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fal3
11-26-2004, 09:42 AM
It's impossible to post all the info for anyone to give a DETAILED reply, but if anyone can give some principles on the following, I'd appreciate it.

Our church has an armed (inconspicuous) security team, and about six or seven other church members who are packing at all times, but who are scattered throughout the buildings. The Security Team regularly runs through various security scenarios, and feel we are prepared for assaults from one to three perps.

HOWEVER, in light of the AlQaeda training tapes which shows them specifically invading churches and the increased gang activity (another church robbed by men with FA weapons this week), we are looking for some pointers if things get to the point where seven to twelve people with FA weapons assault the church for the obvious purpose of causing bodily harm.

The only principles we have developed thus far are:
1. Keeping all doors locked and secured during services.
2. Exit children to safe area as quickly as possible,
3. Attack the intruders quickly and consistently (even though we are out-gunned and outnumbered), trying to set them off-balance, and give time for evacuation of others.
4. Pray, pray, pray.

Any suggestions regarding countering what could be a coming phase of Muslim activity ?

fal3
11-26-2004, 09:57 AM
When at a high alert status, all security people have GMRS with ear buds. (Under normal levels, the radios are not used, and you are right, it is strictly line-of-site observation).

We are in an area where cellphone connectivity is spotty at best, and police response time is even less dependable. (although most do carry their phones in case). Average response time to an emergency in our neck of the woods by local LE is about 45 minutes....IF they aren't tied up with other activities. A trained assault group could be in--do their evil deeds--and out--within 10 minutes, anyway.

So far as convincing dispatch of our situation, in our area, that wouldn't be a problem. They know us well, and we work with the sheriff's department in CERT and other programs. But, we don't count on any assistance from them, except to report an event after it already happened.

Ragsbo
11-26-2004, 09:58 AM
Have you thought about having outside personnel where they can observe anyone approaching the building whether by foot or vehicle. You might also consider a collapsing defense, where you meet the threat at the door and fall back as the area is cleared behind you. It works in slowing a larger force down where the small can't over come it.

As mentioned above, communication will be paramount, not just with the security team, but the leadership (teachers, preacher and such) who will be evacuating people or locking down facilities.

I assume that you will be armed with handguns. In the listed scenario the attackers will out gun you. Have you considered having more firepower available?

You might check the archive's, this subject has been discussed before but if this particular issue was involved I don't recall.

fal3
11-26-2004, 11:02 AM
Have you thought about having outside personnel where they can observe anyone approaching the building whether by foot or vehicle. You might also consider a collapsing defense, where you meet the threat at the door and fall back as the area is cleared behind you. It works in slowing a larger force down where the small can't over come it.

This is a good idea. An outside observer with radio communication to the others could definitely give a few extra seconds warning, then go to warn teachers, and lock down sections of the building. We have considered installing several outside cameras with a monitor in the control room...enabling someone there to alert the Security Team, as well. But, the cost right now is a bit high to have it installed.


As mentioned above, communication will be paramount, not just with the security team, but the leadership (teachers, preacher and such) who will be evacuating people or locking down facilities. The teachers would have to be informed through personal contact, I suspect. If the GMRS radios are being used in normal communications, they might distract the teachers during normal teaching times.


I assume that you will be armed with handguns. In the listed scenario the attackers will out gun you. Have you considered having more firepower available? Correct. Most have CZ-75's, 1911's, or Jericho's. So far as having more firepower available--this is what we are up against.
--Everyone on the Security Team owns at least one--AK or AR-15. BUT, we can't have these out and visible. Our approach has been to be invisible. If a Security Team is too evident, it takes attention away from the Message of the Word, and when new people come, they think something is wrong. To carry anything more than a concealed handgun would create a fortress-mentality rather than a worship and learn mentality.
--Of course, we could have them secured at the church, but the way AlQaeda and other pros are trained, it would be futile to race off in an effort to get more firepower.
--We have started training the Team on multiple targets with rapid response. Each person working security now must carry three magazines (and, for the CZ mags we are using, that would be 45 rounds each).


