Across the United States, Americans congregate in faith-based venues to worship, learn, play, and bond as a community. However, public gatherings are vulnerable and adversaries may perceive houses of worship as attractive targets where they can inflict mass casualties, cause substantial psychological impact, and draw extensive media coverage.
A house of worship by its very nature welcomes the faithful and others seeking to learn about a particular religion and its traditions. Unfortunately, this openness can also be a vulnerability, as crazed individuals, acting on a personal or political agenda, have targeted churches, synagogues, mosques and temples and single them out for acts of violence.
Our house of worship security and threat assessment starts out by meeting with the board or administrators of the facility. This step is essential in understanding the characteristics of the faithful and in gaining insight into potential vulnerabilities of the particular house of worship: Has its faith community been targeted for violence based on its beliefs? Has the facility received threats, either via telephone, mail, email, etc? Has the facility ever been vandalized? What is the relationship like with the local police or FBI? No threat, even one which seems innocuous or not credible, can be overlooked.
Our next step is to conduct the site security assessment with a matrix specific to a house of worship of a particular faith. The assessment will include interview of key members of the community and board or management, as well as a training course aimed at familiarizing personnel with the potential warning signs of violence directed toward houses of worship. Finally, as with all our assessments, our services to houses of worship also include a written report of our findings with recommendations for enhancing the security of the facility, its personnel and the faithful.