Most people think of a church as a safe area where violence and emergencies cannot affect them. However, violence and emergencies in churches are not a new phenomenon. While today’s focus is directed on VIOLENT ACTS, reality confirms that you are much more likely to have a medical emergency (heart attack during worship) or a building emergency (fire, smoke, gas leak). Being prepared to deal with these type of situations is as important as being prepared to deal with the armed shooter.
Emergencies and disasters can take many forms, including fire, medical emergencies, child wandering off after Sunday School, tornado bearing down on the building during a night service, gas leak, fight in the parking lot, as well as violent acts (Deadly Force Incidents).
A study of DEADLY FORCE INCIDENTS at churches over the past 20 years confirms that the three leading causes of a death are (1) robbery, (2) Domestic Violence, and (3) Personal Conflict. Mental illness was the fourth leading cause and was an 11% trigger for DEADLY FORCE INCIDENTS. While the threat of an armed shooter is viable, the reality is that one of the above reasons would more likely trigger a violent assault at your church instead of an armed shooter.
Our agency insures over 1000 Louisiana churches and several hundred have notified us that they formed TEAMS, or want to form a TEAM to respond to these types of crisis. Most want select team members carrying a concealed weapon. We have provided guidance to these churches undertaking this new ministry and can help your church if needed.
GuideOne Insurance Group is one of the few insurance companies willing to add LIABILITY coverage for ARMED SECURITY TEAMS at churches. There is a minimum premium charge ($250) to add this coverage. If your church has a team, please notify our office with the number of guns you authorize per service to add the additional liability coverage needed for your team members.
If you form a TEAM, develop a STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP) so that your team has a playbook – detailed instructions on how to respond to any and everything that might occur. You can find an example of a SOP on our website www.louisianachurchinsurance.com under the important files link. This document is in WORD and can be edited and revised to reflect your church’s information so that you don’t have to start from scratch!
If your church wants more information on forming a TEAM, contact our agency via email at david@LAchurchinsurance.com.