Tools for Safety
An article in the series Equipping for Safety
In the Bible
The Lord said to [Moses], “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff” (Exodus 4:2).
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth ... and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:14-15).
... and all the equipment for their service (Numbers 4:26b).
... to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12).
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).
And … a scroll was found on which this was written: “A record. In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem …” (Ezra 6:2-3).
But all things should be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40).
On the Web
The Watchman (Innovative Tactical Concepts) - Brian K. LaMaster, founder and CEO of Innovative Tactical Concepts, says that a "quality handheld flashlight" is the most important tool for a Church Security Team. Not just any type but a tactical flashlight. He also recommends light carriers and radio holsters.
Brotherhood Mutual - Among other items, the equipment that Brotherhood Mutual recommends for a Church Safety Team includes two-way radios and name tags, as well as "security alarms, surveillance cameras, panic buttons, fire suppression systems, and other protective tools." Some of these may be regulated by local laws, so first consult an attorney before installing any of these systems.
Protect America - In an article about burglary and vandalism, this company describes several security systems (which it sells) and their placement in a church. This includes sensors and cameras. Also included is a discussion of whether or not the system is monitored by an outside agency. 
Church Executive - A 2019 article - "Church Security & Surveillance" - reports the views of seven security experts in a roundtable discussion. Recommended equipment includes live-monitored cameras, lights, installed notification technology, radios, and smart locks.
This month's downloadable free special resource is Recommended Essential Equipment. Click *HERE* to get it. If you're not already getting our newsletters, this will sign you up.
Safety & Security Tools
There are a few vitally essential tools for a Church Safety Team. There are others which will serve a Church Safety Ministry very well and are considered essential. Besides these, many more are very useful and worth the cost if you can afford them. Other articles cover items for medical response and for defense. That still leaves many to be listed here.
What We Put on
A Church Security Team is not a uniformed service in the same sense as the military, law enforcement (with the exception of plainclothes officers), or professional guards. However, there is apparel recommended for the sake of personal safety and efficiency as well as identification for most of the team.
The armor of God listed by Paul (Ephesians 6:11-17) includes a belt (v.14) and shoes (v. 15). A good, sturdy belt is needed to hold your mobile phone, radio, and a few other needed items. The right shoes are important for providing good traction and protecting your feet.
Your clothing should fit right but not be so tight that it hinders your movement. It should be cool enough on hot days and warm enough for cold days.
Some visible identification as a Safety Team member will let church members and guests know that you are there and are watching and available. Some team members may be incognito so that (1) their presence in a service will not be a distraction, and (2) they will provide an element of surprise for bad actors. Speaking about bad actors, when police are responding to a violent incident at the church, it is important for them to immediately identify the Safety Team members so they are not shot. A safety banner and/or distinctive clothing with large, plain markings will help police to know who the good guys are.
Recommended by Experts
Tactical flashlights are on almost everybody's list of essential tools for a Church Safety Team. A light for night and for dark corners, it will let you see what you need to see. A tactical light is sturdier than the common cheap lights. If the flashlight is rechargeable, there's no need for replacement batteries. It will have a roll-stopping design and will be able to break a window in an emergency. It can be a fist-enhancer in self-defense. The lights will include strobe and SOS flashes.
Other personal items are holsters for radios and flashlights.
For the church and the Safety Ministry, items recommended by experts include two-way radios, security cameras with monitors, motion detectors, window and door sensors/alarms, smart locks that can be remotely activated, panic buttons, and fire protection systems.
Cameras should not only cover the grounds, parking lots, and entrances, but also child care areas, the safe, and the offering counting room. Covering hallways would also be a good move.
Recommended by Sheepdog Church Security
In agreement with the experts, the Sheepdog Church Security special resource Recommended Essential Equipment also recommends tactical flashlights and two-way radios.
As to flashlights in general, Kris Moloney quotes one site as saying, "Darkness is guaranteed." Illumination is the primary benefit of a flashlight.
As to radios, the resource lists several reasons why Over the Air (OTA) communication is better than relying on only in-person and mobile phone conversations:
- OTA does not need immediate proximity.
- You can communicate with any or all of the on-duty team members, no matter where on campus they are.
- They are more reliable than mobile phones, which require an in-service cell tower.
- They are better than mobile phones for instant communication. Just press the talk button to call and talk. Whoever is on that channel will hear.
Besides those in the resource, Kris also recommends a few other items. Among these are a multi-tool (such as by Leatherman, Gerber, or SOG), traffic control wands on flashlights (for directing traffic at night or leading an evacuation in a dark building), weather radios, and holders for safety equipment held in the Safety Team Office.
