February 7, 2024 Show with Ron Aguiar on “Keeping Your Church Safe”

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Live from historic downtown Carlisle, Pennsylvania, home of founding father James Wilson, 19th century hymn writer
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Proverbs, chapter 27, verse 17, tells us iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
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And now, here's your host, Chris Arnzen. Good afternoon,
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This is Chris Arnzen, your host of Iron Sharpens Iron Radio, wishing you all a happy Wednesday on this seventh day of February 2024.
We're taking a break today from our normal theological conversations here in Iron Sharpens Iron to discuss something that is extremely important nonetheless.
We are going to be discussing keeping your church safe, security essentials for houses of worship, and to discuss that very important issue, we have a very appropriate guest today who has written a book with that very same title.
In fact, the book is now in its second edition. His name is Ron Aguiar, and he is a church safety expert with over 30 years of experience in private security, law enforcement, and church security, and it's my honor and privilege to welcome you for the very first time ever to Iron Sharpens Iron Radio, Ron Aguiar.
Thanks, Chris, I appreciate you having me on. Oh, it is my pleasure, and first of all, before I go into the content of our interview,
I want to read at least one of these glowing accolades that have been written about the book.
Given the uncertain times in which we live and increasing threats to our churches, Ron has written a practical, thorough, easy -to -read book that should be a textbook for any church.
More importantly, he loves the Lord and his church, and has dedicated his life to making sure
Christ is exalted in the best and safest way possible, and that was written by Bob Russell, who is the retired senior minister of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
And in fact, I believe you were head of security at that congregation for quite a number of years, weren't you?
Yeah, for 19 years, actually. Bob was one of the founding ministers, and I spent 19 years working for him in the church.
He retired, and then Dave Stone took over, and I retired shortly thereafter, and then
Kyle Eidelman is now the senior minister of that large community in Louisville, Kentucky.
And that's one of the largest congregations, I believe, in the United States? Yeah, it's growing, of course.
I think they have 14 or 15 campuses now. The main campus, the main worship center, holds 9 ,000.
When we moved in it in 1998, the year I was hired, I was hired a month before the move into the large facility, and it was, at the time, one of the largest construction projects for churches in America, and it sits on about 100 acres.
There's almost 5 ,000 parking spaces. It's just a large complex, and they started to build satellite churches while I was there.
So when I left, I think we had four satellite churches, including the main campus, and now, like I said, they've got 14 or 15.
Yeah, and the main reason I bring that up is because that gives you an idea of the responsibilities of somebody who is the head of security at such a large facility with so many lives at stake.
And can you tell us something about Oasis Safety, who were so impressed by your book that they actually requested to publish it?
Yeah, actually, what happened was I had written the first edition on my own, self -published a book, just simply called it
Keeping Your Church Safe, and I'm a member of the United States Concealed Carry Association, USCCA out of Wisconsin.
They reached out to me a few years ago, about almost five years ago now, and asked if we could get together in Wisconsin and do some training videos on active shooter prevention, response, etc.
for churches and houses of worship. So I said, sure. So I spent three days up in Wisconsin with them, and we did some videos for what they call
Proving Ground. And the neat thing about it was they were going to put all those videos on their members -only website, but they have graciously allowed it to be on YouTube.
So anyone can go on YouTube and put up, you see, USCCA Church Security, and three or four videos will pop up, and I'm included in that.
And we did some really great videos in Wisconsin. The videos,
I think, are some of the best out there for church security on active shooters.
So while I was up there, we talked about the book and stuff. And lo and behold, they said, hey, we publish books, too.
Can we take a look at yours? And I was about ready to do something with the book because self -publishing is, you may know,
Chris, is not an easy task. And there's a lot going into it.
So I sat down with them, and they agreed to publish the book. So USCCA published the book and did a fantastic job with the book.
Some of the photos in the book are from the actual video shoot that we did in Wisconsin.
So partnering with them has been a blessing. And the book apparently is selling well, and churches all over the country have ordered it.
And so my company is Oasis Safety. So we partnered with USCCA, and the book, of course, is out there now.
And it's only available through their website, USCCA .com. They've decided to do that.
Eventually, it'll be on Amazon and all the other outlets. But currently, it's just on their member website. But anybody can go on their website and order the book.
And that is USCCA .com? Perfect. And your website is
OasisSafety .com? Yes, sir. Yes. So I kind of reversed things.
No, that's okay. But we will be repeating, God willing, those websites later on in the program.
Well, we have a tradition here at Iron Sharpens Iron Radio. Whenever we have a first -time guest, we have that guest give a summary of their salvation testimony that would include any kind of religious atmosphere in which the guest was raised and what kind of providential circumstances our sovereign
Lord raised up in their lives that drew them to himself and saved them. And I'd love to hear a summary of your story.
Okay. It's kind of an interesting story. I was born and raised in Hawaii. My parents were born and raised there, too, so we're considered what people call locals.
My grandparents, my grandfathers immigrated from Portugal in the 1800s. So that's where we're at.
But most of my family is still there. And while growing up, my mom attended the
Catholic Church. And it's an interesting story about Christianity in Hawaii, and I'll be brief about this.
But basically, in the 1800s, missionaries from three large organizations went to Hawaii and evangelized the
Hawaiians and brought Christianity to the islands, which was really a fantastic thing. And over the years, from about 1900 to 1930 or so, it kind of walked away.
It disappeared. And there wasn't much growth in Christianity in the islands.
But I grew up in a town called Hilo on the Big Island. I actually have at least one listener in Hawaii from Hilo who has contacted me.
I believe it was a pastor. Oh, no kidding. Yeah, that's fantastic. What a small world.
Anyway, so in Hilo, there was one Christian church, a church called
Haile Christian Church, and it's still there. And across the street from it was a Roman Catholic church, which
I attended. And my mom used to take me to early morning mass on Sundays and kind of bribe me with doughnuts at the local doughnut shop.
But anyways, it was interesting because my dad didn't go to church.
I've got a younger brother who really didn't go to church. And but I did. And I got involved in the church insofar as going to their catechisms and classes.
And there was a brother attached to the church who worked for the priest.
And, Chris, I believe looking back on it, I believe he was a believer. I believe that, you know, he believed in Jesus Christ and may have been a
Christian because he met with us boys and taught us the Bible, which is really unusual in the
Catholic Church. Oh, looking back, looking back, especially when you're looking back in the 50s.
So, yeah, that was really unusual back then because because they didn't they didn't even encourage personal private
Bible reading until Vatican II, which was. Yeah. After the 1950s, it was incredible.
But I think the Lord used that to kind of watch over and protect me. It's very interesting because I look back on it and I can't tell you how many times that my
Catholic feet helped me in in my life. I became a police officer in Honolulu, Hawaii, and then transferred to the
Big Island where I'm from and left the department after 10 years. But in those 10 years, Chris, I tell you,
God watched over me and I wasn't I wasn't a believer, but he watched over me. And I can I can tell you the number of fingers on my hand, the amount of problems
I had on the street with people. And I think he watched over and protected me. That's all I got to say.
And so anyways, fast forwarding. I married my wife. She's from Boston. So I left the department, moved up to Boston.
Her parents had had no kind of faith either. They sort of went to church and her mom had never set foot in the church.
