Inside CCW Safe Podcast-Episode 31: Modern Day Church Security
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Episode 31: Modern Day Church Security
In this podcast, Stan and Mike talk with Steve Moses and Allen McBee in reference to modern day church security. Steve and Allen are both involved with church security in the DFW area.
Full Transcription will be available soon!
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Stan Campbell, Co-Founder/COO
Stan Campbell has over 20 years of experience as a police officer in Oklahoma City. He retired as a Lieutenant over a street crime team, and spent over 10 years on the Tactical Unit (SWAT) and has spent 15 years developing and teaching self-defense curriculum. Stan is a certified National self-defense Instructor and has also instructed officers in British Territories. Stan has extensive experience and knowledge in the critical incident command system, officer involved shootings and use of force incidents.
Mike Darter, Co-Founder/CEO
Mike was a police officer in Oklahoma City from 1991-2001, and a federal contractor for the DOJ from 2001-2011. During his career, Mike investigated and testified in hundreds of violent crimes, including shootings, homicides, and other violent felony crimes. Mike was involved in a shooting as a police officer and went through a lawsuit from that shooting. The lawsuit was later dismissed, but his experience is what led to the creation of CCW Safe.
Speaker 1: 00:00:01 Welcome to the Inside CCW Safe Podcasts with founders, Stan Campbell and Mike Darter. If you’re forced to fight the battle for your life, CCW Safe will fight the battle for your future.
Mike: 00:00:22 All right. Welcome back to the inside CCW Safe Podcast. I’m Mike Darter and I’m in Dallas.
Stan: 00:00:28 With Stan Campbell in Dallas.
Mike: 00:00:30 That’s right here for some meetings next couple of days.
Stan: 00:00:35 That’s right. Get the hang out a little bit with a Tina Carnell [crosstalk 00:00:41].That’s going to be great. I’m loving it a chance to meet him. Then we have a couple of special guests also with us.
Mike: 00:00:50 Yeah. We have so Steve Moses which has been on the show quite a few times.
Stan: 00:00:55 That’s right.
Mike: 00:00:56 We have Steve and we also have Alan McBee and let’s do this. Let’s do, Steve give it a little just bio on yourself and then you can introduce Alan and then we’re going to talk today about modern day Church security.
Stan: 00:01:10 That’s right.
Steve: 00:01:11 All right. Good morning guys. Again, my name is Steve Moses, based out of the DFW area. That’s primarily where I do with most of the training. I have been a farm and a tactics instructor since 1994. I’m a reserve deputy, a police officer. I was on a special response team for 11 years. I am a training junkie. I’ve probably taken over 80 law enforcement and the private sector classes. I teach at Jiu-Jitsu in east Texas and my partner Alan MacBee and myself, we own and operate palisade training group. Alan has been with me since what-
Mike: 00:02:03 1994. Is that correct?
Steve: 00:02:06 He was actually one of the students in the very first defensive handgun course that I ever taught. Alan and I have since then form a partnership. We have taken multiple classes together. We’ve done executive protection together and he’s just been a great asset. As a matter of fact, Alan, let’s go ahead and give me a little bit more detail or if you would give our audience the more details on your background.
Alan: 00:02:34 Well, like he said it, we started teaching together in 1994. I was fairly active in the executive protection private security space for about a dozen years in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. We were also not only, we went down the same training path the same journey together, but worked extensively together especially in the Church security space. Whereas we were on a detail together for about eight years at a DFWF megachurch. Got to learn quite a bit there from both the yeah, the large Church aspect, and also the small Church aspect as we went into satellite Churches. We’ve learned a lot together.
Stan: 00:03:30 Awesome. Really for the past year, we’ve had a lot of members join a Church security volunteer teams. We have our ultimate plan actually covers that we have a special benefit with ultimate plan covers volunteers security teams as well individually. A lot of questions comes up about this because people want to know, they want to be part of the group and they want to do what is right for the Church and protect those that go to the Church and the congregation. Many times they don’t take into account the training that should go along with that that’s one of the reasons why we brought you guys in today to talk about modern day Church security because of how important that aspect of it is. Just having a gun in a CCW and sitting in the middle of the Church that doesn’t always cut it. Is that correct?
Steve: 00:04:30 That is correct. Versus thinking about being Church security really need to become familiar with their own states laws regarding this of course. There are laws to arrest, detain, or even touch another person while performing Church security is no greater than that any other citizen. It’s very important to realize that if you’re going to do Church security, your actions have the potential of making you a target for an expensive lawsuit and perhaps even subject you to criminal prosecution. This is a very serious matter. We encourage people that are very much interested in protecting the Church goers to absolutely go down this route as long as they understand all of the [inaudible 00:05:20] the cations of doing so.
Stan: 00:05:20 That’s right, and I believe you wrote an article in reference to this as well. Can you just break that down a little bit for us and so that we can have just a model to go off of or talking points so that the audience can keep up.
