>In February 2018, the system caught a trespasser who walked into the building in the middle of the night. </p><p>"The individual entered through a door that had been left unlocked, so it was just like he was going into his own house," notes Duane Pettiford, a leader at Bold Believers. "That particular door did not have a contact sensor, but the motion sensor cameras were able to pick him up."  </p><p>A dispatcher at Sonitrol immediately responded to the alarm and called law enforcement, who quickly arrived on scene. Because Bold Believers had numbered its doors for Sonitrol, the dispatcher was able to give police a guided, step-by-step description of where the trespasser was in the church. </p><p>The church set up a list of contacts for Sonitrol to call in the event of an alarm, so Pettiford received a call at about 3:30 a.m. </p><p>"I was in a deep sleep and not very cognizant of what I said, but I was very happy with the results, and that they were able to prevent any damage from being done or things from being taken," he says. "The product did its job."  </p><p>The mobile feature comes in handy daily, Matthews adds, to cut down on false alarms and provide peace of mind. </p><p>"Sometimes we get calls because of the construction that's going on and there's a loud noise. I can look [at the video] and say, 'Okay, well there's a contractor there, there's no need to call the police,'" he says. "It eliminates some of those calls that probably would have been made, and the police would have wasted their time." </p><p>Pettiford iterates that Sonitrol keeps the premises safe by having a set of eyes on the building around the clock, allowing the church to focus on working with the congregation and local population. </p><p>"We're in a precarious position, because we want our doors to be open for people that want to know Christ, so we can't put up bars," he says. "We have Sonitrol to keep the doors open." </p><p>For more information: Suzi Abell,,; 317.445.2937; Alison Shiver,,, 513.719.4000, ext. 101. ​</p>

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 You May Also Like... Sacred Spaces<p>​Christians were gathered in churches around the world to celebrate Palm Sunday on April 9, 2017, marking the beginning of Holy Week. During this time of year, many Christians share in a renewal of their faith as they remember the pilgrimage that Jesus took before his death and resurrection.</p><p>At Saint George Church in Tanta, Egypt, the church was full. Scriptures were read. Songs were sung. Somewhere between welcome and amen, a bomb exploded—killing at least 25 people and wounding dozens of parishioners and members of the clergy.</p><p>Investigators reportedly believe, according to CNN and other media reports, that someone had placed an explosive device under a seat in the prayer hall. Exactly how the bomb was detonated is still unknown.</p><p>As emergency personnel were working to secure the scene at Saint George, a second attack occurred just outside of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, Egypt. </p><p>The church service had just ended and people were leaving the building when a man arrived wearing a zipped-up jacket with one hand in his pocket. A security officer denied the visitor access to the cathedral and referred him to the metal detector outside the church’s entrance.</p><p>The man can be seen on video talking with the officer and then walking towards the metal detector. He walked a few steps past it, turned, entered the metal detector frame, and detonated a bomb, killing at least 11 people—including three police officers—and wounding 35 others. The actions of the security officer and the use of the metal detector saved numerous lives that day.</p><p>Between the two attacks, 43 people died and approximately 100 were injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks and warned that there would be more attacks in the future against Christians, police, and the military, according to CNN.</p><p>However, these attacks left many questions unanswered. Details such as how the bombers picked their targets, whether they were working together, and what advance preparations they had made all remained a mystery.</p><p>Did the bombers choose these congregations based on the size of the facilities? It appears that the attackers selected a day in which they knew more people would be present at the churches, possibly in an attempt to create more terror and politicize them as an assault on Christianity. A similar attack at a Christian church in Alexandria on New Year’s Day in 2011 killed 21 and injured 96, according to The Telegraph. Christians have been targeted in several attacks in Egypt, which explains the enhanced security precautions in place on Palm Sunday in 2017.</p><p>These bombings prompt several questions. What can be done to prevent an attack from occurring in our respective places of worship? Will it become customary to have a bomb-sniffing dog search the premises? Will metal detectors become a common feature outside religious and cultural properties?</p><p>“There is no commonly accepted or developed profile of a suicide bomber,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote in Protecting Your Jewish Institution in 2015. “The only characteristic accepted by experts is that the overwhelming majority are prepared to die in the service of their cause.”