INDUSTRY FOCUS

Church Should Be Off Limits

While attending religious services during the holiday season, a local congregant asked me if I had heard about the ISIS threat to local houses of worship in East Texas. I was not aware, but I started digging.

A routine report sent out by the FBI to update local police departments about any threats pertaining to their area was circulated, or at least broadcast, to the public. The online post has since been taken down but it did cause raised eyebrows. Some church goers felt fear and it left many people looking to their churches and wondering how safe they are there.

“The issue with someone coming in and doing something violent is something that we’ve done some thinking about from time to time,” said Reverend Doctor Lander Bethel, pastor of Grand Avenue Presbyterian and First Presbyterian of Denison, Texas.

The fact is religious institutions are known for their open and hospitable environment. Unfortunately, this can come in conflict with safety and security. Anyone attending their church of choice should feel safe and secure at all times.

“We recognize that there may be people who are angry, upset, or want to act out in some violent ways,” Bethel said. “For the most part, they are not going to show up. They are not going to act out. It’s a tiny, tiny part of the population.”

No matter what happens, Bethel says the doors to his sanctuary will be open during the service but says they stay on alert in case of an emergency.

There are those, or in this case, that one Lone Wolf, who is hard to predict when or where an act of senseless violence might take place. While the report was meant for police only, it did make its way to the public. It serves as a reminder that there are people out there who wish to harm the United States of America, and that we each should remain vigilant.

Acting on or living by faith is a noble cause, in my mind. I try to live my life in such a manner, but when I look at those that I love and share the church pew with each Sunday, being observant, and knowing what to do if “all hell breaks loose,” is a testament of faith in action.

If you see something, say something. If you hear something out of order, spring into action.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Busy South Africa Building Integrates Custom Access Control System

    Nicol Corner, based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa, is home to a six-star fitness club, prime office space, and an award-winning rooftop restaurant. This is the first building in South Africa to have its glass façade fully incorporate fritted glazing, saving 35% on energy consumption. Nicol Corner (Pty) LTD has developed a landmark with sophisticated design and unique architecture by collaborating with industry-leading partners and specifying world-class equipment throughout the project. This includes installing a high-spec, bespoke security and access control system. Read Now

  • Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • FEP GameChanger

    FEP GameChanger

    Paige Datacom Solutions Introduces Important and Innovative Cabling Products GameChanger Cable, a proven and patented solution that significantly exceeds the reach of traditional category cable will now have a FEP/FEP construction. 3

  • Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden Door Controls is pleased to announce that, in response to soaring customer demand, it has expanded its range of ValueWave™ no-touch switches to include a narrow (slimline) version with manual override. This override button is designed to provide additional assurance that the request to exit switch will open a door, even if the no-touch sensor fails to operate. This new slimline switch also features a heavy gauge stainless steel faceplate, a red/green illuminated light ring, and is IP65 rated, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use as part of an automatic door or access control system. ValueWave™ no-touch switches are designed for easy installation and trouble-free service in high traffic applications. In addition to this narrow version, the CM-221 & CM-222 Series switches are available in a range of other models with single and double gang heavy-gauge stainless steel faceplates and include illuminated light rings. 3

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3