Steve: 00:05:37 Sure. Let me cover maybe some of the key topics that were included in that article. One of the first things that we are referenced in that article is the fact that Churches are particularly susceptible to the actions of violent criminals. There have been terrorist attacks in other countries that have included arson, small arms assassinations, kidnappings, use of explosives even chemical and biological attacks. For the most part probably in the United States, while a terroristic attack like that is a possibility, is probably going to be something that’s more related to a personal conflict and domestic spill over.
Steve: 00:06:21 A lot of people that actually cause a violent action within a Church have mental health disorders. In some instances the motivation is no more than just simply a robbery. What better place to commit a robbery than in the parking lot of a Church so we talked about that. We’ve talked about how an incompetent response can very well subject, the person doing Church security to a criminal prosecution. It can actually even result in an injury or a death to an innocent third party. We talked about perhaps what somebody might give some consideration to when it came to developing a Church security team.
Steve: 00:07:16 Then from there we talked about certain things that Church could actually do in terms of protecting staff and members which might include designating someone as the security director, selecting and training and protect the team. Running background checks and interviews on a Church personnel, heading some means of controlling exits and entrances and perhaps even incorporating a camera system. Yeah. The Church is large enough and has the finances to actually get that done. Just stuff like that. Remember that a large percentage of crime involving Churches takes place in a parking lots, just stuff like that too.
Stan: 00:08:06 That’s awesome. Then and Alan I want to bring you in on this. Now, you were part of a team that was for, or that defended a mega Church, correct? Can you walk us through that?
Alan: 00:08:21 Yes. We had before the opening of the satellite Churches, which again introduced a whole new phase of the [inaudible 00:08:30]. We secured a very large campus, multibillion campus that through the course of five services Saturday and Sunday, we’ll have about 20,000 people through the door. We had a nine man. Each shift was a nine member of playing close detail, where they were all a plain clothes armed security officers. Everyone was a licensed, Texas DPS level four PPO. We also had uniformed armed security which are known as level threes.
Alan: 00:09:08 We also had a lot of Ellie support from the local PD. We had the benefit of a lot of technology, a good camera system good, even they had a security officer in the office with a bunch of monitors. We really had good access control and coordinated with the Andrew Parker’s and your greeters and your staff and you just. Security is based on concentric rings of protection and you made sure everyone in the hall had good comms. We were just on the lookouts with things that they thought were hinky and if something got their intention we got to pass it up the chain and get it to the right people.
Stan: 00:09:57 That’s right. You guys really had an awesome team and Steve, you are part of the team as well, correct?
Steve: 00:10:01 Yes. I was actually the Chief plea whenever I was present if Alan was not there, again, we’re talking about five services. It was very difficult to have your team member be the same members for every service. We had a relatively large group of officers working that we would only assign like eight or nine positions at a time. When Alan was not available, I was the shift plea which basically I was in a position that control the team. One of the things I would like to add is that, Allan made a reference earlier to PPO that’s a Personal Protection Officer. In Texas at the time in order to do arm Church security, you had to be a licensed level for personal protection officer.
Steve: 00:10:47 In order to obtain that license that required at the time and then have a 45 hours of training that was necessary before you could actually become licensed. All of the members of our team had at least that amount of training prior to actually being in a position where they could perform a role is that, as a member of the Church security team.
Alan: 00:11:15 If I could just interject, another thing we were very fortunate to have is we were a very cohesive group. We’d work together in the initial phases of the detail, we’d all worked together for a good number of a good span of time. We all trained together. Everyone knew everyone was fairly comfortable with everyone else’s skillset. We have rage time together as a group at least once a month so we were very fortunate to have a very squared away detail.
Stan: 00:11:49 That’s awesome. I like to bounce back and forth to it relevant to everyone. Let’s just say that I have a smaller Church. It’s not a mega Church because the majority are not and I want to start a volunteer security team for my Church. The one or two of you walk us through that and explain how would I start one? What should I be doing and so on and so forth?
Steve: 00:12:21 There’s actually an organization. [inaudible 00:12:27] I don’t have the name of that organization it’s still Chat works organization-
Alan: 00:12:31 NASCO or something?
Steve: 00:12:32 NASCO and something like that. I believe they’re also a [inaudible 00:12:36]. I don’t want to this speak here. That’s something probably we need to look up so we can provide that information. I’m sorry I wasn’t anticipating that question. There is actually courses that can be taken on this particular subject whereas, you receive information as to how to set up a team, things the team needs to consider a specific training the team needs to undergo in order to do this properly. It’s not in my opinion good enough to just say, “Hey, let’s go form a Church protection team. Joe, you go here, Bill you go here and Stan, you’ll stand out there in the parking lot.”
