Preparing Your Church for a Security Crisis

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On January 24th, a Crisis and Security Summit was held by AM 980 The Mission in Bloomington. This informational event featured expert speakers and Q & A to help churches assess if they are prepared in the event of a crisis.


Notes from the AM980 Crisis and Security Summit:

Bryan Koulmann, Church Mutual Insurance

  • Train Employees & Volunteers to be a 1st line of defense 
  • Almost every disaster, incident of violence & act of terrorism has warning signals- Train EVERYONE
  • Only 70% of U.S. businesses have a violence plan
  • Who are the bad guys? 96% Male, 34% female. Median Age of 35.
  • Since 2015 U.S. Mass Shootings topped 300 with 475 Deaths and 1,800+ Injuries
  • Implement physical security, intelligence network- monitoring & response protocols if threat materializes
  • Red Flags in behavior: Comments about suicide, intimidating comments about hurting someone else, fits of rage, destroying property
  • A Crisis Management & communication plans are needed- crisis have impacts good & bad.
  • ALICE Training– Active Shooter Response training

Cyber-attacks are becoming more and more prevalent and plans need to be put in place to protect you and your church or organization

  • Limit use of USB drives
  • Protect your passwords by keeping them in a secure place
  • Periodically back up important files to a network or external hard drive
  • Find out whom to contact if your computer gets hacked
  • Consider cyber liability insurance


Benjamin Brewer, Alertus Technologies on behalf of Summit Companies

Emergency Notification System Trends & Best Practices:

  • There are multiple current infrastructures you may have that can help during emergency situations: Text Message, Email, Facebook, Twitter, Website, Computer, Digital Signal, Cable TV, Fire Systems, VOIP phone, Access Control, & Outdoor PA Systems. Use these to your advantage
  • Integrate all notification assets
  • Single point of activation
  • Fill in gaps with innovating alerting endpoints
  • Leverage Varied Capabilities- Sound, Visual, Engagement
  • Hardware to consider: Alert Beacon, Panic Button, Alert Display, VoIP Phones, Apps, Cable TV override, Activation/Emergency Operation Center
  • Daily or weekly functional testing
  • Evaluate organizational effects & needs
  • Periodic scenario based system tests


John Novotny, MN Armed Responsible Citizen

Stopping the Mass Shooter Trend:

  • The trend of mass shooters are increasing since 2000
  • 46% of mass shooter events happen as businesses, 24% at places of education, 9% outdoors, 10% government properties, 4% at churches, etc.
  • 40% of mass shooters commit suicide, 23% attacker shot by police, 14% subdued by intended victims, 8% attacker leaves
  • Average police response times to events- 4-9 Minutes after 911 is called
  • 85% of mass shootings occur in gun free zones- Take down the signs that say “This is a gun free zone”

How do you get a permit to carry a fire-arm in MN:

  • Attend a “Permit to Carry a Firearm” course conducted by an instructed certified by an organization approved by the MN Department of Public Safety
  • Apply for a permit (in person) at your local sheriff’s office and bring the following:
    • Accurate copy of course completion
    • Valid Government ID
    • Completed Application
    • $100 application fee
  • Sherriff’s have 30 days to conduct a background investigation
  • Look at getting conceal & carry insurance to protect yourself legally and financially
If you are interested in attending another Church Security Summit, North Central District 3 is holding a Church Security Summit at Constance Free Church in the North Metro on Sat. February 17th. Learn more here.