And Nan and I, my wife, Nancy, and I lived up there and then we moved around and finally settled in Atlanta, Georgia.
While we were in Atlanta, her mother was introduced to a gentleman named Nate Hubley.
And Nate has since gone on to be with the Lord. And he was with a church in Lexington, Lexington, Massachusetts.
And the first time she heard the gospel, Chris, she accepted the Lord. She's never been in church in her whole life.
She was five years. So she just like went home, immediately grabbed her husband, my father in law, and say,
Gordon, we're going to church. You got to meet this guy. You got to meet. You know, she just became on fire with the Lord. And so her husband,
Gordon, was much more. He was an engineer by trade, a methodical guy. And he says, I don't know what you're talking about, but I'll talk to him.
And I think Gordon had a faith of some sort, like some sort, like what I did with the Catholic faith, but nothing directly with Jesus.
And he met with Nate and they met over a number of period of time. And eventually he accepted the
Lord. And the first thing he did, of course, is call his kids. He's got three grown children at the time.
And one was my wife, Nancy. And they all listened to him and they went, yeah, right. Yeah, right. And so a few years later, while we're living in Atlanta, my wife starts reading the
Bible and she met Jesus in a storm in Atlanta, Georgia. So I can't tell you how much the
Lord has meant to her and in her life over the years. She's an excellent Bible teacher. She's a speaker and all that.
But she just loves the Lord entirely with her heart. And so she took me to church, of course.
Now we started going to church. So we found a church in Atlanta in the suburbs. And over the course of a year or so,
I was starting to meet with the minister. And in 1983, I just I just said,
OK, I'm ready. So I accepted the Lord in 83 in Atlanta. So that's kind of a roundabout story.
So that's where we're at. Great. And by the way, I looked up the listener that I have, but I may have more.
I hope I have more than one in Hilo, Hawaii. But it is Daniel Costales.
And he is the pastor of Berean Bible Church of Hilo, Hawaii. Wow. Wonderful.
Fantastic. On Lama Street. Let me give you a quick circle to close the loop about Christianity in Hawaii before I get off that subject.
And that is that. That I think my daughter, who is now 40 some years old, and she is when she was about four or five, we used to visit
Hawaii quite a bit. And every time we go to Hilo, you know, there's no
Christian church to go to because we had already given our lives to Christ. And so I didn't feel comfortable going to a Catholic church.
We arrived in Hilo one visit with our young daughter. And my mom says, hey, there's one of your churches here.
I said, what do you mean? She goes, there's this church that you keep talking about. You're Christian. There's this church. They're meeting at the boys club.
So we went that Sunday morning. And Pastor Wayne Cordero was a young guy going from Hawaii that went to college in the
West Coast and gave his life to Christ and decided to come to Hawaii. And Chris, the
Lord, used him as a spark. He planted 80 churches in Hawaii and Christianity has since exploded in the islands.
So to tie the loop up, the Lord has come back to the islands. And people like Daniel and all those ministers now,
I think, can look back and Pastor Wayne, who's since retired, just look back with what the
Lord did in him and brought back Jesus to the island. Amen. Well, we are talking about a subject that probably
I'm guessing the majority of pastors and elder boards and deacon boards are grossly ignorant about.
I'm assuming I'm correct on that. And that is keeping your church safe. And what do you think?
To start the ball rolling here, the average church is getting totally wrong when they are supposed to be the leaders of that church, not only protecting the flock spiritually and theologically and doctrinally, and they're supposed to be keeping wolves and sheep's clothing away from the flock.
But they're also would be negligent, grossly negligent if they disregard the importance of physical safety amongst
God's gathered people. So what do you think is the most common either egregiously bad attitude or just errors in that area?
I think right now it's complacency. And the reason I say that is we haven't, thank the
Lord, we haven't had a major catastrophe in a church such as Southern Texas and in other areas.
But when that stuff happens, the churches all of a sudden become aware of what's going on.
And then they start putting things in place. It's like 9 -11 happened. And we just became such a united nation to to fight off everything we could with terrorism and complacency is set back in.
And I think the churches are the same. I don't I don't think we
I believe we really need to get out of that and say we have to do something.
One of the things that happened with me at Southeast Christian was there was no one before me.
So I had to put everything in place. And when I did in 1998, there were probably four or five of us in the country that I could that I knew of that I could call and talk about security.
Now, of course, there's a lot more and there's companies doing it and consulting. But I think the churches really need to understand that every weekend, every time they bring people in a congregation of visitors and members, that they really need to be prepared.
You cannot let your guard down. So you cannot be complacent at any time, no matter what part of your church you're protecting, whether it's the main congregations for worship or the children's or the youth or whatever.
I think you've got to really sit back right now and say, OK, what are we doing or what have we done?
And I've been in many churches, Chris, where years ago something happened, say, the
Colorado Springs shooting. All of a sudden, everybody ramps up and builds these great security teams.
I show up two or three years later and there's nothing because they they just said, well, nothing's going to happen.
You know, it's not going to happen to us. And I don't think you can do that. One of the things we did every weekend, although we're a large congregation,
I would people would come up to me and say, OK, we're getting ready for Christmas and Easter. What are you doing about security?
How do you ramp up? And I tell them right off the bat, I said, I ramp up every weekend.
My concern is every weekend, whether you're a church of 100 or a church of 10 ,000, you should be up every weekend.
Whatever you're going to do for Easter or Christmas, that's your best step foot forward.
That's what you do when the preacher preaches on the pulpit every Sunday or Saturday night or Sunday.
He doesn't put his second best. He puts his first best. And that's the way with security.
If you consider safety and security a ministry, then all of a sudden it opens up a different avenue of thought.
If you say we're just a security team. Hold on here a second. You're a ministry. You're ministering to your congregation and visitors.
And you need to understand that the Lord has tapped you on the shoulder to provide a safe and secure environment for people to hear the word and to respond to the word.
And your job is to create no negative aspects, no distractions.
Your job is to provide that safe environment so that people can find the Lord and worship him.
So I go back to this complacency. Get out of being complacent and take action now. If you have a team evaluated, see what needs to be done to get it better.
If you don't have a team, put something in place now. And of course, your book is going to be an extremely helpful guide when it comes to the very nuts and bolts of putting together a team and so on.
And we're going to be getting into that when we come back from our first commercial break. And, you know, the book also deals with the emergency situations that involve people's health and people who have heart attacks and things like that.
But today, I really just want to focus on protecting the church against an attacker or attackers, plural.
And perhaps in the future, we can have you back to talk about those other issues. But this is going to be the area,
I think, where there's probably the greatest level of ignorance amongst congregations.
And so we're going to our first commercial break. And by the way, folks, I think it's kind of interesting, providential, that the first ad you're going to be hearing is from a company that loves this show so much that they spend a lot of money with us to help keep us on the air.
And they are manufacturers of body armor. And I personally think that it would be a wise thing to have your security team equipped with body armor because you never know who's going to be attacking those in your flock.
But the first commercial everybody will be hearing is from Armored Republic, who just renewed, not long ago, their annual advertising contract with us.
And we thank David Reese, the CEO of Armored Republic, for his generosity and his belief in what we're doing.