Steve: 00:13:16 The problem with all that is you have all these people’s activated in individual role with no communication and if someone could actually find themselves in a position where they have to deal with one situation and they’re unable to communicate to other people and they don’t have the backup available. There is several resources available for that. We actually teach a class on this where we actually will go to a Church, we will train that team up. It’s a 16 hour class that ends up with this actually setting it up and running a Church protective detail during an actual service. We do that when the demand is there, what would you add to that? [inaudible 00:14:05].
Alan: 00:14:08 No. It’s a great class and there’s a lot that goes into it. I just, I feel that this change letting people have just simply be licensed to carry, leads itself. People want to be involved in something like that, but they might not only be unwilling to put in the necessary work, but they not might not be know, which direction to head so because there’s a lot of aspects to it honestly.
Stan: 00:14:39 It’s true. When I think about it, from my perspective, from a former police officer’s SWAT, I think about number one, having the right personnel, having the right permissions as well. When you begin out there or you want to be at a start one or be part of one, do not do so without the knowledge and permissions and writing most times from the pastor or the head of the Church. That’s number one. You need to also see if they have insurance in place to cover such a team. If they do not have anything in place, although it’s a noble idea and you guys aren’t doing the right things, you do leave yourself open for a lot of liability.
Stan: 00:15:32 That’s when similar, we have our ultimate plan but then there’s also something called the Brotherhood, insurance as well. There’s some other packages out there that the Church could pick up to also layer your protection. The only difference there is any outside protection in a lot of cases is going to be that entity providing you a civil attorney because that’s usually what you’re going to have to deal with. Most cases the civil liability issue is more adaming then, the criminal aspects of protecting the Church. They’re going to be defending the interest of the insurance company in the Church.
Stan: 00:16:17 That’s the difference between what we designed here CCW Safe is, our civil attorneys is for the member so that’s important. You have to think about your backdrop. That’s what training is really, really important because you’ve got people running in all directions is chaos. If you have not started to train your congregation on what to do because no matter what and people are going to do what they do, but you have to have a plan. That’s one reason why CCW Safe we give our members a plan for what to do after an incident as well before to incident, as an incident.
Stan: 00:16:55 No one had to deescalate, know how to the handle the suspect or the perpetrator outside of the Church initially engaging out there if you can. You guys talked about cameras and armed guards. All of these things are really important to consider when thinking about stepping into this arena and being the defenders of the Church house. As far as training with you guys, you said you guys train all the time and you had a cohesive unit. What would be, and without breaking down your entire class, it’s kind of walk through just some of the elements of how you guys developed your training.
Steve: 00:17:44 [inaudible 00:17:44] what we did was we identify scenarios that we think we’re likely to happen or could happen and then how they would be addressed. We always assign officers to specific posts. That is they were to be in a certain position before service, during the service, between services and after services. If something happened in your particular area, how would that particular officer respond to that and what additional support from other officers could be then shuffled to that area without then leaving a key area unprotected. It might be something that we have the minister is up on the podium.
Steve: 00:18:35 Again, this is a simulation and then all of a sudden somebody puts a laser dot on his chest. Okay. How would we respond to that? Well, in our particular instance, there would be one officer that was actually assigned to the pastor and his or her responsibility was then to move in there as quickly as possible. Get a hold of the pastor and move the pastor offstage while interjecting his or her body between the crowd at that time and the pastor because all of our officers were required to wear body armor. We had officers that would be posted in different positions ideally where they could make eye contact with the other officer or at least see them that would then move in.
Steve: 00:19:26 We typically had an officer that roam all over or that would be basically your quick response team. Basically we would just set up various scenarios that, okay. What happens if this occurs and how can we best address it? If I could just backtrack a little bit to something that you said earlier which is smaller Churches. As Alan stated earlier, we also had three satellite Churches which did not have the same type of camera systems necessarily. We only had one PPO or Church security protective team member there present. Basically they had a completely different environment to protect. Basically it was a matter of where that person would then identify those areas where threats are most likely.
Steve: 00:20:25 What’s your gullible points? We always considered the children’s area a vulnerable point and another venerable point was going to be the area in where the Church collections were taken in, basically can only do that. This is just some of the scenarios that we counter in the Church. I didn’t want and address the fact that if you’ve got a competent person and that’s the only person at that particular Church, they can go a long ways towards securing that Church and making it a safer place for everyone involved. (silence)
Stan: 00:59:31 0.1% of all law enforcement in the nation get involved in deadly force shootings, but they have hundreds of thousands of domestics and same thing in Church. The majority is going to be some type of event that is non-life threatening that you’re going to have to deal with once again like Mike said. Use your head, learn how to deescalate. Take our de-escalation training that we have on a CCW Safe Academy. Think about avoidance, think about working together. Trying to deal with the subject outside of the Church just escort them out without force and lead with sugar and get salty later if you have to. This is one of the things I want you guys to remember. Okay.
Mike: 01:00:15 All right. Thanks guys. [inaudible 01:00:23].