The following is an excerpt from Chapter 3 dealing with church safety & liability issues from our book entitled He Trains My Hands for Battle.
Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Training Your Security Team. The number of professional training firms has grown. One of the most well recognized national ministries in the field of church safety is Sheepdog Ministries. Get involved with national church safety ministries and network with local ministries and other church teams. We have groups meeting in Kootenai County, Idaho and the Spokane, Washington area to share information and training opportunities.
Your team needs to participate in regular Reality Based Training (RBT) to avoid exposure to the risk of church liability. Such events involve volunteer actors playing roles such as an active shooter, innocent bystander, plain clothes law enforcement officer who enters the room with weapon drawn, etc, These events normally require simulated ammunition or Simunition or might even be conducted with SIRT laser pistols. The key is to create the stress of a chaotic life threatening event that causes team members to react to foreseeable situations.
Well recognized legal precedents provide that law enforcement agencies that fail to train for foreseeable situations will be held liable.
Firearms and use of Force Training: Training must be tailored to avoid specific church liabilities in a safe and caring atmosphere. Potential church liability is a compelling factor when anticipating the allegation that armed school personnel are not in compliance with the guidelines for law enforcement officers spelled out by the U.S Supreme Court in Popow vs Margate, 476 F.Supp. 1237 (Dist. N.J. 1979) (Officer’s firearms training consisted of going to a range twice a year; no training with respect to low light conditions, moving targets or firing in residential areas. Entirely foreseeable that an officer from the City of Margate, a largely residential area, would have to pursue a moving suspect at night under low-light conditions). See also Young v. City of Providence, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1847 (R.I. 2004). Read more