Building Security

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regoarrarr
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Building Security

Postby regoarrarr » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:55 am

I realize that this might be slightly off topic, but I thought I would throw it out there to see what other folks might think.

Our building is not in the best part of town. Not what I would call a war zone, but just not in a great area.

Recently, we have had some building security issues. We've had instances of neighborhood kids sneaking in on a Wed. night or other time when the building is open, and then either hiding out till everyone leaves, or sticking a pencil / pebble in one of the doors to prop it open and then open the doors and let their friends in to run around the building when nobody is there.

We also had an incident recently where a member's bicycle was stolen off of his car while it was out in the parking lot on a Wed. night.

We have had conversations with the stake, the Physical Facilities reps and with the police.

At one point we had a wireless doorbell put up, but it didn't work very well in all areas of the church, and with a regular doorbell it's hard to have chimes in every area of the church (whereever people might be having their activities - gym, RS room, chapel, etc). Plus, you want to make sure that it's configurable in such a way that it does not interrupt sacrament meeting.

Last night while brainstorming we thought of the idea of something along the lines of the pagers that you get at restaurants while waiting for a table. I see online that there are lots of things like that as well as pagers that are designed specifically for churches, though just about all of those that I saw were designed to alert parents in churches where there is a separate nursery during the main worship service.

So.... anyone have any experience with situations like this? And/or ideas / brainstorms / thoughts?

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nbflint
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Postby nbflint » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:03 pm

I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to accomplish. I was told by our PM rep that it is church policy for a Mel. Priesthood holder to check every external door in the building to ensure they are locked and closed before they leave. This works well for us. On my mission we also had to check interior rooms to make sure no one was hiding out like you mentioned.

I'm not sure what the point of the door bell would be. During activities and meetings people are in and out of the building so often you wouldn't know when the chime was good and when it was bad.

Without knowing more specifically what you are trying accomplish I recommend that the M.P. leaders in the ward(s) in take responsibility to check all rooms and doors, ensuring they are locked and closed and that the building is empty before they leave. Other than that, an alarm system could be installed for when the building is not being used.


dmaynes
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Postby dmaynes » Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:07 pm

nimebe wrote:I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to accomplish. I was told by our PM rep that it is church policy for a Mel. Priesthood holder to check every external door in the building to ensure they are locked and closed before they leave. This works well for us. On my mission we also had to check interior rooms to make sure no one was hiding out like you mentioned.

I'm not sure what the point of the door bell would be. During activities and meetings people are in and out of the building so often you wouldn't know when the chime was good and when it was bad.

Without knowing more specifically what you are trying accomplish I recommend that the M.P. leaders in the ward(s) in take responsibility to check all rooms and doors, ensuring they are locked and closed and that the building is empty before they leave. Other than that, an alarm system could be installed for when the building is not being used.


A MP holder checks our building every night. He is supposed to check all the windows, the doors, and check to see that no one is hiding.

The only reason I can see for a doorbell is so that someone from the inside can open the door for someone on the outside. It may be that some brethren may need to be called to act as "doormen" when there are activities going on in the building, and the members need access but it is not desirable to leave the doors unlocked.

We call members to serve as librarians, who may serve in the library for other wards. In the same way, perhaps if there are two or more wards, priesthood holders in each ward can keep an eye on the parking lot while the other ward is meeting.

I suppose that a security camera and video system on the door and the parking lot could be installed if vandalism becomes a real problem.

Random parking lot checks could be instituted. Whoever is checking the parking lot could call the police if untoward activity is spotted.

The problem with installing a security system is that so many people would need to be given codes to disarm the system. And, if they are not all informed when the codes change, the police might show up for false alarms. A large number of false alarms could become very expensive to deal with.

Just a few thoughts,
Dennis

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:02 pm

dmaynes wrote:A MP holder checks our building every night. He is supposed to check all the windows, the doors, and check to see that no one is hiding.
...
Just a few thoughts,
Dennis


Not to be too much of a pessimist, but it is not really possible for one person to ensure nobody is hiding inside a meetinghouse. When I would close my previous stake center after a satellite broadcast, it occurred to me all someone would have to do is walk through the hallway circuit in the same direction but 180 degrees out-of-phase. To be really thorough in a building with a hall circuit, you'd need three or four: one stationary, one checking classrooms and restrooms, one in the hall outside the room being checked, and maybe one monitoring the cultural hall.

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fergie34-p40
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Postby fergie34-p40 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:31 pm

regoarrarr wrote:
Recently, we have had some building security issues. We've had instances of neighborhood kids sneaking in on a Wed. night or other time when the building is open, and then either hiding out till everyone leaves, or sticking a pencil / pebble in one of the doors to prop it open and then open the doors and let their friends in to run around the building when nobody is there.

We also had an incident recently where a member's bicycle was stolen off of his car while it was out in the parking lot on a Wed. night.