But if you have any questions for my guest today, Ron Aguiar, and the subject,
Keeping Your Church Safe, Security Essentials for Houses of Worship, our email address is chrisarnson at gmail .com.
C -H -R -I -S -A -R -N -Z -E -N at gmail .com. Give us your first name at least, your city and state, and your country of residence.
Don't go away. We're going to be right back after these messages. Armored Republic exists to equip free men with tools of liberty to defend
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We're now back with my guest, Ron Aguiar, who is the author of Keeping Your Church Safe, Security Essentials for Houses of Worship.
If you have a question, send an email to chrisarnsen at gmail .com.
C -H -R -I -S -A -R -N -Z -E -N at gmail .com. Give us your first name at least, city and state and country of residence.
Now, Ron, I'd like you to begin this segment of the show by imagining you are presenting a seminar or a workshop on this very topic, and you've got pastors, elders, deacons, and perhaps security individuals that are already in place at different churches.
I'm sure many churches don't have any such people. Yeah, I think if you're a church in a community that has a sheriff's office, a local
PD, even if you're out in the middle of, you know, farmland or something and there's not much around you, there's a state trooper available, get one of the local law enforcement guys to come in, first of all, kind of walk around the building and tell you, look about the building and check your physical security, give you some pointers on what to do and what to look for.
And before you do that, find somebody in your congregation that will step up and lead the team.
Now, you could, if you're fortunate enough, have a former police officer, current law enforcement officer, someone connected in the law enforcement field in your congregation.
If you do, that makes things a lot easier because then they can go and meet the local
PD and bring them in. The other thing you want to do is you want to create a team. If you're a church of 100, that team may be two or three people.
If you're a church of 10 ,000, that team's going to be 20 or more. So you want to start by creating a team, get somebody in charge.
And I can remember the first thing that I did with the church when they hired me. We're getting ready to move.
We had no budget for me. The elders were kind enough to bring me on board. And anyway, we decided
I ran an ad in our bulletin. At the time, it was a weekly newspaper, and I ran an ad.
And I'm saying I'm looking for law enforcement or individuals that want to be part of a security team here at the church.
I'm having a meeting Tuesday night. And then I contacted everybody I knew in the church.
And I said, I need prayer. I need prayer now because this is an important ministry and I need to bring the right people.
So I had a meeting on Tuesday night. And lo and behold, we had a bunch of guys show up. Now, not all of them became part of the team, but the group that showed up became the nucleus of the team.
So you want to put somebody in charge. That's the first thing you have to do. Even if you have no law enforcement, maybe an ex -military guy that knows a little bit about security.
And if you don't have anybody at all, then find someone who is passionate about keeping the church safe and start there.
And, again, if they don't have any training, no law enforcement background, then it's incumbent upon you to bring the law enforcement people in.
And this stuff is free. It's open to the public. A lot of departments have a community officer that does exactly this.
They meet with businesses. They meet with commercial property owners and go through and help them provide security information.
You mean you think that you either you think or you know that most local police departments would provide this service for a church for free?
Oh, yeah, sure. Yeah. I mean, every department that I've ever talked to says, yeah, we'll send somebody out.
And the reason is they want a safe place. They don't want to respond to some. So they want they want the church to be a safe place.
They don't want to get a call on Sunday morning and say, hey, there's a guy with a gun in the church. They'd rather get a call and say, listen, there's a there's somebody in the parking lot that we think has a gun.
We've locked ourselves in the church, which happened here in Florida last week.
There was a church had two guys in the parking lot that were suspicious. They quickly called 911, got in the church, locked the doors.
The police came, took the two guys into custody. The officers went into the church, made everybody get down on their hands and knees and raise their hands and searched everybody.
But that's what they want. They want to they want that to happen before the guys get in the church to actually create an active shooter situation.
So, yeah, they'll come out. I can't tell you how many churches I've visited or talked to.
Where they did that and it worked out well. It not only creates that security information, but now you've got an avenue into the department or agency that you're dealing with.
You got somebody you can call and say, listen, we're dealing with a guy coming on the property every
Wednesday night for a Bible study. We're concerned about this guy now or this gal now knows who you are and they understand the building.
They understand you and the church. It makes a great connection. So please invite them and that'll help the process.
But the first thing is get somebody in charge, connect with the PD and then get training.
You've got to get some training. Guys like me are out there that have former law enforcement backgrounds to do church security specifically.
There are some companies. USCCA has some information. Like I said, they got those videos and, you know, the
NRA, everybody does something now for church security. And never forget that your insurance company, whether you're a small church, medium size or large, has connections.
If you're buying your insurance for your church through an agent who's your cousin down the street working at Ron's insurance agency.
He's got a broker, the coverage for your church. So he's got to go to somebody. There are three or four very large companies in the
U .S. that provide blanket coverages for churches all over the country. They do between 300, 300 and 400 thousand churches.
Even the small agents use them. So that's a great avenue. Church Mutual, you know,
Philadelphia. There's there's a bunch of them out there is three or four of them that have information free to their members that belong to their insurance group.
And they'll send somebody out. They'll send give you information on conferences.
And this information is usually all free because your client that there's when you reduce the risk at a church, they reduce the premiums.
So you can use that leverage with the insurance company that, hey, we're forming a security team.
We need some help. What resources do you have? So your cousin, Ron, down the street can call
Church Mutual or Brotherhood Mutual or Philadelphia or GuideOne, one of the big companies and say, you know,
John down the street is pastor. He's my cousin. And he's got a congregation of 250 people and he's starting a security team.
What can you do? And they will contact you. They've got information. They got videos and they may even send a rep out from the company to help.
So go and get those resources and get training. And I think that's important.
Now, something else that I advocate in today's society, someone in the congregation has to carry a firearm.
Amen. Yeah, you got to do that. I was in Philadelphia at a conference at USCCA shortly after the shooting at the synagogue, and I was called to do an interview on live
TV for 20 minutes. It turned out to be almost an hour. And they were interested in my views on how to protect churches, just like you and I are talking.
But the conversation quickly moved to why do we allow guns in churches?
And so there was a lot of talk about that for almost an hour on live TV. But my stance is somebody's got to carry a gun.
You cannot allow an active shooter to come into your congregation and no one responds.
You just got to do it. So in large churches, that may be multiple people. And if when someone carries a gun, find out what the jurisdiction requires.
A lot of states now are doing away with concealed carry permits. Eventually, I think the countries, except for a few states, is going to do away with them.
But it's always good to get a concealed carry permit. Wow. You are you are that pessimistic about the nation that most most states are going to outlaw, conceal and carry?
I think that, you know, the states, the Texas, the Florida's, the Nebraska's, those those
Kentucky, just Kentucky, you can conceal carry now without a permit. So there are states out there that are going to drop their requirements.
But there's probably going to be about 15 or 17 states that will never do that. They're going to require you to jump through all kind of hoops, even if they allow you to carry a gun.
But that's why when I talk about, you know, if you're in an area where you can't have anybody carry a gun, then get an off duty police officer.
Right. Yeah. I mean, even if you have to pay. Yeah, absolutely. I did conferences.
I did conferences and protected an individual who spoke at large conferences for about 15 years.
And whenever we went into a arena and sometimes there were 19 or 20 thousand people,
I walked into a jurisdiction and most of the time I couldn't carry a weapon. So guess what?