You might check the archive's, this subject has been discussed before but if this particular issue was involved I don't recall. You may be right, Ragsbo. But, I thought it was more limited to an invasion of just a couple people rather than 7-12 at once (and we trust we are prepared for that smaller number).

MTS
11-26-2004, 12:04 PM
fal3,

I reccomend that all on duty security people start using radios at all times, not just when on a high alert.

I am going to forward this thread to JJ1. He is director of security at a local church and we met throught this forum. He has addressed many of the issues that you are raising and I think he can help you.

Ragsbo
11-26-2004, 01:09 PM
The teachers would have to be informed through personal contact, I suspect. If the GMRS radios are being used in normal communications, they might distract the teachers during normal teaching times.


If possible I would come up with a way to notify the teachers other than by word of mouth, that could take to long and take a responder away from the point of attack. A special PA announcement might work or like my church, we use a buzzer to let them know that Sunday School Time is over. You might set up a coded signal to let everyone know at the same time. Of course that is if you can trust all who would be told to keep it quiet.

I completely understand your concern about having the long guns visible. You still might want to have some available in case you can get to them and use them. Yes, there might not be time, but if there was, it would be a shame not to have them available.

Main thing is to keep thinking and trying new things. That is what the terrorist are doing, so we have to too. You are already well ahead of many churches around, they haven't done anything.

Lou Costello
11-26-2004, 01:41 PM
I guess its a sign of the times when I get used to seeing heavily armed policemen outside of St. Peter's in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, and St. Patrick's in NYC. Present are MP-5's, M-4's and other long guns.

St. Paddy's see thousands of visitors daily during the Holiday Season. They have a contingent of uniformed and plainclothes NYPD officers assigned to guard it year 'round. Some retired NYPD officers also provide security.

Some of the Jewish Temples are also similarly guarded.

What I'm trying to say is that is it becoming very common to see uniformed personnel with machine guns outside of a place of worship. If NYC can get used to it, I guess anyplace in the USA can do so.

Shottist1911
11-26-2004, 07:09 PM
How about 2-3 guys out prayer-walking around the church during the service(s)...randomized paths and with carbines under their topcoats?

Or portable treestand(s) and 2-4 guys (scout-sniper teams) with M21/ARs and radios?

Might be doable in a rural environment. :D

InTheBlack
11-27-2004, 12:16 AM
IMO treestand sniper teams is just plain paranoid.

You could conceal long arms in disguised, locked cabinets at strategic places. Like near where the security guy stands at the rear of the auditorium. If your architecture has favorable hallways & choke points, you can install CS foggers that can be discharged remotely. Install remote electric locks on interior doors & make sure key interior doors are exterior-barrier quality. Are there any areas where you can create firing ports?

But of course, the battle is won in the spiritual realm. A regular prayer group focused on the topic is better insurance for preventing it in the first place.

fal3
11-27-2004, 07:03 AM
Ragsbo said,
I completely understand your concern about having the long guns visible. You still might want to have some available in case you can get to them and use them. Yes, there might not be time, but if there was, it would be a shame not to have them available.

I was informed last night that several of the men on the Security Team bring their "assault" weapons in their vehicles. My concern is not so much with an amateur attacker, but those who have been trained, and know that seconds count. They would most likely burst in, attack, and be done with whatever they wanted to do in a matter of a very few minutes. If that is the case, ST members would really not have time to access more firepower and still have justifiable knockdowns (by that time, the attackers would be fleeing, and we would no longer be able to fire at them legally).

The idea of having men patrol the grounds is a good possibility. We have parking lot "sweeps" each morning, but no one is assigned to that detail alone. Perhaps we could make that a steady assignment. (Most of their time would be inside). The camera monitors for outside would also work, I think.

Lou Costello, I appreciate your point about heavily armed policemen becoming a more acceptable sight. I just don't think our congregation...or community..is quite ready for thgat, yet. It is a rural community, basically. And, while 90%+ are strongly pro-gun rights, most have it in their minds that nothing will ever happen in our neck of the woods. Although in a rural wooded community, the church is located on a main thoroughfare, has a great deal of TV coverage, has been outspoken about the true UNpeaceful nature of Islam, etc., so we have to prepare for all possibilities while not having uniforms, and being as invisible as possible.