In the Store
Sheepdog Church Security has a store on Amazon where some of the recommended tools are listed along with other items. With the exception of items for medical response and protection/evacuation, they are:
General Purpose Knife
Schrade SCHA3BS 7.3inch Assisted Opening Folding Knife. This is a survival knife with a 2.9" stainless steel blade and an aluminum handle. The blade has a serrated section which can be used as a saw. It can be used to cut through boxes, straps, etc. in an emergency.
Premium Bundle - Fenix RC20 Rechargeable Tactical LED Flashlight by Lumen Tactical with USB Charging Cradle and Holster. This tac light has maximum 1000 lumens to light up the night or blind an attacker. With one hand, you can select among four brightness levels and strobe. It comes with a cradle charger.
Traffic Control Wand
UltraFire WF502B Traffic Control Wand Led Flashlight. The wand on this flashlight can be removed and stowed until needed. The illuminated wand can used to direct vehicular traffic, guide foot traffic during events, or lead an evacuation. It can also be used to signal and beckon responders after dark. The flashlight is about 5½" long, easy to put in a pocket, and the wand is 6" long.
Midland - WR300, Deluxe NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio. This weather radio is SAME, meaning that it will find weather for your location. It has over 60 emergency alerts, and has AM and FM radio for monitoring local news and public bulletins during an area-wide emergency.
For many these are yawn-yawn items, but they are essential for operating a successful ministry. The Apostle Paul said, "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40), and Peter wrote, "Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable" (1 Pet. 2:12). What this means is conducting the business of the Church Safety Ministry in an orderly and honorable way. In today's world, this means paperwork. For this, we need office supplies and various forms.
Some printable forms are in the training bundle for the Sheepdog Church Security course Security Team Fundamentals v4.
Needed reports, logs, and other forms:
- Forms -
- Consent forms for
- Background Checks
- Reference Checks
- Log books and sheets -
- Patrol Log
- Fire Extinguisher Inspection Log
- Safe Access Log
- Report foams -
- Safety or security hazards
- Incident reports
- Child/youth abuse reports
- Use of force reports
Other administrative items needed are pens and pencils, paper, name tags (if used), file boxes/totes/cabinets, and data storage devices.
God asked Moses, "What is that in your hand?" (Exodus 4:2). Moses started with a staff, but before long he needed other things, such as writing materials, weapons, items for the Tabernacle, etc. Likewise, a Church Safety Ministry needs certain everyday kinds of items to do its work of protecting the flock.
There Is More
The other four articles in this five-part series, Equipped for Safety, are "Safety for the Holidays" (Staying Safe and Healthy through the Holiday Season), "Equipping the Mind" (Learning about Safety, and Security), "Equipping to Treat the Hurting" (Tools and Supplies for Medical Response), and "Equipping to Protect" (Defensive Devices).
- Brian K. LaMaster, "Church Security Team Equipment Part 1," The Watchman (Innovative Tactical Concepts), 2014 [http://ministry-of-defense.com/church-security-flashlights/].
- Staff, "10 Things Every Church Administrator Should Know About... Safety & Security," Brotherhood Mutual, no date [https://o.b5z.net/i/u/6021236/f/10Things_SafetySecurity.pdf].
- Staff, Church Security Systems: a Quick Guide for 2019, Protect America, September 13, 2018 [https://www.protectamerica.com/home-security-blog/in-review/church-security-systems-quick-guide-2019_29533].
- RaeAnn Slaybaugh, "Church Security & Surveillance," Church Executive, May 30, 2019 [https://churchexecutive.com/archives/remote-roundtable-7].
- Kris Moloney, "Recommended Essential Equipment," Sheepdog Church Security [https://sheepdog-church-security.ck.page/8ad20a0b70].
- DSM Safety Banner, Security Version, DSM Safety Products [https://dsmsafety.com/].
- "Sheepdog Church Security Store," Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/shop/instructor_moloney].
- Schrade SCHA3BS 7.3inch Assisted Opening Folding Knife, Sheepdog Church Security Store, Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BCMPYQ0/?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].
- Premium Bundle- Fenix RC20 Rechargeable Tactical LED Flashlight by Lumen Tactical with USB Charging Cradle and Holster, Sheepdog Church Security Store, Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01694BM66/?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].
- UltraFire WF502B Traffic Control Wand Led Flashlight, Sheepdog Church Security Store, Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DRHZWYV/?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].
- Midland - WR300, Deluxe NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio, Sheepdog Church Security Store, Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00009V2YV/?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].
- Kris Moloney, "Security Team Fundamentals v4," Sheepdog Church Security Courses: Training Materials for Classes [https://sheepdog-church-security.thinkific.com/courses/church-safety-and-security-volunteer-academy-training-bundle].