A better plan for churches

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08/18/2009
Remember that article I linked to about arming the congregation? Looks like some guys are coming together to see if they can figure out a better plan. I don't have a link, but here's the gist:
The American Society for Industrial Security International (ASIS) is bringing together security and cultural professionals from various religious communities for the Faith-Based Organization Security Council (FBO Council), an interfaith sub-council started earlier this year as part of the organization’s Cultural Properties Council. The FBO Council will address the security risks and needs of houses of worship and faith-based organizations to develop best practices and standards.
Good idea, if you ask me.
“The Faith-Based Organization Council is a result of incidents of violence and other crimes against houses of worship and faith-based organizations,” said Jeffrey Hawkins, executive director of the Christian Security Network, and head of the FBO Council. “We want to have all faiths represented so we can effectively develop comprehensive standards and guidelines, and tackle issues that all religions are facing now and in the future.” Hawkins is also vice chairperson of ASIS International’s Cultural Properties Council. He will head the Faith-Based Organization Council through 2009 and become chairperson of the larger Cultural Properties Council next year. ... The Faith-Based Organization Council is ASIS International’s first body dedicated to security issues among faith-based organizations. The group already has recruited members from the Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and Muslim faiths. “Having representatives from diverse faiths will help garner further communication and help build trust,” said Nawar Shora, legal director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and a FBO Council member. “Perhaps one of our greatest challenges as a society has been a lack of trust and lack of understanding. The Faith-Based Organization Security Council will help further communication and broaden understanding, thus ultimately improving society's trust. Once faith-based communities secure this trust, they can move forward in security, safety and dialogue.” The organization will identify the major risks that houses of worship and faith-based organizations face, including violent crimes, arson and internal theft, and develop standards and guidelines to combat them. One of the first projects of the council is a resource guide for houses of worship and other faith-based organizations. The guide will provide insight and instruction for developing safety teams, assessing risks, identifying potential dangers and protecting high-profile religious leaders. Hawkins will outline several strategies in “Increasing Risks for Faith-Based Organizations,” a presentation at ASIS International’s Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., Sept. 21-24.
Practically speaking, it wouldn't be a bad idea for integrators to bone up on the guide they release and hit this panel discussion. Places of worship represent a real marketplace - already, the A/V guys make many a good sale on giving them their sound systems. No reason not to add on video, intrusion, and access control. I still don't think they'll go for the metal detector at the front door, though.