What are the key risks / threats this place face?
Is it an open area where anyone can access from multiple entrances or is entrance controlled through one or a few openings?
IPVMU Certified | 02/05/14 06:00pm
Good risk assessment is key here. Knowing what the biggest and most likely threats are will help drive what systems should be implemented first. No one wants to be vulnerable to psycho gunman, but how palpable is that risk compared to vandalism? Make sure your decisions are driven by these findings; it will help you and your customer work towards the same goal.
First things first: is there manned security at the site? Having elaborate systems of sensors or cameras is great, but only if they result in responses.
Second: Think physical access control for at least perimeter (outside facing) doors. 'Keeping the bad people out' makes sense, but in the case of the church it may be more like 'allow only safe people in' to the truly sensitive spots.
They have very few unarmed security personnels on site and that also for weekends only. Our initial discussion started with concerns of robbery during weekdays when the premise is not much crowded and to prevent any psycho with arms and ammunition to do the extensive damage. Since its a place OPEN to all; it is very difficult to identify safe people at the entry.
I believe the best way is to suggest an upgrade for existing security setup by designing a solution that can have possible integration within Access, CCTV & Fire system to tackle such emergency situations. What do you say on risk management solutions like this?
Other suggestions are welcome too.
This premise has almost 15 residents staying 24*7 to look after cleaning, general maintenance & day to day activities. Some of them are of IT background and capable to manage any security solution.
They also have basic emergency preparedness and response understanding but looking for security solution that can be of a help during critical situations. The current systems are not seen remotely and it is not required as well since staff reside at the premise.
Silva Consultants | 02/06/14 02:36am
Protecting a house of worship is something that requires a comprehensive security plan. Technology (access control, cameras, etc.) may play a role, but is only a very small part of the picture. As Brian stated, it begins with a security risk assessment. This assessment will define and prioritize the specific security risks and threats that the organization faces.
Once the assessment has been done, a security plan needs to be created. This plan will provide the details of how each specific security threat will be managed. In an environment such as this, effective security policies and procedures, training, and security staffing are usually the most important aspects of the plan. Electronic security systems may be a part of the plan, but are never the only thing that should be done, and rarely the first thing that should be done.
With all due respect, most integrators do not have the expertise or experience to conduct a security risk assessment or prepare a comprehensive security plan. I would suggest this client hire a qualified independent security consultant.
There is at least one consultant that I know of (Jim McGuffy) that place an emphasis on serving houses of worship. He operates an informative website with some great info on church security: Church Security Consultant
Most other consultants who have practicing for a while have probably done at least a few churches in their time. Because most religious organizations have little or no money to spend on security, many consultants will often do projects like this for free or for very little charge. I recently did a "pro bono" project for a small daycare center affiliated with a church in the Seattle area.