Aurora Colorado Shooting

It’s been over a month now since the murderous rampage that took place on that sad  Friday night at the Century Movie Theater in Aurora Colorado.  After sitting back and watching the news media hacks, pundits, and so called politicians debate the events of that fateful night and turn this tragedy into a self-serving political hotbed, I feel I must weigh in on the subject.

First off my prayers and condolences go out to the victim’s families and to those heroes in the movie theater of the Aurora Shooting that made the ultimate sacrifice by giving up their lives for the ones they loved by shielding them as the cowardly murderer known as James Holmes easily picked off defenseless movie goers.  My thankfulness also goes out to the Aurora Police Dept.  They were able to quickly locate and identify the shooter and take him into custody between 1-2 minutes based on several media reports.  But think about this, without taking away from the great job of APD, how many people died during that time frame?  The Police cannot be everywhere all the time.

During the aftermath of this horrible event, and before the dust evened settled, folks were positioning themselves for their own selfish desires somehow coming to the conclusion that firearms are the problem and the murderer must be a Tea party member because one news media hack found the same common name as the murderer on a list of Tea Partiers.  Funny thing is as soon as one story I heard leaked that the murderer might be a registered Democrat that argument went away.

The murderer James Holmes was a psycho path.  He was well educated and bought the weapons and bomb making materials legally.  John Holmes was not some right wing, uneducated, NRA member that the media hacks would have you believe.

James Holmes committed these atrocious crimes, not the guns or bombs, someone has to pull the trigger or make the bombs and this murderer made that conscious choice.  As our society continues to decline in morals and rule of law, we keep seeing these active shooter type scenarios play out all over America.  And every time there is a crime in this nature, all the opinionated clowns who think they know best demonize guns and self-defense.  Why?  Most common law abiding Americans don’t have around the clock armed private security and bodyguards that these “opinion leaders” have.  Their reality is not our reality.  What is wrong with self-defense of any kind?

As a former Law Enforcement Officer, a CA POST Certified Firearms Instructor for my agency at the time, a Glock Instructor, a Denver Private Investigator, and owner of International Counterintelligence Services of Colorado, I can’t help but think that a trained able bodied person in the movie theater (law enforcement or civilian) could have made a difference.  There is a lot to evaluate as to tactics and strategy, but if you weren’t initially shot at could you have recognized that this was a shooter, drew your legally concealed handgun, edged weapon, or used your mind and body, could the attack have been stopped?  The answer is yes!

The media likes to play up the cowardly role and say do nothing is best, but that is wrong.  This great nation of ours would never have been founded if that was our mindset.  Our society now breeds laziness and cowardice attitudes.  We are unfortunately reaping what we sow.  If our society continues to decline, refuse to recognize there is a serious moral issue in this country that is causing people to ”snap”, then we are going to keep seeing these types of chaotic deadly scenes continue.  What will your response be when your caught up in a deadly situation?  Will you do nothing and hope you’re not killed or assaulted waiting for the Police, or will you stand in the gap in hopes of trying to make a difference?

The point is this; taking guns or any weapons away from law abiding, trained people is not going to stop mad men from wreaking havoc when they can’t keep it together.  You cannot castrate our ability to defend ourselves.  If you don’t want to defend yourself, that’s fine, just get out of the way for those of us who do.

Grant Linhart is the President and owner of International Counterintelligence Services of Colorado, otherwise known as ICS of Colorado, LLC.  ICS of Colorado provides a wide range of private investigator services throughout the State of Colorado.  Some of the services ICS of Colorado, LLC provides are, but are not limited to;

  • Surveillance Operations
  • Background Investigations
  • Locate Services
  • Civil & Criminal Investigations
  • Attorney and Lawyer Firms Legal Services
  • Bank Searches
  • Asset Searches
  • Fraud Investigations
  • Child Custody Support Investigations

If you are  in need of any private investigation services, call ICS of Colorado for a discreet and confidential, no charge consultation at 800.828.9198.

Why Does a Church Need a Security Team?

Reprinted with permission by Mars Hill Church on Thursday, May 5th, 2011 12:00 pm

by Nate Finn

“Why does a church need a security team??” That question is mostly asked incredulously when people visit one of our campuses and see a team of usually large guys wearing polo shirts in the lobby, the children’s ministry, and the sanctuary.

