Securing Houses of Worship

By: Carlton Purvis, Published on Feb 25, 2014

What are the most common types of crimes at houses of worship? How to you convince a congregation that you need to add video surveillance or a security system?

Jim McGuffey is a security consultant with 40 years of experience in security management. Now he runs the site ChurchSecurityConsultant.com where he offers free on-site assessments for HOWs. We recently talked with him about house of worship security and what it takes secure sacred places.

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*** ******** ** * security ********** **** ** years ** ********** ** security **********. *** ** runs *** ****************************.******** ** ****** **** on-site *********** *** ****. We recently talked with him about house of worship security and what it takes secure sacred places.

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*** **** ****** ******* he **** *** *********, embezzlement, ***** *** ********, he ****. ** **** some ** *** **** things **** ****** * churches ************* *** ** it ** ** * high ***** **** *** what **** ** ****** and ******** *********** **** have ** ***** *******.

"****** ****** **** ***** shootings ** ******** **** occur ****** ******** *** the **** ****** **** occur **** ***** *** vandalism *** **********. ************* too **** ****** ******* only ****** ********** ** security ********* * ******** or ******* *******. **** is **** * ******* the **** ***** *** information ** **********," ** said. 

***** ******* *** ******** to ******** ** *** United ****** ***** ********'* experience ****. ******** ******, especially ** ***** ************ religious-connected ********, *** ****** to **** **** ****-*********** issues.

Overcoming ************ **********One of the bigger hurdles when implementing security at a church is making it acceptable to the congregation. People want to feel secure, but at the same time, they don't want to feel scrutinized and maintain a level of privacy in such an intimate setting. Most churches, McGuffey says, have concerns about implementing new technology as a part of their security plans (he also noted that most churches don't even have alarm systems).

"**** ******** ** *** country ******* ****** ** no ******** ******** *** parishioners. * ******* **** this **** ** ******** is *** ** ******* that * ******** ******* will ****** *********** ***** for ************," ** ****.

************, **** *** *** have *** ***** ** maintain *** *********.

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******** **** ** **** usually *** *** **** the ****** ******** ** ad *** ****** ***** made ** ** *** pastor *** ****** *******, the ***** *******, *** finance ******, *** ** people *** *********** *********. They *** ****** * part ** *** ********** and *** **** ** provide ***** **** **** their *****/******** ***.

"**** **'** ****, **'* their *******. ** *** have **** ** * part ** *** ******* from *** **** ********* that ***** **** ** to *** ************ *** decide *** **** ******** so * *********** *****'* just **** ** *** days *** *** ** cameras ****** *** ******," he ****.

Security *** ******** *** ** **** ***********

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******* *** ***** ** low ****, ** ** also * ********* *** using ***** ********* ** churches (**** ******* **** will ***** **). ** regularly ***** ******** *** churches ** ****** ************ ****** **********, ********* ** ******* ******** at ******,************ ***** *** ************.** ***** ******** ** says ********* *** ** useful *** ******** ** track **** ****** **** or ***** *****, ** to **** ****** ** in *** **** ****** ** ****** ******** * ***** **** area.

"*** *******, ** * vehicle ***** *** **** than **** ******* ******* a ****** ****** ******* the ***** ** *:** AM *** *:** **, a ****** ***** ** sent ** *** ****** phone ** * ********** person. ******* *******, ***** occur ** *** ****** care **** **** * signal ** **** **** a ********** **** ** window ** ******," ** said.

Difference ** ******** ****** ** *******?The basic concept used to protect a church facility is the same as any other facility.

"**’* *** ***** ********** assets ***** ******, ********** and ******** *** **********. The ****** **** ********** simply ******* ********** *** more ******** **********, ******** and ********** *** ****** require ********** ********," ** said.

******** ***** **** *** important **** ** *** process **** ** *** most ***** ********** ** churches, *** ********* ***** and ********** ******** ** the *********** *****. **** phase ********* *** ********** of *** *********** *******.





Comments (2)

I found the article very good. Some very good, simple security concepts were outlined. In the region I live in there have been multiple "events" that have occured over the last several years. Many that made the local news involved breaking and entering and theft. Several have involved assaults.

I think that many times if the churches were able to install some strategically placed exterior cameras with a good midrange recording device and some carefully placed exterior signage (not intrusive, but clear and concise in several languages), the deterrent value may well be worth it.

If they never have to use it, in my mind, that would be a good thing.

Is Mr McGuffey a technologic agnostic? Do Worship Houses mind that? Or do WHOs prefer him even with the irony it brings?

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