First Christian Church of Minerva is hosting Church Security Planning and Intruder Response training certification by Strategos International of Kansas City, Missouri on Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3 at First Christian Church of Minerva.
This is an open-invitation training course -- all are invited.
Churches have grown accustomed to believing "it could never happen here." But deadly violence at houses of worship is happening everywhere and with increasing frequency.
Violent incidents at churches have increased by 2500 percent since 1999 and 590 percent since 2005.
"Behind the statistics are real people who have been killed or injured, with many more experiencing the trauma of having their house of worship turned into a zone of violence," said Vaughn Baker, president of Strategos, a Kansas City-based security training and consulting organization.
Strategos' Church Security Planning and Intruder Response training equips faith-based organizations to:
1. Identify suspicious people and activities and defuse violence before it starts.
2. Empower church volunteers, such as ushers and greeters, to be on the alert for unusual activity.
3. Choose and train a paid or volunteer security team.
4. Lockdown a facility and respond to intruders.
5. Evaluate their ministry and create a written plan that works specifically in their church and facility.
One size does not fit all churches. Some may opt for armed security while others choose to have an unarmed team.
"The good news is that churches don't have to compromise on a welcoming environment," Baker said.
"In fact, training volunteers to be alert can have the effect of making them more engaged with people on every level. It allows pastors to be more relaxed and focused, knowing that a team has security in mind."
Strategos has trained more than 20,000 church personnel representing more than 1,000 churches in the United States and overseas.
In addition to serving churches and schools, Strategos consults with businesses, provides tactical training for law enforcement and personal protection for CEOs and VIPs.
To register see intruderresponse.com/schedule to register or call church Secretary Kathy Ritter at 330-868-4151.