Jan 27, 2011

COPS...at church


Do you hire one or more police officers for your church services? The above video is just one of the many acts of violence that have occurred in churches in recent years. Having a police officer on duty at your church is very important in my opinion. Here's a few reasons why...
  • You never know when something like the above can happen. I am sure in every church where it has happened, people didn't think it would take place.
  • Sometimes there will be an very angry parent to deal with due to a custody battle or strained home situation. Having an officer there to step in and give clear directions can be such a help and take a lot of pressure off Children's Ministry staff.
  • If there is a medical emergency, they can help lead a quick response. 
  • If someone shows up that has been asked not to be in the children's area due to criminal or personal reasons, they can enforce this.
  • If there is a lost child, they can be a huge help in securing the area and locating the child.
  • Having an officer on duty shows families your commitment to the safety and security of their children. In today's volital culture, this can be a deciding factor on whether parents decide to attend your church or not.
 Tips on interaction with an officer on duty at your church...
  • Place them in a visible place, but don't let them be the first person families see when they walk in. Our officers stand over to the side in a visible place, but are not at the front doors. You want families to feel safe, but the flip side is you don't want them to think they are walking into a jailhouse.
  • Build a relationship with them. Make friends with them. Take time to get to know them. 
  • Provide coffee and snacks for them.
  • Inform them of your safety and security procedures, policies, evacuation process, etc.
  • Make sure they know your building (where outside exit doors are, entrance and exits to classrooms, etc.).
  • Give them a walkie talkie each week so they can be in your communication loop.
  • If you have a volunteer safety and security team, make sure they are on the same page and work hand-in-hand with the officer.
You can contact your local police department. There are officers looking for extra hours on weekends and during midweek. We love our police officers who keep us safe in our children's area. Many of them have become close personal friends. They have become partners with us in ministry. They are kind and good role models for the children. Parents bring their children by to say hi to them.

Do you use police officers for safety at your church? Why or why not? Would enjoy hearing your thoughts and feedback.
    Posted by Dale Hudson

    3 comments:

    Dale I used off duty officers and EMT and Firefighting personal as often as possible. I think it is smart and they do not have to be in uniform(they love this)

    Hey Dale -

    We just opened a new facility and with that we hired a county Sheriff for each weekend service. He is in uniform and patrols our hub as well as the kids spaces. We have gotten press and had news crews and radio shows talking about it. We have great feedback from our people!

    What does Christ Fellowship do?

    That's awesome Kevin. Yes, we have an armed, uniformed officer present in the kid's area every service in a highly visible place.

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