Church Safety and Security Teams

David and Mark speak with guest, William, about establishing an All-Hazards response team and protocol for places of worship.  William is a retired US Navy SEAL who now serves as the Director of Campus Security for a large church and attached private school in Middle Tennessee. 

This episode is packed full of no-nonsense, practical answers to some challenging questions.  We hope that it helps you inspire conversation and improved safety at your own church, synagogue, temple or place of worship.  Be sure to view the show notes or visit our website for more resources related to this topic.


About William:

  • We are only using William's first name partially for the sake of operational security and also to establish some separation between his role as a Subject Matter Expert and his day job working for his church.  The leadership team at his church was very supportive of him joining us and hope that this makes other congregations safer, but they are obviously not in the business of providing security consultation to other organizations.

  • William is the Director of Campus Security for a large (5,000+ members) church and private school in Middle Tennessee.  His security career began with 20-years in the US Navy as a SEAL and as a Master EOD Technician (bomb tech).

  • Additionally, he served as the Vice President for Security and Emergency Preparedness at the Los Angeles Dodgers for multiple seasons, served as the Deputy Director for the largest regulatory program within the Dept. of Homeland Security overseeing the security for over 450 federalized airports, and as a firearms and tactics instructor at the Institute of Police Science, Metropolitan DC Police Department.

  • William holds a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University, was selected to pilot the first Transportation Leadership Program in 2010 at the University of Southern California's Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, and is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) with the American Society for Industrial Security, International.


Episode Resources:


Carl Chinn's website exists to help Houses of Worship and Faith-Based Organizations (FBO's) recognize the need for intentional security and to provide simple concepts for starting or improving security programs.  The “Deadly Force History” section is where Carl keeps a log of deadly force events at Faith Based Organizations, the number of which is staggeringly high.



FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has published a report entitled “Engaging Faith-Based and Community Organizations: Planning Considerations for Emergency Managers“.



While not directly mentioned in the episode, this was a reference item that David used in preparation for the discussion.  This article discusses some of the resistance to security measures by the “vocal minority” in some congregations, and also some of the reasons why so many churches are adopting security programs.



This is another research source that David used but was not directly mentioned in the show.  More information about past violent incidents at churches and Faith Based Organizations and discussion on some of the challenges that smaller churches face when establishing safety teams.


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