I'd hire off duty police officers. Here's the deal. We had them in our church, our security team and off duty officers on the team.
And the reason I had them, there were some volunteer, but some of them we paid. There is a really good reason to do that.
Number one is if you're a police officer, you're a police officer 24 seven. That's right.
I can remember. I remember going to recruit class and they said, if we catch you without your gun and your badge, you're in deep trouble.
So I so you're caught 24 seven as a police officer, even if you're working in violent volunteering, not getting paid as a volunteer in the church.
If a crime happens, the law dictates you must respond as an officer.
You're you're no longer part of the security team of Southeast Christian.
You are now Officer Rod from the Loma Metro PD. And you effectively then are covered both criminally and civilly by your agency.
So you take that responsibility off the church. So is it worth to pay an off duty officer?
Absolutely. How much does it cost? I can't tell you because every agency is different.
I paid as little as twelve dollars an hour to as much as 90 an hour in a large city like Chicago. But the fact is, we talk about that insurance company.
The fact is, if I go to that insurance company and say part of our new security plan is to have an off duty officer on premises in uniform in a marked unit.
And I'm going to use them to protect the congregation during Sunday services. I got to pay up.
That's part of the reducing of the risk for the church. When you do that, the insurance company goes,
OK, so you reduce the risk. If there's something that happens, that police officer responds. So the church then doesn't have to respond.
And the insurance company takes a big sigh, a big breath of relief. And guess what happens every year?
You tell your insurance agency, make sure the insurance company knows that I'm hiring that off duty officer.
Because it reduces the risk. And 90 percent of the time, Chris, 90 percent of the time they will reduce your premiums for coverages and for criminal behavior and other factors.
And when that happens, it'll almost offset, if not offset the cost of hiring that off duty officer.
So this is a huge thing here that people, especially in certain areas geographically of the
United States, although it's probably it's probably applicable even in the
Midwest and deep south where guns are commonplace, even here in Pennsylvania. Guns are very commonplace.
But there are some areas where just because people were not raised with a commonality of firearms in households.
There are I have met conservative Christians. They're conservative politically and they're conservative theologically.
And yet they have this bizarre, squeamish attitude about Christians carrying firearms.
They we got to trust in the Lord or we got to be more concerned with the soul of the criminal than than protecting ourselves.
Now, you may adopt that as your own philosophy when you're alone, but it's negligible when you're talking about women and children, especially, and the elderly and people who can't defend for themselves in a church building.
It's it's really greeting card Christianity. It's not really biblical, biblically based
Christianity. You know, I mean, even Christ told his apostles to sell your cloak and buy a sword.
You know, Christ didn't have this, for lack of a better term, mamby pamby attitude towards weapons.
Yeah. You know, if you look back at Nehemiah, when he built the wall, he didn't just he just he just didn't build a wall.
He put guards up. You know, there are people guarding and, you know, that was part of the security so his people could build the wall.
And I think that that comes back. And that's in Nehemiah. I think it's four nine. A lot of the security firms use that as their message from the biblical message that we got to protect our facility as we're building our buildings, as we're building our ministries.
And I think, yeah, guns. I tell you, as a police, as a former police officer,
I have seen a lot of things in my life and I've been shot at. And it's not a great feeling to get a bullet going.
I tell you. And, you know, I pulled my gun a couple of times. Thankfully, the
Lord protected me and I didn't have to use it. But I'll tell you, man, it's just you have to you got to have somebody in the congregation have a weapon.
Now, you can be very you can go overboard. And if you allow everybody to carry a weapon, then you've got to be careful because we'll be shooting each other.
Now. Now, are you saying that are you saying that a church should not allow every congregant to carry a weapon into the worship service?
Yeah, I think you've got to be careful about doing that, because if I'm part of the security team and there's an active shooter and everybody starts standing up with a gun,
I don't know who the bad guy is. Right. Somebody some innocent person is going to get shot.
They will. And so what we did was we discouraged our congregation from carrying weapons.
So if I saw somebody carrying a weapon in, I first of all, approach them and say, hey, are you an off duty officer or something?
And if they say no, you know, we had. Of course, what we did is
I would tell them, well, can you put the gun in the car? Because we have a full security team in here.
And if something happens, you may end up getting shot. I mean, that's straight on. And so most of the time they'd comply and put the gun in the car.
If they're an off duty officer, federal agent, whatever else, I just tell them, I say, listen, we've got a security team.
We have weapons on the property carried by trained individuals. If something happens, unless it's on top of you, your job is to get your family out of here because we'll take care of the active shooting.
So in churches that do not have that resource, then you've got to have some trained people and train them well and not only going to the firing range and shoot 20 shots and hitting the target 11 times.
You have to hire somebody or take them to a class where they learn tactical shooting a little bit more than the average person so that they don't pull their gun as the first thought during an incident.
Because the gun should come out lastly, only when to save someone's life or to prevent anybody from getting hurt.
So you have to have that mindset and training. Now, is it a church?
I'm sorry. Well, I was just going to ask when you say that drawing your gun is the last resort.
Are you yes. Are you saying that even when the intruder, the criminal is already got his gun drawn and he's.
Oh, no, no, no, no, no. The gun's out. Mine's out. It's coming out. OK. Yeah. No, I'm talking about somebody coming in.
That's agitated. That appears he may be escalating. I need to be careful because he may be carrying.
I'm not going to draw my I'm not going to draw my weapon on it because he may not have a gun. But if he has a weapon, absolutely.
Chris, mine's coming out. And this is me personally. I'm shooting because if you watch any of the videos that USCCA did with me, you'll find that when that gun comes out, you have to stop the threat because the bad guy, the bad guy, when he pulls that gun out, it's not to say, hi, how are you?
He's he's basically pulling the gun out to shoot somebody. So I'm not going to allow that to happen.
If I see a gun come out, my gun's coming out and I'm firing. I am. I'm just going to fire. And that's me personal.
And if somebody comes to me and talks to me, that's what I tell him I would do. And I would tell him you need to train that way because you can't allow somebody to come in church with a gun.
And you just can't. There was a there's incidents upon incidents. I mean, the shooting that occurred.
There was a shooting occurred in Texas where a former police officer shot a intruder during service after the guy shot somebody.
They knew this guy was mentally ill. He came to the church and I'm I'm doing 20, 20 hindsight, of course.
But he came to the church dressed in a trench coat. He had a shotgun under it. It was hot.
And no one confronted him to the point of stopping him from getting in the church. So when he walked down on the side, of course, he pulled a shotgun and shot.
But as he pulled that shotgun, there was a former officer who drew his revolver and shot and killed the guy. So, yeah, you have to do that.
I'm a firm believer in guns in churches. I'm a firm believer in getting people trained that use guns. I was at a church that had 100 people.
They wanted to come in, have me come in and do an assessment and training. I said, OK, bring your security team.
They had out of 100 people, they had 12 people on their team. I said, wow. OK, so we sat in the basement of the church and I said, who carries a gun?
They all did. I said, OK, tell me what training you had, except for one of them.
The only training they had was a concealed carry class where they shot their gun 20 times. I said, you can't do that because you're going to end up shooting each other.
You got to learn how to operate this weapon and you got to learn how to be safe with it. And you got to learn when to pull it out.
