On May 3, 2015, in Garland, Texas, two gunmen opened fire upon attendees of a controversial event displaying caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. Although no direct link to ISIS has been proven, there is no question that terrorists worldwide are bringing their brand of fanatic violence to U.S. shores.
The world is becoming ever more dangerous, and few entities elicit greater threats than religious organizations. This puts faith-based organizations in the crosshairs of all sorts with axes to grind. But how can an organization with open doors be secured?
Trends in Security Threats
Terrorist threats; spree-shooters in schools, shopping malls and college campuses; and even random vandalism and theft all contribute to the need for increased security.
Faith-based organizations are turning more and more toward security services to protect their property and members, but often find their purpose and mission at odds with providing real security. Funds for faith-based organizations come primarily from the members, from the congregation, and these funds are expected to support education, outreach and/or worship. Nevertheless, for many large organizations, spending a portion of those funds on security has become necessary.
Real-World Security Solutions
Unfortunately, security breaches typically provide the biggest motivator to engage security services—after something bad has happened. A proactive approach is far more cost-effective than dealing with the aftershocks of a tragedy.
But prevention is harder to justify in budget discussions. People don’t see the benefits when security does its job. The security team can’t quantify how many incidents of vandalism, theft or violence are prevented, which makes it difficult to divert funds from a church’s youth programs or community ministry to security.
Despite these challenges, Sunstates Security offers these best practices for protecting large faith-based organizations, based on decades of experience securing these unique communities.
These best practices apply not only to faith-based organizations, but also to any organization that is, by its very nature, an open environment, including schools, college campuses, shopping malls, etc.
If you would like to know more about how your organization can improve its security, contact Sunstates Security.