Happy New Year Everyone!
Just a quick update from your security team. It’s been awhile due to holidays and personal events but we are back on track for 2020.
First, we are extremely proud to let you know that Sgt. Stokes has been promoted to Captain and even though he is spread a bit thinner these days, will continue to support us with training and valuable input. Members of the team will also continue studies and activities through AIMS Academy training at Cedar Valley College and with additional online tools offered through FEMA and A.L.I.C.E. programs.
With this new year we plan to begin involving everyone. You may have noticed the new locks on the inside sanctuary doors. There are mechanisms at the bottom of the doors leading into the sanctuary. Each of these has a second piece that can be quickly slid inside to bolt the door to the floor and render them much more difficult to open.
We ask that if you sit near one of these doors to please consider if you could act quickly to lock that mechanism if needed. If you do not sit near one of those doors, please consider if you would be willing change where you sit on Sundays to do so.
Over the next several weeks we will work to develop some type of notification system should it be necessary to alert the congregation of any danger. We feel that this will likely involve our sound booth crew making an announcement during service. Our sound booth monitors all security team activity during services on Sundays. They listen in on radio communications as the team monitors all doors and parking lot activity.
As we continue to train and work with Capt. Stokes we ask that you remember to allow the security team to welcome and be aware of any unfamiliar guests. Do not bring unknown individuals into the church without letting a security team member know. Above all, do not allow any persons asking for food, rides or money into the church. Be polite and ask someone to get a security team member immediately. Speak to them outside until we can assist.
Security team members on duty will be wearing silver name badges. Also, if you do not know the security team they are: Michael Stevens, Becca McDonell, Gary Haub, Trish Ashton, Phyl Sasser and Lisa O’Grady (Lead).
We ask that at any time you may see a member of the security team doing anything that you allow them to act without interference. Please do not question or distract them as they may possibly be handling a situation in order to keep it from escalating. The goal is to keep any potential danger out of the sanctuary and away from both the children and congregation. Members have been trained on how to handle visitors. Please kindly allow them to do so. If you feel that something is wrong just ask if everything is all right and do not get involved unless specifically asked to do so.
It is imperative that if you feel that something is wrong outside that you do not get up and go towards the potential danger. Again, the team would be doing their best to keep it away from you and out of the sanctuary or fellowship hall. Think of how you can best assist from where you are. In a bad situation, we will need your help from the inside to keep danger out – not to help allow it inside.
We will have more training on that soon.
In the meantime, look around. Note your exits. Note the people around you that may need assistance to get to safety in case of a tornado or get out of the building quickly. You may be the best person for that job. If you are a member of the church who is physically strong, be aware of the things near you that you might be able to move into a place to block someone. Be aware of anything at all that you can use as a weapon if needed. Note where fire extinguishers and first aid kits are.
I hope these things do not sound extreme but unfortunately these are the very things we need to think about given there are many troubled individuals in this world. We pray for them while we pray for the wisdom to provide for our own safety and happiness as well.