So get training. I'm a firm believer in guns, but get training and make sure the departments know that you're having people with guns.
And if an active shooter does occur on the property and the police are coming in. The first thing you got to do is when the shooting is all done and you've done what you're supposed to do, holster your weapon to come in, raise your hands.
Do not be a threat to them. There was a, I talked about this in my book, there was a shooting in a
Kroger supermarket in Jefferson Town, Kentucky. We live 10 minutes from there. A buddy of mine responded to that as a detective, 20 years service.
He arrived as a shooter was leaving in his vehicle. Uniformed officers stopped him.
But this guy came in, he was a racist. He came in and shot a black person in the supermarket and came out the door and shot another one, killed both of them.
When my buddy and his friend walked into the police, ran into the Kroger, they saw a young man with a weapon over one of the victims in the aisle in the supermarket.
He had the weapon drawn. My buddy had his weapon drawn. So what do you do at that moment?
20 years of experience told him not to fire because the guy was not pointing it at anything.
He was just the gun was at his side. The victim was on the floor, so he yelled at him, yelled at him.
Police, police dropped a gun. So the guy dropped a gun. It turned out the guy was just protecting her in case the guy came back.
But if he if he would have shot him, he would have killed an innocent guy. So those are the things that they teach you in training.
Say, hey, listen, be careful, because every bullet that comes out of your gun, you're responsible for.
So we got to go to our midway break. But please pick up where you left off and don't forget where you left off, because I hate interrupting you.
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Going back to 2005, one of my very favorite guests on Iron Sharpens Iron is
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Send me an email to ChrisOrenson at gmail .com and put I need a church in the subject line. That's also the email address to send in a question for Ron Aguiar, the author of Keeping Your Church Safe.
Send it to ChrisOrenson at gmail .com. Give us a first name at least, city and state, and country of residence.
And, Ron, right before the commercial break, you were talking about those, or should I say that racist that entered into a
Kroger and murdered a couple of people, and I had to cut you off because we were going into the midway break.
So please bring up anything that you intended to say before that break. Sure. I was kind of wrapping that up, but basically get training.
I mean, that's so important when you're carrying a weapon. You know, the USCCA does training through their instructors.
The NRA does training through their instructors. And also there's an organization called the
American Society for Industrial Security, ASIS. They're the largest security organization in the world.
And through them, they've got tons of resources. And in the United States, they hold one or two large conferences a year that I've attended, and I recommend people go to.
But those organizations have resources and training, especially the NRA and USCCA, and you can get some certification and additional training with weapons.
The other thing about guns is that you need to notify your insurance company as part of your security team, especially if the people are volunteering or are civilians that are carrying weapons.
The most insurance companies that cover churches will have a form. It's called a security officer form.
This is a rider onto a policy that basically states that, you know,
John Smith, Bob Smith, whatever, are listed carrying weapons, and you authorize them as a church to carry the weapons on your property and to act as a security team.
Now, the insurance company will carry that as a rider, as an overall coverage, but not necessarily individually.
So when I work for the church, although the church covered me as an employee and insurance covered me,
I had my own personal policy because, like I said earlier, you're responsible for that weapon and every bullet that leaves the gun.
So I had a personal policy coverage so that if I did use my weapon and I was sued and you will be, then at least they don't come after everything in your life that the insurance company will take care of you in that regard.
So I highly recommend that, too. So get training with a weapon. Make sure that you use one of those agencies or organizations.
And if worst case scenario, Chris, you're in the middle of nowhere and there are tons of churches all over that fit that description.
Go to a local sheriff or local state trooper's office or somebody and say, listen, we want to protect our people.
So we're going to carry a gun. There's going to be a couple of guys carrying a gun in the church. Can we get some training? And all of those guys have been through training through some qualified trainer in their department or agency.
And sometimes you may have to pay them a few dollars, but they'll come and do some training or they'll come to you.
You can go to their site and you'll do some training so that they know that somebody in that church is carrying a gun safely and that they'll only use it when they have to.
So I think that's super important to do. So get some training and get and use one of those companies.
OK, we have a question from Hector in Haverstraw, New York.
Hector says, what is the typical time frame for a person to be adequately trained with a firearm if they have never owned or fired a firearm before?
They've never owned or fired a firearm. It's going to take a little longer. As a former police officer, when
I moved to Louisville, Kentucky, my job was a security director for Papa John's International.
And one of the things I did was because I had not carried a gun in many years in a work capacity.
We hired a guy and I came and we spent eight hours on two hours a day for four days going through technical shooting and getting really back familiar to what it was to being a police officer and handling a weapon.
So if you've never fired a gun, never shot, it's going to take long. You need to get some basic firearm training.
Concealed carry class is a good place to start because they cover safety a lot in those classes.
You shoot some, but not much. And then pay to go additional classes.
Whoever's teaching that class is usually an indoor firing range or outdoor firing range. Pay to go and get more training.
So you may end up with 40 hours of range training and shooting so that you're very comfortable with your weapon and that you're not afraid to use it if you have to.
But also you'll feel comfortable not using it when you don't have to. So it may be 20 to 40 hours of actual range time in individual instruction.
That would be my recommendation for somebody who's never shot a weapon. And how is that broken up as for, you know, how many hours a day is that typically involved?
Yeah. Well, I'm saying that you could probably like I went and did my eight hours, but it was over four days.
You can only do so much intense shooting. So you may do an hour going in, spending 15 minutes of some safety and instruction.
Do 45 minutes of shooting and then another 15 minutes breaking down what you just did, cleaning your weapon. So you may end up going to going to the range maybe 15, 20 times.
So, yeah, it's going to take some time, but you've got to get comfortable with that weapon because you want to be responsible.
The things about juries, whether they're criminal or civil, is they always look at what would a reasonable person do.
So if I'm a reasonable guy carrying a weapon and protecting people in a church, somebody pulls a gun.
A reasonable response is to pull my gun and use it. But if somebody walks into the church being agitated and screaming and punching people, it's not a reasonable response to pull my gun.
So that's what you got to learn. You got to learn when to use it and when not to use it. And that training, it may take a while, may take 20 hours or more, but it's going to get you more comfortable.
By the way, Hector, you have just won a free copy of Keeping Your Church Safe, Security Essentials for Houses of Worship.
Thanks to the generosity of our friends at USCCA. And that will be shipped to you by our friends at Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service, cvbbs .com,
at no charge to you or to Iron Trip and Zion Radio. Make sure you give us your full mailing address.
We have Goldie in Castleberry, Florida. And Goldie asks, is there a specific firearm that you most highly recommend for the average person on a security team at a church?
Yeah, I get that question a lot. In today's world of firearms, there's so many to choose from.
I would start with a, if you've never shot a gun, then you're going to learn how to shoot a .22,
the smallest caliber handgun that I think you should start with and move up. Most law enforcement agencies carry what they call .40
caliber guns. They're pretty big and they're pretty heavy. Next time you're next to a police officer, look at his gun.
He's probably got a Glock, which is a gun that most agencies use.
They carry Sig Sauer's, which is another one, but both of those guns can be heavy.
Now they do make smaller versions of them. Ruger makes this nice compact gun to carry.
You know, Glock has a nice, what they call a small mini Glock .43, which I use.
It's a smaller gun. It's easily concealed. And now they have, I think, a .45 model that actually is smaller than that.
The other thing to remember is you want to be comfortable in what you shoot. If, Goldie, if you have small hands, you don't want a gun that when you shoot, it flies out of your hand or you're not able to control.
So start off with a smaller caliber and work your way through and test them at the firing range.
If you've never shot, then work through them and find out what's comfortable for you. The semi -automatics are thinner and easier to conceal than the old rotary guns, the old guns you see on the
Westerns. And when I was a police officer, we started off carrying those Smith & Wesson six -shot rotary guns, but eventually went to semi -automatics, which are flatter and easier to conceal.
So, again, I'd recommend looking at those guns that you're more comfortable with.
Stay away from the really big guns because they're heavy and awkward to use and hard to conceal. The USCCA has, if you're a member, has a magazine that comes out once a year.
And in the back section of it, they talk about women and how to conceal and what guns to carry.
In the front section of it, they talk about guns all the time and they tell you what good guns to carry and conceal, depending on what you're going to use it for.
If you're going to carry it with you all day, you want a light, concealable carry gun. A police officer doesn't much mind carrying a little heavier gun because he's got a lot of firepower that he needs and a bigger caliber.
So whatever you're comfortable with. So try them out at the range. Go to a gun shop that has a range and they'll let you fire some examples and give you some instruction until you find one you really like.
Great. Well, Goldie, you've also won a free copy of Keeping Your Church Safe. Make sure we have your full mailing address.
Let's see. We have Helena in Stuttgart, Arkansas.
And Helena says, when you have this armed security team in place at a church, should everyone in the congregation be familiar and notified as to who these people are who are carrying weapons?
Churches go from one extreme to the other in that what we did was. Excuse me.
What we did was we did not carry big signs or lanyards, or I actually saw a church that wore traffic vests that said security on them.
I'm not a big fan of that. I rather the security team be low key. Again, we went right back to it being a ministry.
I don't want a distraction for visitors and congregation members, and I don't think they need to know who we are.
We'll have an earpiece on. Some churches have a little decal or a little pin on their coat or suit jacket.
I think that's OK, but carrying a big lanyard or something. I'm not in favor of that, but many churches do.
If you watch the preachers on TV, there's some preachers on TV. You'll notice the security guys immediately. They've got these lanyards and the position around the pastor in the front row.
I'm not a big favor of that. And one of the reasons is being a former cop, I can tell you the bad guys look for me first.
So I may I may not want I may not be want to be the first guy getting the bullet, but I want to be the first guy to see.
So, no, I don't I don't think it's necessary. I don't think they need to be identified. Our church was large, so we had all these earpieces like you see the
Secret Service where in their ear, those little tubes. We also had the captains of the team where we had traffic guys where.
So if you're the bad guy coming in looking for security, you're going to see a bunch of people with his earpieces.
You have no idea whose security is. But I like the fact that it's low key.
Some churches, like I say, will put a little lapel pin. I think that's OK. But other than that, no,
I don't think you need much. So I'm assuming perhaps I'm wrong. But I have seen on somewhere on conservative television where Christian schools who have armed security, they will put a sign in front of the school that says this building is guarded by armed security.
And they may even have a more colorful way of letting letting the population know about that.
I actually liked that. Are you saying that that wouldn't be a good idea? Oh, no, I like that a lot.
Oh, so that's different than the. Yeah. I'm saying that if you're a security team within the building in worship, then
I don't think you need to do that. But if you know, my grandson goes to a school just like that and I don't have a problem with them putting a sign up and saying this property is guarded by.
You know, off duty police officers or security systems or whatever. I'm totally fine with that.
And so, yeah, I'm OK with that on that regard. And I'm assuming also that everything you're saying about churches, you would equally apply that for schools.
Yeah, I'm not the expert in schools. I've done some schools. There's some great guys out there that I know personally that do schools and schools are different.
Different animal, I guess you would say. I've done some school security training and boy, it is.
It's different. But again, I don't have a problem with people carrying hiring an off duty officer for school in today's society.
I mean, wow. You got to do that. And, you know, the same with the church. When you hire an off duty officer with a uniform and a marked car and place them under your portico.
And that's where I would play some front door under the portico and let the bad guys know
I got somebody in the building. I think that's that's what you do. Yeah, I think that's OK to advertise that you have security in that way.
I don't think it's a good idea to have a room in the building as part of your security in plain clothes, having a placard on him saying
I'm security. And when it comes to what will actually let me take this question first before I ask my own.
We have CJ in Lindenhurst, Long Island, New York, and he is from the socialist
Soviet Republic of New York. CJ asks, are there different rules, regulations and laws when it comes to arming individuals in a church, depending upon which state you live in?
Well, here's the thing for CJ and the rest of our audience, and that is that I'm not mistaken, all churches are private property.
So basically renting, buying or whatever, I don't pay the government money to rent my space where the church is.
So consequently, it's so it's private property. So I can make the rules. So going back years ago when
I first joined the church as a security director, we decided not to have any guns on the property from people other than, you know, for other than police officers.
So the way we enforce that is if we saw somebody with a gun, we just come up and say, hey, are you a police officer?
They said, no. Well, put the gun in the car. Like I said earlier in the program. Now, what
I didn't say was if they refused, excuse me, I'd have an officer with me and I'd say, listen,
I'm going to ask you to put the gun in the car again. If you refuse, I'm going to ask you to leave the property. If you refuse to do that, then
I'm telling you you're trespassing and this officer is going to arrest you for trespassing. So it's private property and they cannot refute that.
So you can make the rules about that. So whether if you're in New York and the state says you're not allowed to carry guns anywhere in the state, but I can carry a gun in my house.
It's my my home. And the same applies to your church. Amen. And CJ, you've also won keeping your church safe.
Make sure we have your full mailing address in Lindenhurst, Long Island, where I lived for a decade of my life.
In addition to Amityville, Long Island, where I live for the majority of my life before moving to Pennsylvania. Let's see here.
We have Buck in Hickory Creek, Texas.
And Buck says, could you repeat something that you said earlier? I think I may have misunderstood it.
You were talking about whether or not you were pessimistic about conceal and carry legality in the majority of states in the
United States. Yeah. And if I was muddled in that,
I apologize. But what I'm saying, I don't think there'll be a federal law that will allow concealed carry in all 50 states.
I should have wrapped that up. I think state by state, such as Texas, Kentucky, Florida and other states will allow concealed carry without a permit.
So but I don't think there's gonna be a federal law in the climate that we live in now that will allow concealed carry without a permit in all 50 states.
So that's what I meant. I'm optimistic that more states will come on board and allow that to happen.
But I don't believe all states will do that. Well, thanks a lot,
Buck. And you've also want to keep your church safe. Please make sure we have your full mailing address in Hickory Creek, Texas.
And once again, we thank the fine folks at USCCA, the publishers of this book, for providing us with a limited number of free copies.
And we thank Tumberland Valley Bible Book Service, CVBBS .com for shipping the books out to our listeners at no charge to you or to us.
And let's get back to this hypothetical seminar where you're speaking.
You are you've already told the audience about the the vital aspect of starting the security team.
What would be the next step in your presentation at this seminar? Get training.
And I keep saying that, but I'm repeating myself. Get training from somebody certified who can help in providing the team the basics of security for the
Worcester Center and the property. And by that, I mean find somebody like me out there. But there's tons of us out there now in different localities around the country.
But you've got to be able to set it up so where you can reach all the way down to your staff and volunteers that will help with security.
Because I believe there are some layers of security that apply. The first is the parking lot.
So part of the training is is to take your parking lot volunteers and train them in observation techniques and greeting people.
I go back and use the example of a church of 100 that may only have 30 or 40 or 50 parking spaces.
Put somebody in a vest in a traffic vest, give them a little wand and have them be a greeter out there and just say, hi, welcome to so -and -so
Christian church. We love seeing you today. Welcome. Welcome. Give them a radio that they can communicate to the security team.
And if it's a small church, it'll be a family radio. If it's a large church, it'll be more of a commercially graded radio.
But they're your frontline security because they'll see something in the parking lot before it gets in the building.
Just in the example of last week here in Florida, where they saw the two suspicious people in the parking lot, that parking volunteer is your first line of defense.
If it's your large church and you have 10 or 20 of them out there, then one or two people with a radio can report to security and they can come out and take care of the issue.
The other layer of security is your entry doors into the building. And usually we have a greeter there or someone just saying hi, handing out bulletins, whatever it is.
Those people should be trained also. They should be trained to watch people as they come in.
Usually the same greeters at the same door every weekend. So they'll know when somebody new comes in.
Well, hi, my name's Ron. How are you? Welcome to so -and -so Christian church. The bad guys don't want to be identified.
And this is a way of meeting them. The other thing that happens is we all have this innate ability that God has given us to recognize danger.
So if you're shaking somebody's hand at the front door and they make you feel uncomfortable.
The least you should do is when they leave you and walk into the building, go find somebody to get somebody on the security team that says, hey, that guy made me feel uncomfortable.
I just don't know why, but he did. Guess what I do as a security team member. I go there and welcome them. I've been playing close.
I said, hi, my name's Ron. Welcome. What's your name? I find out if he is, in fact, a bad guy or not.
I think that's the second layer of security. The third are the hallways.
Have somebody roaming the hallways on your team and they should be trained to observe and watch.
The sanctuary, of course, is your security team, and they're going to be trained on where to sit, what to watch and how to respond during any type of violence or active shooter.
And of course, don't forget the children and the youth. A lot of times our children and youth, especially our junior and senior high people are in another building, even across the street.
So don't forget to put a security person there. And if you're a large church, an off -duty officer should be there.
So those are your areas that you watch and those are your areas that you train. You train your ushers and greeters.
We had a we had an usher call us on our radio says, Ron, there's something unusual.
There's two guys came in here. I need to see somebody. So I get up there on our balcony. And he says these two guys walked in with a half a gallon empty.
What looked like water in a full gallon looked like water. And he stopped him. He'd been trained to observe.
And if anything's unusual to stop and kind of question. And he said, what's that? And he said, it's water. We drink a lot of water.
Well, I'm sorry. Those are not allowed in the church service. So he said, let me put him away.
He put him away, called us when we came up. The guys were gone. Now, was that a dry run? Was that a dry run?
I don't know. But it was water. But it just shows that if you train your people right, they may have stopped something from occurring.
Even throwing the gallon of water off the balcony could injure or kill somebody. So the usher is well trained and took it to heart.
And we train our ushers and greeters and our volunteers at least once a quarter. Just sat him down for a little while and talk about what has happened.
And they've got any questions. But those are your layers of security. And those are the people that you need to train when it comes to active shooters.
Also, don't forget the leaders in children's and youth also need to be trained, given a radio in case something happens.
If they see someone with a gun or something suspicious or if there's someone that's a disgruntled youth or parent.
They'll be the first to see that and they can notify you about that. Well, we have to go to our final break.
And if you have any intention to send us a question, send it immediately to ChrisArnzen at gmail .com.
C -H -R -I -S -A -R -N -Z -E -N at gmail .com. Give us your first name at least, city and state, and country of residence.
Don't go away. We're going to be right back after these messages. I'm Pastor Keith Allen of Lindbrook Baptist Church, a
Christ -centered, gospel -driven church looking to spread the gospel in the southwest portion of Long Island, New York and play our role in fulfilling the
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At Lindbrook Baptist Church, we believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired word of God, inherent in the original writings, complete as the revelation of God's will for salvation and the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak.
We believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This salvation is based upon the sovereign grace of God, was purchased by Christ on the cross, and is received through faith alone, apart from any human merit, works, or ritual.
Salvation in Christ also results in righteous living, good works, and appropriate respect and concern for all who bear
God's image. If you live near Lindbrook, Long Island, or if you're just passing through on the
Lord's Day, we'd love to have you come and join us in worship. For details, visit LindbrookBaptist .org.
That's L -Y -N -BrookBaptist .org. This is Pastor Keith Allen of Lindbrook Baptist Church reminding you that by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.
It is the gift of God, not a result of words, so that no one may boast.
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Chris Arnzen here, host of Iron Sharpens Iron Radio.
I strongly recommend a church I've been recommending as far back as the 1980s,
Grace Covenant Baptist Church in Flemington, New Jersey, pastored by Alan Dunn.
Grace Covenant Baptist Church believes it's God's prerogative to determine how he shall be worshipped and how he shall be represented in the world.
They believe churches need to turn to the Bible to discover what to include in worship and how to worship
God in spirit and truth. They endeavor to maintain a God -centered focus and to protect worship from the intrusion of carnal entertainments and distractions.
Reading, preaching, and hearing the word of God, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, baptism, and communion are the scriptural elements of their corporate worship performed with faith, joy, and sobriety.
Discover more about Grace Covenant Baptist Church in Flemington, New Jersey at gcbc -nj .org.
That's gcbc -nj .org. Or call them at 908 -996 -7654.
That's 908 -996 -7654. Tell Pastor Dunn you heard about Grace Covenant Baptist Church on Iron Sharpens Iron Radio.
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When Iron Sharpens Iron radio first launched in 2005, the publishers of the
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and put Pastors Luncheon in the subject line. And now we're back with our discussion with Ron Aguiar and his book,
Keeping Your Church Safe, Security Essentials for Houses of Worship. And, Ron, I just mentioned one of my sponsors, the
SecureCommGroup, which specializes in security systems. That seems like a no -brainer that a church should make sure that they have as up -to -date as possible as much as they can afford in that realm, right?
Yeah, absolutely. You know, large churches have different needs and resources, but small to medium churches, yeah, you've got to have a security system.
And most churches will keep their offering. Now, a lot of the offering is online.
I know that. But we still collect money for events, for worship or whatever, and the money is usually kept in a room with a safe in it.
That room needs to be protected, at least have a security system for that room. More and more churches are going to access control for their staff during the week, for instance.
Even if you just have a small area where all the pastor and his staff and all the ministers are located, that's usually cordoned off and controlled by access control with a key fob or something.
And a security company such as your friend here, that's the stuff they do well and do well in. There also is panic alarms that they could hook up.
If you have a secretary or administrative assistant sitting at a desk when people walk into the building and she notices something really bad or something goes wrong and there's some criminal activity, she can hit that distress button and that distress button will bring the police.
So, yeah, your friend's company can do all of that. And I highly recommend I recommend that you get three companies, a local, a couple of national.
National doesn't always mean best. I mean, your friend, I'm sure, can do a great job at the local company.
So have them come in. And after the third walkthrough with these people to get bids and what they think they can do, you'll be quite educated as to what system you need.
And someone like your friend can help them wisely choose a system designed for their building and people.
Great. And we have Albrecht in Avon Lake, Ohio. Avon Lake, I was raised in Amityville, Long Island, and we had an
Avon Lake right near my home, not far. But this is Avon Lake, Ohio. And Albrecht asks, other than those things that are coming out of instinct that make someone in security or just a regular congregation member leery about a visitor, what are specific signs that you think that we should be looking out for?
As far as an intruder they're talking about? Yeah. If you're having worship on Sunday and comes in and someone comes in, they're agitated, they can't sit still.
They bring a duffel bag in or some bag that's or box or something that doesn't shouldn't be there.
I had a call one day from an elder on my cell phone during service that a guy just between our between ending our first service, there was a gentleman that walked in.
He was standing outside the worship center and he was visibly shaking. He was agitated. He was sweating.
Service let out before we could approach him. He went in with a big group of people, started the next service.
He sat up front about two rows back and you could see he was visibly agitated.
We couldn't get to him because people were sitting around him by that time. So I had an off duty officer in plainclothes sit directly behind him as close as he could get to them.
And but we you know, at that point, we you just don't know. So we sat and watched him during the whole service.
And after service, the women around him started talking to him. And this is a guy who had come in to find
Jesus. He just was so upset in his life. So, again, if we would have approached him, hopefully my guys would have approached him with a keen sense of not only he may be a security risk, but he may be somebody that's genuinely interested in the
Lord. And we got to be careful about that. So you never approach him with a heavy hand and grab him and escort him out.
You want to talk a couple of minutes, shake his right hand. 90 percent of the people walking this earth are right handed.
I would shake somebody's hand and not let it go because he's got a gun because if he's right handed, that's where his gun is going to go.
So I would shake his hand, not let him go, keep my left hand on his elbow and just greet him and talk to him and say, can
I help you? Welcome to the church. And in about 30 seconds, you know if he's a bad guy or not. But, yeah, you just got to be careful.
You got to be observant. You got to be. And that's why we would hold training or just sitting down a little round table discussions with our ushers and volunteers every three months, because it's a raise their awareness level and got them thinking about security again.
One of the things that I got to say before we close here, and that is in our lifetime, in my lifetime anyway, advances in technology have been tremendous.
The cell phones. Incredible. I mean, I've got one attached to my hip, but I got to be careful when
I say this. But if you're part of a security team and you're working security, put the phone away.
You can't be distracted. I was at a church very recently where one of their security team guys was worshiping.
He's supposed to be he was in a secure position, but he was singing and praising and crossing his legs. I remember my wife.
I did this for about 20 years. I would sit right behind the pastor on the second row and we'd get in the car when
I first started this. And she goes, so what do you think of the sermon? I didn't hear the sermon. I'm paying attention to the people watching people running.
So my brain is never shutting off about security. I can't be focused on what the preacher is talking about.
I never pulled my cell phone out. I did a I did a an assessment for a very large church.
They called me. No one knew me in the church except the person who called. And I went in with my wife and we worshiped on Sunday.
There were five uniformed police officers guarding the outside perimeter of entering the sanctuaries.
Large, large church. Chris, all five of them were on their cell phones. I could have walked in with a bazooka.
They would not have seen me. Well, obviously, this requires a couple of things.
Number one, if you can't rotate these men so some of them can actually be edified and be nurtured in the faith by paying attention to the service, but because it's their time off, but also the recording of the sermons.
Yes. So that these folks can listen later on when they're not on duty, as it were. Yeah. Yeah. Most churches now are online anyway because of the pandemic.
But they continue to do that. So, yeah, you go home and watch it. And that's what you got to do.
You just that's part of the deal. And for almost 20 years, that's what I did. And so, you know, when
I did protective detail for the speaker that I traveled with 15 years, I couldn't tell you what she talked about because I was concerned about her safety.
And when I sat on that front row, the music was nice. Yeah. But I couldn't tell you what she talked about because my whole concern was the safety and security of her and the people around her.
So same applies in church. And if you're on the team and you're working, then you got to turn everything off and you got to pay attention to what you're doing.
It's so important. And you just got to be in the habit of doing that because lives depend on you.
You cannot you cannot let your guard down. And we have time for one more question from a listener.
Shane in Allentown, Pennsylvania, wants to know, would it be a good idea also to have people on the team that are skilled in the martial arts?
Yeah, I mean, I think that's always good. Non -lethal ability is great.
I mean, I've got a little bit of a martial arts background, too. But what you're going to find is that you're not going to use that unless it's a knockdown throwdown fight.
And most of the time, most people are trained to stop it. If I got involved in a fight as a police officer or anything of that nature, my job was
I don't want to engage in a knockdown dragout fight. My job is to end the fight in any way
I can, whether it be a move that I've learned. But, yeah, the martial arts will help you in that regard.
And I've met a few guys that do this for churches, and I think it's great because it teaches someone to end the disturbance immediately.
Also, remember that, again, it's what's reasonable for that event.
So you cannot over you cannot overly react to something with extreme force when only a gentle nudge would have done it.
So, again, a martial arts is great. It's always good to learn and be aware because it'll give you a better sense of what the other guy may or may not be doing.
But again, always learn that what's reasonable in the situation. So I think that needs to be stated.
Now, why did you use the word non lethal? Well, a gun is lethal.
When I fire a bullet, it's intended to kill somebody. That's the nature of it. You don't you don't shoot to wound anybody.
That's that's just the way that they train you. I mean, you shoot for mass and you stop the threat.
You don't shoot somebody's hand because you're going to miss. You're going to hit somebody else. So if a gun comes out, if I pull a gun out and I shoot something at someone, it's to stop them.
So that's a lethal weapon that I use. Non lethal is is the tasers that they use and some of them can be lethal.
But the tasers, the beanbags, the things of that nature, you know, stuff like that pepper spray.
But you're not saying that a person who knows the martial arts has to be using some kind of non lethal art.
No, I'm just saying that it's it's great to look to know that because it helped me as a police officer.
How to move and grab somebody and take them down. So we stopped the fight.
You know, I'm not a boxer. I'm not a very big guy. So the martial arts did, in fact, help me. And I think it would help.
I have a friend that teaches churches to do that. And he teaches the team members to do that so they could end the fight.
If the guy is physically confrontational and he attacks you. Yeah. Boom. The martial arts would train you how to put him down.
And that's what you do. Yeah, that's the way you use. Well, Ron, I already know that I want you to come back on the program.
I loved every second of this. And for more information, folks, about Ron Aguiar and his book,
Keeping Your Church Safe and also everything else that he does. And I'm assuming you do put on seminars for folks that request it.
Yes, sir. Go to Oasis Safety Dotcom Oasis Safety Dotcom.
And you could also get the book specifically at U .S .C .C .A. Dotcom U .S
.C .C .A. Dotcom. Thank you so much, Ron. I want to thank everybody who listened. And I want you all to always remember for the rest of your lives,