Security within our church can be a misunderstood concept. Many people believe that security does not belong in the church. On the one hand, there are people who say it unnecessarily heightens a perception of threat, and on the other, people say it means we’re not trusting in the sovereignty of God (to protect his church). We also recognize there are people who are simply opposed to our church and the gospel of Jesus. As Pastor Mark said in the 2007 sermon, “Pain and Progress,” from the Nehemiah sermon series, “Not everybody in Seattle has the same agenda as we do. Our goal is to read the Bible and love Jesus. … That’s not the most popular agenda in Seattle.” We get that, and the fact that people might oppose us is not what worries us. But here’s what we’re very committed to: people should be able to come to a Mars Hill Church service and worship in peace.

“If you are saying to yourself, ‘Aren’t they exaggerating this whole thing? I didn’t see or hear of anything,’ it is because our security teams are doing a fantastic job.”

Ultimately, the goal of the security teams is to protect the integrity of the service and how people are receiving the Word that’s being preached. Listening to a sermon can be a big experience—the Holy Spirit can be speaking to someone—and if there’s a disturbance, that moment can be broken.

Like the Israelites in Nehemiah’s day, we not only have the right to worship the God of the Bible but we have the obligation to provide a safe environment to those who want to attend Mars Hill and worship God freely. The First Amendment grants us the right to peaceably assemble, after all. (And, yes, it grants that right to those who’d oppose us to peaceably assemble and voice that opposition as well, and that’s fine, though as a private organization, we have the right to not permit that to happen on our property.)

The same people who opposed the Israelites are the same kind of people we experience today. However, the men and women you see with the security shirts are not there to intimidate but to protect the body from those trying to disrupt or cause harm. And yes, serious crimes do happen on church properties across the nation and they aren’t just petty crimes. Pastors have been killed and churches have been vandalized, robbed, and burnt to the ground. This information is not being used as a scare tactic. We just don’t want to be naïve and not be cognizant of what happens every week.

That said, our campuses experience vandalism, burglary, and theft as often as once a week. On Sundays, we keep watch on the premises, mostly in an effort to deter any potential threats by being proactive not just reactive. If you are saying to yourself, “Aren’t they exaggerating this whole thing? I didn’t see or hear of anything,” it is because our security teams are doing a fantastic job mitigating threats we see regularly throughout the year.

Children’s Ministry

One of our biggest priorities on Sundays is to keep our kids safe while they learn about Jesus each week. Similarly, we want parents to be able to learn about Jesus while they sit in the service, and part of this is that they need to be able to trust in the children’s ministry when they drop their kids off and know the kids will be safe and protected during that time.

There are, on average, five to six threats to the children’s ministries at our Mars Hill campuses per year. Security team members are present throughout the children’s ministry for two reasons. One reason is to mitigate serious threats, and the other is for accountability of our children’s ministry volunteers.

Lobbies and sanctuary

In addition, security team members keep watch in the lobbies and sanctuary. Ever wonder why there are two security team members who sit at the front of the sanctuaries while Pastor Mark preaches? Because several years ago, a man charged the stage with a large knife while Pastor Mark was preaching. In general, there is a higher potential of threats when the sermon topic is on spiritual warfare. There have been subsequent threats, and sometimes the threats vary by campus location and service time.

SPD

And lastly, at the Downtown Seattle and Ballard campuses, you will see uniformed Seattle police officers at the services. These officers are on duty and paid, though the shifts they work at the church are ones for which they’ve volunteered to take overtime hours, so they’re not being taken out of the normal police rotation to be stationed at our campuses. The strategy behind the uniformed police officer is primarily as a deterrent, but it’s also so that we can have more of an immediate response if there were an actual incident.

Guards along the wall

God called Nehemiah to build a wall and now God has called Mars Hill to build cities within the cities. God told Nehemiah to place guards along the wall to protect his people and the work, and we must place guards within our walls to protect God’s people and the work of sharing the Gospel. In order to provide the proper safety and security for our campuses, we need men who are able-bodied, have a heart to protect our children and families, and a desire to step up and volunteer a portion of their time to the Security Ministry. This ministry not only provides a valuable service to the church, but also is an opportunity for spiritual growth and community building for people who share common interests.

“But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry. And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.”