</p><p>Security leaders are faced with the challenge of preventing an act that someone else is determined to achieve, even in the face of death. </p><p>We have known for years that the Islamic State wants to destroy Western culture, and that they plan to attack various locations, including houses of worship, bus stops, airports, hospitals, schools, shopping venues, concert halls, night clubs, parades, sporting events, and other places with large gatherings of people. Additionally, we are experiencing more attacks by individual terrorists with various affiliations, as seen in recent attacks using vehicles in Paris and London. </p><p>The ADL reported in January 2017 that bomb threats have increased. In addition, there is an increase in anti-Semitic assaults on college campuses. As a result, the league has updated some of its resources to assist synagogues with their security plans as they seek to secure places of wor­ship, religious artifacts, and those attending services.</p><p>The Muslim community is not exempt from crime, and has reported increases in incidents of violence and vandalism, most of which are suspected to be committed by homegrown extremists in response to terror acts committed across the globe. In the Middle East, extremists often target more moderate Muslims as they seek to impose Sharia Law.</p><p>Houses of worship around the world are faced with various challenges as they try to secure their facilities, people, and programs with limited budgets and resources. A congregation of 1,000 will have some of the same challenges as a congregation of 100, but it will have more resources. Smaller congregations may not face the same complexities as larger organizations but they may still encounter violence.</p><p>For example, when 21-year-old Dylann Roof entered the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015, only 12 parishioners were present.</p><p>Every church throughout the world has the same goal: to provide a safe place to worship. We can implement interior and exterior controls and follow best practices to prevent many types of crimes. However, nothing can protect houses of worship from a bombing except denied access.​</p><h4>Bombings in the United States</h4><p>The most notorious church bombing in the United States occurred in September 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. A bomb exploded in the building, killing four African-American girls during a service and injuring at least 14 others. Three former Ku Klux Klan members were eventually convicted of murder for the bombing.</p><p>Between 1970 and 2007, there were 25 terrorist attacks against religious figures or institutions in the United States; nine of the 25 attacks involved explosives or bombings, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). Nine of those attacks targeted Jewish institutions.</p><p>The FBI also tracks hate crimes against individuals and religious institutions, with a reported 1,402 victims of anti-religious hate crimes in 2015, according to the Uniform Crime Reports: Hate Crime Statistics 2016. </p><p>Those crimes primarily targeted Jews (52 percent), Muslims (22 percent), Catholics (4 percent), and individuals of varying religious groups (4 percent).</p><p>This was an increase from figures released in 2015, when the FBI reported that there were 1,140 victims of religious hate crimes in the United States. Hate crimes, as defined by the FBI, include traditional crimes—like murder, arson, or vandalism—that are motivated by bias.</p><p>For example, in January 2012 in Rutherford, New Jersey, several Molotov cocktails and incendiary devices were thrown at a synagogue, starting a fire in the second-floor bedroom of the rabbi’s residence. This was deemed the fourth bias incident in a month against a Jewish religious institution. Other incidents included a fire that was intentionally set and graffiti at two synagogues. ​</p><h4>Bombings Suspects</h4><p>The profile of a bomber in the United States may be different from what security professionals expect. It could be a jilted spouse or lover who is seeking revenge at the end of their romantic involvement. It could be former business partners or employees looking for retribution when a business relationship goes south. It could also be the work of a terrorist—foreign or homegrown—trying to make a political statement toward a specific person or group.  </p><p>As of this writing, most bombings in the United States are carried out by an individual working alone. Further investigations after the fact generally indicate that a spouse or family member had suspicions about the bomber’s behaviors, but did not seek help. </p><p>While security cannot anticipate the moves of a bomber, there are a few behavioral characteristics that could be considered suspicious.</p><div><span style="white-space:pre;"> </span></div><p>• Nervousness, including sweating, tunnel vision, and repeated, inappropriate prayers or muttering, as well as repeated entrances and exits from the building.</p><p>• Inappropriate, oversized, and loose-fitting clothing.</p><p>• Concealed hands, such as in pockets, to hold a triggering device.</p><p>• Favoring one side or area of the body, as if wearing something unusual or uncomfortable.</p><p>• Projected angles under clothing, such as those that would indicate the individual is carrying a firearm at the waist or ankle.</p><p>• Constantly adjusting clothing.</p><p>• Carrying packages or backpacks.</p><p>When this kind of behavior is observed, the “See Something, Say Something” principle is applicable. However, at religious institutions, if at all possible, congregants should be encouraged to leave the area.</p><p>Reports should be made to a law enforcement officer if possible. If law enforcement is not available at the location, individuals have the option to investigate on their own, report suspicions to church staff, or do nothing. In these instances, security professionals should trust their instincts.