Just dropping in to tell you that your security team is still out there watching the parking lot for us and monitoring the doors but we have taken a little break from meeting for the summer and will gather with you and do some training all together soon!
In the meantime, I wanted to tell you a little bit about something called “Cooper’s Colors” and ask you to adopt these not only at church but in your everyday lives as well.
What is it? Cooper’s Colors were developed by Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper as a simple way to be more aware of your surroundings. This means that you learn to shift up and down a scale of alertness in order to keep yourself safe. Here is how it works:
This is an unaware and unprepared state of mind. "Daydreaming" or "preoccupied”, oblivious to possible threat. Your main enemy is reaction time. If you are not aware of your surroundings, and fail to see the suspicious character, he may overwhelm you before you can effective defend yourself. If you're caught in Condition White, you will need several seconds to even realize what is happening and respond. You simply don't have that much time.
Relaxed alert. There is no specific threat situation. You don’t
to be attacked, but are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself". You are alert and aware of your surroundings. You are difficult to surprise, so you do not make an easy victim.
You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don't know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods while "taking in" surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner. When something catches your attention, you assess it. If it's not a threat, dismiss it. If it is a threat, start getting ready mentally to deal with it.
Anything or anyone in your immediate vicinity that is unusual, out of place, or out of context, should be viewed as potentially dangerous, until you have had a chance to assess it. When you pick up on something that’s out of place, you immediately escalate one level on the scale, to Condition Orange.
Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat. The difference between Yellow and Orange is this specific target for your attention. Your mindset shifts to "I might have to defend myself against
today", focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. When you shift upward to Orange, you begin to focus your attention on this individual that caught your eye, but you do not drop your guard.
As you assess, you start to play the "What if…." game in your mind, to begin formulating a basic plan. If he acts suddenly, when you have at least a basic plan for dealing with him already in place, you can react quickly. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: "If that person does "X", I will need to stop him".
Condition Red is the fight or flight. It means stop him or escape. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. You must act now with a decisive and aggressive action.
– unless you are in your home with your doors locked and alarm set you should always be in a state of “yellow” awareness. If you are walking into the store or to the ATM machine, be aware of what and who is around you. Have a plan for the “what ifs”. An attacker is more likely to take advantage of the person on the phone or the one fumbling with their car keys.
At church when you pull into the parking lot, we are relatively safe. But take a look around when you get there. If you see an unfamiliar person or persons please stay in your car until you are sure you can get inside and let someone know. Call someone inside or if you feel it necessary, call 911. Please do not confront anyone.
Thanks and have a SAFE WEEK!!!