Nehemiah 4:7–9

“Opposition only comes to those who are doing something. There are many people out there who live their life without being criticized or attacked because they spend their time lying on the couch with their finger up their nose not doing anything. There is no reason to oppose such people. So if you are doing something, expect opposition and be encouraged because you are doing something.”

Nate Finn is the executive assistant to Pastor Dave Bruskas and a member of the Ballard campus.

If you need assistance in developing and implementing a church security ministry team or need security team enhancements, then contact Gideon Protective Services, Inc. to learn more about our Church Security Seminars or full Secure Church training program.  Call 888.305.6513 Ext. #3 or email info@gideonprotectiveservices.com.

Arizona Shooting- A Problem for Church Leaders

People in the public light, people who are controversial, people who, by their very connection, are head of a high profile organization (CEO’s, Politicians, Religious Leaders, Celebrities etc), will always be targets of some evil person out there who, in their sick minds wants to kill that person, and sometimes everyone around them, such as the shooting that took place in Arizona.

I listened to the media reports for the past several days and listened to countless people who are “shocked” that the Congresswoman would be targeted in a strip mall, including the County Sheriff who had been on the job 50 years.  And I have to ask why are they shocked?  Have there ever been any threats to U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords?  Was the location of the shooting a public, easily accessible location?

Here are the facts, as we know them right now:

- The Congresswoman had threats before, including her offices being targeted for vandalism and an incident of a man with a gun at one of her past recent political rallies.

- She chose to have no security; in fact the Sheriff stated that this Congresswoman does numerous public appearances like this and as far as he knows, never asked for any security.

Does it surprise me that the Congresswoman did not have any security?

No, because I see it all the time.  People always think it won’t happen to me or do not want the perception of being paranoid.  Many times they end the same way – with someone being killed and everyone asking why?  Could this have been prevented?  The answer to that question is yes!

It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about politicians, celebrities, or religious leaders.  There is this mindset that if they request personal security they are somehow giving the wrong message or giving up their own personal freedom – both of which assumptions are wrong.

Is it fun having personal security protection, no.  It isn’t for the person being protected and it isn’t for the security people who are doing the protection.

But aside from challenges of the safety and security of the person you are protecting, a key point is being missed with this shooting in Arizona and by many other people I have been involved in their protection and did not want it.  The security is not only for your safety, but also for those around you.

If a threat has been made, there is danger for everyone – the Arizona situation is case in point.  The target is still alive, yet 6 other people, including a child, are dead.

Security people live in a “what if” world, knowing security is never 100%.  But you have to think, what if the Congresswoman did have security personnel present?

Yes, maybe she still would have been shot, but maybe not.  Or maybe not as many people would have been shot.  Or maybe the gunman would not have chosen this Congresswoman seeing security personnel present (and no matter how much you try to make security people plainclothes and not obvious, they are noticeable and the bad guys know that). Sometimes just having security is a deterrent.  Maybe a uniformed police officer present would have been a deterrent to the gunman?

But the fact of the matter is there were prior threats, this was a high profile person, and there was no security. Politicians or church leaders – it makes no difference to the shooter.

Both professions have been targets in the past and will in the future.  It doesn’t matter whether you are President of the United States a Congresswoman from Arizona, or a high profile Religious Leader that is a Pastor of the largest mega-church or Pastor in a small little town.  We have seen all of them become victims.

If you have any questions or protection needs regarding Church Security Training or Security Consulting for you, your superiors, your company, your church, or someone you know, feel free to call or email Gideon Protective Services, Inc. or Mind Sight Training for a free, confidential consultation. You can find us on the web. See all that Gideon and Mind Sight can offer you.

Stabbing at Albuquerque Church

An ex-convict is behind bars after stabbing a volunteer at his own church following Sunday morning service.

Albuquerque Police say the male suspect stabbed a fellow church member once in the chest as he was walking up to greet him. Witnesses say no argument or fight preceded the incident.
The suspect was later identified as Jerome Johnson, 46.  He’s charged with aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon and also three counts of child abuse because there were children who witnessed the event.
Members of The Church, a Christian congregation in Northwest Albuquerque New Mexico, say Johnson had been going to the church for many years but had been in prison for the last year and a half.  They say he got out jail recently and had started attending service again.