InTheBlack, I have heard about the CS gas feature, but we have been told that the cost greatly exceeds our ability to pay. We will have to keep expenses to a very bare minimum, I'm afraid.
But of course, the battle is won in the spiritual realm. A regular prayer group focused on the topic is better insurance for preventing it in the first place. Absolutely ! While doing all we can physically, the main issue is a spiritual one, anyway. Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Thanks for all the great ideas, guys. Any others ?

MTS
11-27-2004, 07:44 AM
...(by that time, the attackers would be fleeing, and we would no longer be able to fire at them legally).

...so we have to prepare for all possibilities while not having uniforms, and being as invisible as possible.
If someone has come in and shot up your church and flees I think that you would still be justified in shooting at them (while still being aware of background etc.) while fleeing.

For ID purposes have you considered polo shirts? Something with the church emblem on the breast and perhaps "Safety Detail";) under that. In a distinctive (but muted, grey or brown) that NO ONE ELSE is allowed to wear,

michael
11-27-2004, 08:47 AM
Our church "Welcome Team" all have photo I.D. badges that are worn by each member when working. The "Welcome Team" encompasses ushers, greeters, parking lot people and security. We use the small walkie-talkie type Motorola radios which, though not ideal, work fairly well although it would be easy for someone else to eavesdrop. We also have one or two Deputy's in uniform with marked cruisers during the Sunday morning services and have several other LEO's that attend our church, one of which is a deacon and is always down front during services.

fal3
11-27-2004, 01:31 PM
Mark, you mentioned about distinctive shirts or identification for the Security Team. Our church is rather small (about 250 people on an average Sunday), so we assumed identification was not necessary, since we knew each other, trained together, knew each other's function, station, etc.

I am curious about the purpose of the identification factor. What benefits would be attached to doing that ? It seems to me that by making identification of the ST easier, it would tend to make them easier and more immediate targets. If the benefits for a smaller church outweigh the negatives, I'd sure be in favor of it.

MTS
11-27-2004, 02:12 PM
fal3,

I was basing this on doing some work with JJ1 at his church however they have a much larger attendence, 3-4K total for two Sunday morning and one Sunday evening service going up to around 5K for Easter/Xmas.

The ID factor is a trade off. In an emergency it makes those responsible for handling the situation identifiable to the congregation but does "ping" you to outsiders.

For the size of your church I would say that you can get by without them.

JJ1
11-28-2004, 08:31 PM
FAL3

Depending of the size of your church ID may be required. As Mark stated, my church has a attendance of 2500 to 3000 on any given Sunday. We realized that we needed a security team in place but do not wish to portray a high visibility "security profile". We elected to establish a Safety Team and use maroon polo shirts for the medical staff and gray polo shirts for the security staff. The church staff knows the color code but the mission for both is safety. With a large attendance, we are immediately seen as people that can help in any medical or security situation. The basic “uniform” also establishes a presence of authority. All Safety Team Members wear a radio with a privacy ear bud at all times while on duty.

Going back to your original request on combating an invasion of 7 to 12 Tangos, I have several questions.

You stated that your team consists of about six or seven other church members who are packing at all times, but who are scattered throughout the buildings. Are all of them on duty at the same time or is this the total team?

What is the typical attendance on a Sunday?

Does your team have the ability to lock doors as required?

Is there a PA system to make announcement to all classroom areas?

Can you lockdown the main sanctuary?

Do you have an established Team Leader that controls team member placement and responses?

Do you have any links to the gang invasions or the AlQaeda training tapes depicting the church invasions?

Initial Recommendations

All team members must start using radios at all times when on duty. Additionally, have at least two backup members on standby monitoring the radio channel. These members can attend service or classes but still be available. In the situations you are concerned about, communication is even more important than your side arms.

Implement an outside patrol station to provide an advance warning of a Tango Team. In bad weather, this member can be stationed in a vehicle.

Lock all unneeded doors so access is through one or two doors if possible. Then keep a team member close to these doors.

