If you are a religious or spiritual leader and are concerned about your congregation’s safety, this article is for you. Based on probabilities, is there a need for church security in Jackson Hole? Maybe, but let’s not worry too much.
There are some famous public speakers who make excellent livings traveling around the country instilling fear in church leaders. I have attended these seminars, filled with small-ton cops and patriotic conservative religious leaders. The speakers talk about the tragedy of school and church shootings, and over the years a standard best practice has emerged in which houses of worship have security teams. I have consulted on the development of these teams and have provided training. If anything “bad” ever happens, a well-prepared church will be thrilled that they invested the time, money and other resources into making their church safer. f the 99.999% probability that “nothing will ever happen here” is in fact true, many churches might think that they wasted a lot of money and energy. For this reason, I recommend a balanced approach.
It takes over 9 minutes on average for an emergency law enforcement response in Jackson Hole, which means that my former partners might best be viewed as “historians” who will document what happened during the 9 minutes prior to their arrival. This means that the victims of an attack would be wise to prepare themselves to also be the response to the attack. This is part of my “Be Your Own Bodyguard” philosophy. Should every single member of your congregation be given a fighting carbine and attend services in full tacti-cool “kit?” No.
When thinking about church security in Jackson Hole, we should do a security risk assessment. We want to determine how great the threat is, the likelihood, and the result if the bad thing does happen. If a man intent upon killing as many people as possible, who has trained hard and intelligently, comes up with a detailed plan and comes to your church, it is likely that many people will be injured and die. This is of course a very serious consequence. It is not as serious as a commercial jet crashing into your building during worship service.
Why not have a full tactical team waiting at church out of sight, but ready to pounce if the bad guy enters? Why not build your worship area 200 yards underground in a bunker that can withstand a jet crashing into it? Yep, probability. The probability is so low that neither of these options make much sense. I will make an exception for churches that are businesses, for example mega-churches in big cities who make huge profits and could easily budget for expensive solutions. For most churches in Jackson Hole? No.
My style of dropping “thinking points” above has hopefully made your wheels start turning. You are probable thinking of what your risk, probability and cost matrix looks like. I suggest that you schedule a free 1-hour consultation with me, and I can help you evaluate and hone in even more.
For the “typical” church in Jackson Hole, having a few well-trained men with good heads on their shoulders, who attend armed, would be a good start. Having a “profiler” whose job is to watch everyone who enters is also a smart option. Ignoring the risk of a violent attacker is NOT a good solution. Please reach out to schedule you free consultation for church security in Jackson Hole.
*Some good books to start educating yourself about church security: