We are living in dangerous times as terrorism is on the increase in Nigeria and some other countries. It is therefore important to explore every measure necessary to ensure safety of worshipers during a church service and any major church event. When planning your event, one thing that you need to establish is your need for security. Never assume you do not need security because your church has never experienced any act of terrorism. The truth is that there are other security issues to look out for aside terrorism. You need to know why you require security and remember that this is not just about dealing with the worst-case scenario.
In Nigeria thousands of worshippers gather for several events like Shiloh of Winners Chapel, Holy Ghost Congress of RCCG, The Experience by House on the Rock, Night of Glory by Dominion City etc. These are annual mega Christian events that gather mammoth crowd. Some churches will spend to hire a cleaning company but leave security in the hands of Angels. Sometimes, the mere presence of the security team is enough to prevent problems and ensure that the attendees are at ease and they enjoy the programme.
- Build a Church Security Team: The first step in ensuring security in church services or mega events is to have an internal security team within the church. Most times this is headed by a professional in the military or police force but open for interested members to join. The security department should be open to those who have spent years in the church and their genuine salvation experience should not be in doubt. The members also need to be trained in security matters and on how to relate with any external security body.
- Engage an Experienced Security Company: Church security should not be left only in the hands of church members who sometimes do not have professional trainings or can be compromised by their desire to offer good customer service. The gate for instance needs to be manned by a professional trained person coming from a security company. These depends on the size of the church. The bigger the size, the more professional they should go in getting security experts. The good thing about engaging a company is that the individual can be quickly replaced if sick or absent for one reason or the other. If you are planning an event with hundreds of attendees, you need a large team to take care of the security needs effectively. Consult the security firm to find out the best option especially where you need possible crowd control.
- Invest in CCTV Security cameras: This adds another layer of security to your church services. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) images are used for the prevention, identification, and reduction of crime and to monitor buildings. Security cameras are a key piece of security infrastructure for any organization, including churches. Most churches have indoor and outdoor security needs and will likely require several different types of security cameras to cover their entire property. Ensure you engage a professional CCTV installer for this. Teksafe will show you where you need to place your security cameras, which security cameras you need, and how to get the most out of your surveillance video footage.
- Screen Every Attendee. Churches attract all manner of people that it is difficult to tell where one is coming from. A proper access control technology system can help check every guest. Church attendees should be screened to ensure they didnt come with any dangerous weapon. Even the vehicles should be scanned with a proper bomb detector system. If it is an event there will be need for participants to pre register to attend. It’s imperative that all guests are pre-checked, screened and have proper identities and credentials displayed on lanyards before coming in to the event… No lanyard, no entrance.
- Station policemen and their vehicle at the entrance: Sometimes, the mere presence of the police in their uniforms, weapons and vehicles is enough to scare a criminal and ensure that the attendees are at ease and worship with peace of mind. It may cost you some money but ensure you have a friendly relationship with the police station closest to your church. This should not only come during emergency but should be a regular goal to solidify your relationship with the police.
- Spend on your Security: It’s worth cutting back on extra balloons for event decoration for your event so that the cash can be directed towards security. Equip your security unit with scanners, metal detectors and full security checks. Having peace of mind for your attendees and staff at a church service or event is something money cannot buy and remember its a matter of life and death.