Top Security Tips for Churches
By Emmanuel Udom
Are you a church founder or what is commonly known as a general overseer? Good enough if your answer to this very question is yes.
This means you have followers or worshippers in your church. Yes, God is the chief security officer of our world, but we must work alongside God to ensure that our world with an estimated population of 7 billion people is saved and secured.
Head or tail, you, your followers or worshippers, your assets and the properties in your church must not be tampered with by intruders. These intruders; kidnappers, terrorists, robbers, killers, etc, come in various forms and shades.
When we pray, we are asking God to protect, guide and guard us from all evils. However, we must do our bit to protect ourselves.
Listed below are some of the tips on how best to secure your church.
- Security is the act of protecting the lives, properties and information of individuals, corporate bodies, government parastatals, religious bodies, residential buildings, etc, from all threats.
- Some of these threats are robberies, murder, arson, kidnapping, terrorism, burglary, rape, ritual killings, among others.
- Though God is the chief security officer of our world, we individually and collectively should be security conscious. Look behind your back, no matter where you are at any point in time.
- For religious bodies like churches and mosques, trained and certified security experts can draw up the security architecture for your place of worship.
- Raise a security committee, or team or install close circuit television in your church or mosque premises.
- Religious leaders should obtain the phone numbers of the DPO, vigilante group, or community security outfits located within the area where their church or mosque is situated.
- Private and commercial vehicles, bikes, and Keke Marwa entering the premises of the church or mosque should have the personal information of the driver as well as the inventory of the vehicle documented.
- First-timers also visiting the church or mosque should have their identification card and other personal information documented. These first-timers should be secretly placed on close surveillance throughout the service.
- From time to time, security officers or members of the security team in plain clothes should infiltrate streets, joints and fun spots around the church or mosque premises for information gathering.
- The children’s department, being the soft target for terrorists and kidnappers, should have CCTV installed and the department placed on 24/7 alert.
- Before any public gathering is organized by a church or an Islamic leader, the venue of the event should be scanned weeks before D-day for the event.
- From time to time, religious leaders should organize security seminars where top police officers or any security expert may be invited to talk about how to ensure the safety of churches.
- Suspicious persons entering the church should be thoroughly searched and their personal identification numbers obtained.
- The office of the General Overseer, Islamic cleric, the accounting department and the admin section should also be installed with CCTV and some security guards drafted to guide these offices, 24/7.
- For religious bodies with large premises, trained security guards should be hired to man strategic locations of beats.
- Do not flaunt your dress, cars, or other belongings within and outside the church premises.
- Be careful with what you say and do while in the church.
- If the community where your church is located has difficult terrains, local security operatives should be contracted to patrol the community with cyclists.
- Female children should not be left alone with male pastors during vigils or other church programmes.
- Church toilets and bathrooms should be installed with close-circuit television.
- Be unpredictable in your movement and always work in groups while going or returning from vigils.
- Pastors who could afford it should hire the services of executive protection guards.
- If criminally minded persons enter your church premises during service or vigil, send text messages, or WhatsApp messages to the local security operatives or the police without talking loudly on the phone.
Udom, a journalist, teacher and private investigator, could be reached via [email protected] or 2347066695349