​</p><h4>PREVENTING A BOMBING</h4><p>The attacker could use a mail bomb or a placed bomb. Placed bombs, like the one used in the Boston Marathon bombing, injure indiscriminately and can be concealed in boxes, backpacks, briefcases, and purses. </p><p>There is no certain way to prepare for a bombing. As witnessed with the Boston Marathon bombing, members of the public are vulnerable at events and in crowds. Someone can enter a facility with intent to do harm and there is little security can do to stop him or her.</p><p>But, just as Boston responded quickly with paramedics and doctors, houses of worship need to be prepared with security and safety measures. </p><p>Places of worship need video cameras for successful identification of attackers. Congregants must be diligent in their observations of attendees who might intend harm. They also need to be observant of behavior that is unusual, such as a person who attempts to enter a church after the service had ended, as the second Palm Sunday bomber did. </p><p>As a precautionary step, religious institutions’ office personnel should be trained about mail bombs and suspicious packages, such as the pipe bomb that was mailed to a Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, in January 1990.</p><p>The pastor’s daughter, director of ministries for the church, opened the package addressed to her father, suffering minor burns and bruises, according to The New York Times.</p><p>Access control is key to a secure environment, as the Tanta, Egypt, bombing shows. Someone was able to place a bomb inside the sanctuary, showing that someone had access to the facility prior to the start of the service.</p><p>Staff should also be advised to keep offices and desks locked when they are not in use to avoid creating hiding places for explosives. Staff should also ensure that utility janitorial closets, boiler rooms, mail rooms, computer offices, switchboards, and elevator control rooms are locked at all times.</p><p>Additionally, trash receptacles—especially dumpsters—should be locked and located far from the building. The area around the receptacles should also be free of debris. As demonstrated by the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, cars and trucks should be required to maintain a safe setback from the facility. </p><p>A security plan should also include an evacuation plan for the facility with a designated meeting point to ensure that everyone is safe, should it be used. Places of worship should also be equipped with medically trained staff, first aid kits, and ambulatory services to quickly respond, should an attack take place.</p><p>There are no easy answers to this disturbing dilemma. There is no easy way to predict when or where a bombing may occur. There are even fewer ways to prevent it. As security leaders, we must be diligent in our observations of human behavior. </p><p><em>Paula L. Ratliff is the coauthor of </em>Crime Prevention for Houses of Worship<em>, the first book published on the topic in 2001 and the author of the second edition. She began researching crimes against religious facilities in the early 1990s and has written several articles on crime prevention for places of worship. She is a member of ASIS International and a graduate of the University of Louisville.        ​</em></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465 of Worship Security and Training Tips<div class="body"> <p>Last year’s shootings at a Colorado mission and megachurch are a reminder that even houses of worship must address security.</p> <p>One major initiative is the Secure Community Network, or SCN (pronounced “scan”), organized by major American Jewish leadership organizations to bring Jewish community security under one group. SCN’s Web site is packed with security resources and advice for all types of houses of worship. ASIS International also has church security guidelines, which include advice on physical security and on hiring security personnel.</p> <p>“The biggest void between police and security in the public is the flow of information,” says SCN’s National Director Paul Goldenberg. SCN attempts to rectify that issue by forging relationships with law enforcement.</p> <p>The group receives sensitive information on threats to the Jewish community around-the-clock, which it then disseminates to its members. Goldenberg adds that the SCN is the first nongovernmental organization to have a memorandum of understanding with the New York City Police Department.</p> <p>The group is also working with the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate its house of worship training. The most important step a house of worship can take is to train its staff to handle threatening situations and to ensure that they are able to operate any security equipment the building has, says Goldenberg, who was part of a south Florida undercover strike force for several years.</p> <p>Training is all the more important in this field given that many house of worship security force members are volunteers and may not have law enforcement backgrounds.</p> <p>Some states are requiring that volunteers get licensed or that churches hire only licensed security professionals.</p> <p>Texas, for example, requires that anyone providing volunteer security services under the title “security” be licensed by the state. That law forced Dallas megachurch The Potter’s House last year to professionalize its force, says Sean Smith, who was the security director there when he says the Texas Private Security Bureau told the church it would be fined because the volunteer security team was unlicensed.