It seems to me that have a Priesthood "Door Monitor" stationed at any unlocked or open door would stop the problem of having unwanted people entering and hiding the building. Also having at least 2 priesthood holders check the building to make sure that everything is locked and empty is what I try to do in our ward. As for the parking lot I would work with the stake and FM group on get some kind of video camera system that could be monitored and recorded. This would at least give law enforcement some thing to work with if things are stolen or damaged. I would be concerned about having someone walking the parking lot alone for safety reasons. But this is just my 2 cents.
Robert Ferguson
South Shore Ward, Plainview New York Stake

skiptaylor
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Postby skiptaylor » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:17 pm

What we have done in recent months is to have two people patrolling the hall circuit. These people usually have the assistive listening receivers so they can hear Sacrament talks while they are roaming. They check all the exterior unmanned doors and check activity in the two parking lots. We also have assigned a MP holder at each main entrance. At the end of Church, there are about 4 people that check all rooms including bathrooms, turn off lights and check for locked exterior and office doors.
Skip Taylor :eek:
Lancaster CA.

c-4-p40
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Postby c-4-p40 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:19 pm

Hey I know, let's just issue RFID badges to members and have Salt Lake administer who has what building access based on ward membership records. If you want to visit another ward you have to schedule it through Salt Lake. /sarcasm

Physical security has to be a major concern for the Church. Many large corporations are going to systems that centralize their building access much like my joke above. Perhaps the Church is investigating similar options? Without badging members of course :)

aweitzel-p40
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Church Security

Postby aweitzel-p40 » Tue May 05, 2009 11:06 am

I am new to this Forum, and I am not much of a tech guy, but this is an area where I have some expertise.

I am on the board of directors of the National Association of Church and School Security and I regularly speak to churches of all denominations across the country on security issues. (www.churchandschoolsecurity.org - coming soon to a city near you). I recently gave a presentation at our last Bishopric Training meeting and scared everyone. Although we stress personal emergency prep., our church takes security and emergency planning very lightly. I would be very interested in bringing my knowledge, skills, and training resources to the church at a level higher than our stake.

For Sunday services, we generally advocate the use of and train people as greeters, who also fill a security role as observers. I can tell dozens of stories where alert greeters prevented horrible events, and more stories where they could have. We generally use elderly couples and provide no training at all.

It is more difficult to police who is in the building during the week (i.e. activity night). Adults need to be alert, and should feel empowered to call 911 if they feel that something is wrong. We train people to (1) be safe, (2) call the police early, and (3) be a good witness. To conduct a proper sweep of the building, you need more than 2 people. Knowing this, I usually end up doing it alone after the youth have left and I'm locking up.

Our church and church buildings have been very safe, and I have no doubt we are being watched over by the Lord. However, I also believe that we need to take some proactive steps to protect the lives and resources the Lord has entrusted us with.

I would love to be of help in this regard.

Thanks,
Adam

saprinter-p40
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Stuff happens even in nicer areas

Postby saprinter-p40 » Fri May 08, 2009 10:41 am

Years ago we had an issue with young people climbing from the satellite dish to the roof and coming in through the roof to play basketball. The Stake installed motion detector lights on the roof and let the local PD know that if those lights were on chances were high the people in the building shouldn't be. The stake started putiing locks on the basketball rims and most of this activity stopped. I have had several Bishops and young men leaders who would love to see the hoops removed permanately, but that's another discussion.

Unfortunately we have had a young woman assaulted in the parking lot by a member that was a know sex offender. He had just moved to the ward and did this during the SS hour.

During my years as executive secretary I saw the doors blocked open on a regular basis. The most common were the doors at the front of the chapel that are only opened for funerals. I guess they don't always get checked and were targeted.

Member carelessness is an issue also. I went to the office yesterday to do my weekly membership updating. The door was pulled closed, but the latch had not caught. as I inserted my key it swung open. I of course will let the Bishop know this on Sunday. I do worry about sisters who go to the buildings alone (even though they should not be there without priesthood in the building). There have been incidents in other parts of town. We live in a time where evil is becoming more evil. Where evil is trying to pretend it is good. We all need to become wary of those around us. You need to be sure of who you are seeing in your building without scaring them off if they are investigating. We have a few members in areas of town that I would not go in after dark without my concealed carry. these are good people doing the best they can. I'm glad I'm just a clerk and will never be a Bishop

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri May 08, 2009 10:58 am

saprinter wrote:Unfortunately we have had a young woman assaulted in the parking lot by a member that was a know sex offender. He had just moved to the ward and did this during the SS hour.


A part of me hopes this wasn't known to the leadership prior to this incident. I think the CHI is quite clear on how known sex offenders are to be dealt with. The worth of a soul is great, but protecting the members is greater. I hope the leadership will follow through on this.
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