Texas churches have received the green light to begin developing their own church security teams. Until now, churches were not allowed to have their own teams and were forced to hire security companies to come into their church and provide security for them.
Under the new Texas law SB 2065, which goes into effect in September 2017, churches will be able to develop, train and plan for their own teams to provide security.
State Representative Matt Rinaldi released a statement to NBC 5 that read in part: “The passage of SB 2065 ensures that churches are empowered to make their own decisions about how they want to implement their security policies without jumping through unnecessary training and licensure hoops.”
Under current legislation, in order for churches to have armed security they must hire a private licensed company or officer. The new bill will allow congregations to make up their own security teams with members who are legally allowed to carry a gun on a volunteer basis only, but that person cannot wear a uniform or badge portraying themselves as “security.”
Three Things Your Church Needs To Do.
Starting a church security/safety ministry is a lot of work. Meetings, planning, policies, procedures, choosing members, and training are just the beginning. For us, beginning an armed security team took a total of three years before we were efficiently effective.
First, determine what your church security needs might be. Before running out and spending a ton of money on cameras, radios, equipment or anything else, determine whether your church actually needs a team or security enhancements by doing a simple security assessment.
In the back of our $9 ebook, Church Security Basics, we provide a security survey in the back of the book that is very simple to use and helps you quickly determine what your needs might be. Additionally, the ebook helps you understand the task before you and gives you suggestions, tips, and information to help you do your due diligence and make sure all the bases are covered. This book is also included in our Individual/Planning Level Membership to CSA. (Price $37).
Once you determine that you want a team and need a team, the process of planning begins. This incorporates designing what your team will look like, who will be on your team, and the policies and procedures you will follow to minimize liability and make sure everyone is on the same page.
That is a lot of work. However, we have done all the work for you in our Church Security Starter Kit. The kit includes a Policy and Procedure Manual in Word format. You make the changes you need, adopt the policies, place your church’s name on the front cover and you have an instant manual. We did this for the Medical Team Manual as well. Included in the kit are presentations for management, membership announcements, interview questions, and necessary reporting forms. Currently, both the Basics Ebook and the Starter Kit are included in our Team Level Membership. With the Team Level Membership, each member from your team will become a member of CSA and receive weekly updates of events that have occurred in the United States and Canada. Everyone becomes a member for only $97 per year.
Third, once you develop a team, choose the members and create the policy and procedure manuals, you need to train your team members in the policy and procedures, including Use of Force Policy, Firearms Qualifications, and empty hand tactics. We have training aids for you to use to help you make the process easier. You can check them out at our Church Security Store.