Over the last few years we’ve seen it happen in Texas, in Kanas, and in South Carolina – shootings that killed and wounded parishioners while they worshiped.
The violence has also hit close to home.
Just a few weeks ago, a bullet went flying through the glass door of Zion Church in Troy. No one was hurt, but it was an alarming close call.
Across the nation, a seemly endless string of headlines have heightened concerns among churches. Detroit church security leaders are asking, “If violence were to strike your house of worship, would you know what to do?”
It’s sad but true. Churches, synagogues, mosques and others must be prepared.
To ensure metro Detroit’s faithful are not caught off-guard, the non-profit Security Leaders Coalition will present a Crisis Management Training Seminar for faith-based organizations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Second Ebenezer Church, 14601 Dequindre St.
The Security Leaders Coalition is comprised of more than 50 houses of worship across Southeast Michigan. Its goal is to equip metro Detroit churches, synagogues, mosques and others to handle any crisis situation, from an active shooter to a missing child.
“We are sickened by the headlines and the endless heartbreak. The time to take action is now,” says Ray Washington, security director at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. “No one wants to think it could happen to them or someone they know and love, but the sad truth is, it can. This seminar will help houses of worship develop a crisis plan so they can respond quickly in situations where seconds can mean the difference between life and death.”
Seminar participants will learn about the five biggest mistakes organizations make during a crisis – and what they can do to avoid them. They will also receive a response plan template to take home with them and hear from two powerful speakers:
Carl Chinn, who survived two violent attacks on faith-based organizations, will share the lessons learned in both incidents. In 1996, a gunman took Chinn and others hostage at the Focus on the Family international headquarters in Colorado. In 2007, Chinn was a first responder when a deadly shooting occurred at New Life Church in Colorado. He has collected data on more than 1,600 “deadly force incidents” since 1999 at all houses of worship. “There is now no doubt that 2017 is the most violent year (in total violent deaths and in homicide victims) we have ever seen in faith based settings in the U.S.,” Chin says on his website.
Brian Webb, owner and primary instructor for IHS Training in Atlanta, will lead attendees through the process of creating a crisis management plan, a must-have for every house of worship. He specializes in teaching international travel safety and security, crisis management, disaster planning, active shooter response and survival training. Webb also instructs domestic and foreign governments, international corporations, missionary groups and hundreds of churches across the U.S.
The seminar cost is $60 for coalition members and $75 for nonmembers and includes lunch. Register by Feb. 9 by clicking here.
The non-profit Security Leaders Coalition was founded in September 2015, and is made up of more than 50 member churches from across Southeast Michigan from Livonia, Dearborn, Howell, Clarkston, Holly, New Baltimore and everywhere in between. The coalition supports security leaders at faith-based organizations in Michigan by promoting information sharing, training and networking opportunities with law enforcement, first responders and security professionals.
Learn more at https://www.securityleaderscoalition.org