Establish a codeword that identifies a Tango(s) such as “Revelation, Revelation, Revelation, gunmen at the main entrance, Revelation, Revelation, Revelation.” This is a codeword that is never used on the radio otherwise and puts a plan into effect to start a lockdown and respond to the shooters.

Detail a armed team member to go directly to a choke point to the children’s areas, draw their weapon and permit no passage until a predefined codeword is given.

Check into acquiring soft body armor that can be worn under the normal attire.

Placing long guns is the church is a possibility but most likely will be unavailable if a well trained Tango team enters the building. As discussed earlier, the event will be swift and brutal for the utmost devastation. If you are not wearing the weapons, unlikely in most church situations in the States at this time, you will be limited to handguns.

If you wish to discuss this further, send me a PM with you phone number. There are a number of us who have discussed areas of church security items such as ammo choices for this enviroment, shooting situations and documented team manuals.

As with all chruch safety items, prayer has to be our number one weapon but a solid plan can help when needed.

In Christ

JJ1

fal3
11-28-2004, 09:54 PM
PM coming tonight.

Dale Fricke
11-29-2004, 11:17 AM
We have a team of 16 men for about 2k adults and 1k kids, and 2 campuses; radios w/ear buds, HG/2 sp mags, CS-VX2, and OC.
Lock down sounds good but there will not be time in most cases.
I suggest take the fight to them and end it then and their.

God called you to protect his people He has given you a discerning spirit train to depend on it you will see trouble before it ever gets to the front door.
Overcome them with violence God will grant you Victory.

We have a plan but I will not post it for obvious reasons but am happy to share with you send me an email.

JJ1 Please contact me to compare notes

I too would like to see the AlQaeda training tapes depicting the church invasions any info???

fal3
11-29-2004, 12:13 PM
For anyone interested in seeing the Muslim over-all strategy, these may prove interesting links. Considering that some intel reports as many as 20,000 trained islamic militants have entered the US since 9/11 (most through our southern borders), their concepts of creating terror through a guerrilla type war is much more possible, and needs to be considered in developing a security plan for churches which takes into account multiple attackers.

Some of the training info is recorded on this VCD, although I'm not certain that it contains all the original version which we saw several years ago.
http://www.intelcenter.com/audio-video/alqaedav1/ The original, from which CNN obtained their often used portion showing an attack on a building, reveals cardboard figures with crosses on their chests, and one standing behind a pulpit. The rhetoric about killing Jews AND Christians should be taken seriously, as these training films confirm.

I don't know where the original training manual was located (I wish we had kept better records), but an abbreviated version is at:
http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/trainingmanual.htm It certainly gives sufficient information to make updating security a serious matter.

In light of recent 60 day-old reports of 15-20 Chechnians who have been confirmed to have entered the US through Mexico, and knowing that their area of expertise is in mass hostage-taking and murdering non-combatants, churches with academic schools and large sunday schools should especially be examining their security plans. That is why I was asking the questions I did.

The handwriting is on the wall. The only questions are "when," and "where." As the Lord told us, "Be vigilant..."
Any further info you can help us with in our own preparations is appreciated. I know that each church situation is somewhat unique, but if you have taken this type of scenario into account, you may be able to help some others, including our own security team.

JJ1
03-14-2005, 08:36 PM
This is a good post to review on security teams

JJ

Treyarch
04-05-2005, 04:53 PM
I would like to say that I feel you are doing a good job keeping armed personel on sceen, and visible enough that should someone want to scout your church for an attack, your security would likely pursuade them to try elsewere, but low key enough that you aren't making people uneasy.

If they have truly decided on your house of worship, G0D help you, but with your level of security, I don't think anything will happen.

They want an incident, media coverage and a high body count, not a battle.

The mark of effective security is not winning an incident, but the lack of an incident.

You win when they have a meeting, discuss your place, then decide, "nah, too much effort..."

michael
04-06-2005, 07:42 AM
[QUOTE=memnoch

They want an incident, media coverage and a high body count, not a battle.

The mark of effective security is not winning an incident, but the lack of an incident.

You win when they have a meeting, discuss your place, then decide, "nah, too much effort..."[/QUOTE]

Exactly. And a battle they will get if they come to any of our churches.:D