Security Guards and Training for Religious Institutions
A case of volunteer security guards in a church in Texas has brought many questions about security guard duties and staff training into question. Here is our take on the case and our advice to the staff of relgigious and private institutions who would like to do their best to benefit their buildings' security.
A recent case in Austin, Texas has brought several questions regarding securing religious institutions to mind. Volunteer guards in a Texas church were required to back down by lawmakers who are concerned about proper training, background checks, and insurance coverage. Unlike private security companies or professional law enforcement, volunteers pose a risk to themselves and building guests if they are not properly trained and insured.
Though their intentions may be nothing but positive, untrained guards may use an improper amount of force in certain situations that could cause more harm than good. On the surface, it may seem counter productive to prohibit certain volunteer forces from protecting private or religious institutions, however, there is a clear line of reasoning that explains why.
Professionally trained guards are drilled on various security protocols from building sweeps, to fire emergency, to armed enforcement. These duties are highly risky and even a slight mistake could lead to unwanted harm. Mistakes are prevented by high levels of training and insured against by many levels of legal and physical protection. A volunteer force lacking training may unravel a potential mistake into a large scale problem, be it unknowingly.
While we always recommend professional, experienced, and trained guards when it comes to protection, we also encourage staff training in basic response and reaction concepts. In the case of an emergency it is very important for the staff of a building to know how best to conduct themselves to benefit their safety and the safety of their guests. While staff should avoid dealing with security tasks themselves, they should be aware of potential safety risks and basic protocols.
If certain staff would like to volunteer as a guard they must go through the training required by the state and pass through all the insurance and legal requirements of their respective state. This could be more of a hassle than need be, so leaving it to the professionals is advised. As an integrated security company, Security USA, Inc., is more than happy to help the staff of religious and private institutions learn the fundamentals of what they could do (within the scope of the law) to help in an emergency situation. Our armed and unarmed guards definitely appreciate it when the staff of the buildings they work in know how and when to report potential threats, and understand how to keep the facilities they work in optimal for security and protection.