</p> <p>The church chose to contract its security to an outside company. Smith went through the state licensing program and became senior account manager, with the rest of the security staff coming from the contracted company. </p> <p>“It’s just forcing us to be better,” says Smith, adding that once the church contracted its security out, its liability insurance “dropped tremendously.”</p> <p>Chuck Chadwick, of the National Association of Church Security & Safety Management (NACSSM), thinks crackdowns like the one in Texas are necessary. “Unlicensed security is rampant across the country,” he says.</p> <p>Jim Hashem, chief of staff of Kingdom Life Christian Church in Milford, Connecticut, had his all-volunteer security force trained by an outside company and licensed. Even so, says Hashem, if there is even a hint of violence, his security team is instructed to immediately call 911. The team’s job is only to manage the interim time before the police show up.</p> <p>And they avoid physical confrontation. “[We’ve] trained our people that the best way through a situation is to try to talk your way through it first,” Hashem explains. </p> <p>The Potter’s House sponsors a church security conference called STOPPED (Security Training Offering Policies, Procedure, Education, and Direction), which has brought in actors for demonstrations on how to handle an irate congregation member. That’s more typical than a shooter.  </p> <p>Smith says such comprehensive training is integral to responding effectively. “If all you’ve practiced on is what to do when the guy comes with a gun, then what do you do when the alcoholic comes, and he’s drunk?” he says, adding that “you’re going to see that a hundred times more than what happened in Colorado.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--></p> </div>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465 Churches Lack Security, Experts Say<div class="body"> <span class="article_date"> <span class="date-display-single">03/10/2009</span> - </span> <p>Experts say smaller churches generally lack security plans that could help identify an attacker beforehand or minimize the damage of an attack, <a href="" target="_blank">the Associated Press reports</a>. </p> <p>The new emphasis comes after the Reverand Fred Winters was gunned down Sunday morning in Maryville, Illinois, while saying mass. The shooter, 27-year-old Jeff Sedlacek, has been charged with Winters' murder as well as aggravated assault for stab wounds inflicted on two parishoners who subdued him after the shooting.</p> <p>The fact that the First Baptist Church had initiated a security and emergency plan six months before the shooting shouldn't dissuade other churches from planning ahead, the church's associate pastor Mark Jones told the AP.</p> <p>Televangelist churches and megachurches with attendance levels around 5,000, however, generally have coordinated security plans and have hired undercover security guards to protect high-profile preachers, according to Dave Travis, managing director of the <a href="" target="_blank">Leadership Network</a>,  which helps church leaders grow their churches. </p> <p>Jeffrey Hawkins, executive director of the <a href="" target="_blank">Christian Security Network</a>, says churches are "soft targets." A survey conducted last year after a church shooting in Knoxville, Tennesee, showed that 75 percent of churches do not have a security plan, while polling of 250 churches conducted by his organization showed a third have already experienced a security incident this year. </p> <p>The Christian Security Network advises churches take an all-hazards approach to their security plan, accounting for everything from low-level crime to natural disasters.</p> <p>And it's not only Christian houses of worship that are taking precautions.</p> <p>Because of anti-semiticism and attacks in Israel, Jewish organizations have long been security conscious.</p> <p>"You don't want iron gates and armed guards, but houses of worship do need to train staff, congregants and ushers to identify and respond to such threats as an emotionally disturbed person," said Paul Goldenberg, national director of the <a href="">Secure Community Network</a> (SCN), a Jewish security organization. </p> <p>According to <em>Security Management's </em>Laura Spadanuta last April, <a href="" target="_blank">SCN has been an innovative leader</a> in securing Jewish houses of worship through public-private partnerships. </p> <p class="rteindent1">The group receives sensitive information on threats to the Jewish community around-the-clock, which it then disseminates to its members. Goldenberg adds that the SCN is the first nongovernmental organization to have a memorandum of understanding with the New York City Police Department.</p> <p class="rteindent1">The group is also working with the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate its house of worship training. The most important step a house of worship can take is to train its staff to handle threatening situations and to ensure that they are able to operate any security equipment the building has, says Goldenberg, who was part of a south Florida undercover strike force for several years.</p> <p>The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights organization, has also published security guidelines for mosques and worshippers because of an increase in assaults after 9-11. (Click <a href="" target="_blank">here </a>for CAIR-Pennsylvania's security guide.) </p> <p>For more on protecting houses of worship, see ASIS International's " <a href="" target="_blank">Securing Houses of Worship</a>." </p> </div>GP0|#3795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e;L0|#03795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e|Security by Industry;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465