Police located Johnson at a nearby park and arrested him.  They also recovered a pocket knife believed to be the weapon that stabbed the victim.  The victim, identified as William Santos, 47, is recovering in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Could a properly trained Church Security Ministry Team have done anything to avoid this shameful tragedy?  The answer is “yes.”  Proper Church Security Training and awareness training could possibly have produced a different outcome.  Since the suspect was just recently released from prison and he started attending church again, was there any counseling or reaching out to him to ascertain if there were still any issues?  Was there a reason to be concerned for Jerome Johnson?
There is nothing worse than a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing like this incident.  If there were no pre incident indicators about Jerome Johnson and he just walked right up, pulled a knife and stabbed the greeter, then the last option at this point is self defense.  Thankfully the greeter was not seriously injured and the suspect was apprehended later by Police.
But what if stabbing the greeter wasn’t enough and he had another axe to grind?  Did Jerome Johnson feel wronged by the church in some way?  What if Jerome Johnson continued into the church and caused more carnage.  Was there any kind of security in place or awareness training for this kind of incident?  Would anyone try to stop him from hurting others?  Who would call the Police?  Was there any medical personnel at the church?  Apparently the answer right now is no.  Week after week we see the same headlines all across America.  Churches need to be proactive and become a stakeholder for their congregations.  The head church administrators are obligated to protect their flock from the enemy, even if it’s from within.  If your church does not have a Church Security Ministry Team in place, urge them to seek out security consultation to determine what their church’s vulnerabilities are.
If you have any questions about Church Security Training or Security Consulting for you, your superiors, your company, your church, or someone you know, feel free to call or email Gideon Protective Services, Inc. or Mind Sight Training for a free, confidential consultation. You can find us on the web. See all that Gideon and Mind Sight can offer you.

Does Your Church Have an AED?

This article is reprinted with permission by the Christian Security Network- Jeff Hawkins.

We have always said that someone is more likely to die of a heart attack in your church than a gunshot.  Remember that the definition of the word “security” means to be free from fear or anxiety; it is not always about alarms, guns, and guards.  There are many stories about people being saved by AED’s, but the story of Sallie Sims attending her Alabama Church recently should bring the point of being prepared home to every church:

Church Saves Great-Great-Grandmother during Service (September 20, 2010/First Aid Corps)

The last thing Sallie Sims remembers about going to a funeral last week at CrossPoint Church of Christ was wondering if she would know the fourth verse to the hymn “No Setting Sun.”  Sims is living proof that having an automated external defibrillator, or AED, on site can make a difference in whether a person lives after the onset of sudden cardiac death.
CrossPoint bought its defibrillator in 2006 at the urging of a church elder. Staff members rushed to get the device when Sims collapsed.

WHAT IS AN AED?

The American Red Cross gives the following definition of the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED): “An AED is a small, portable device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the heart of someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. This shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.”  [http://www.redcrosslv.org/aed.html#whatis]

WHAT IS A HEART ATTACK?

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. CHD is caused by a narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, and often results in a heart attack. Each year, about 1.1 million Americans suffer a heart attack. About 460,000 of those heart attacks are fatal. About half of those deaths occur within 1 hour of the start of symptoms and before the person reaches the hospital. [National Institute of Health/ http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/actintime/aha/aha.htm ]

According to the American Heart Association: “…heart attack may cause cardiac arrest and sudden death, but it’s not the same thing. The most common underlying cause of sudden cardiac arrest is a heart attack that results in ventricular fibrillation (VF) (quivering of the heart’s lower chambers). This irregular heart rhythm causes the heart to suddenly stop pumping blood. No statistics are available for the exact number of sudden cardiac arrests that occur each year. If no bystander CPR is provided, a victim’s chances of survival are reduced by 7 to 10 percent with every minute of delay until defibrillation. The cardiac arrest survival rate is only about 5 percent if a system for providing early defibrillation is not present in a community. In cities with “community AED programs,” when bystanders provide immediate CPR and the first shock is delivered within 3 to 5 minutes, the reported survival rates from VF sudden cardiac arrest are as high as 48 to 74 percent.”

AED HISTORY & PUBLIC ACCESS

In the early 1970s, Dr Arch Diack, Dr W. Stanley Welborn, and Robert Rullman5 developed several prototype AEDs that were tested in the Portland area. They later formed the Cardiac Resuscitator Corporation to market their device.
Prehospital trials began in Brighton, England, in 1980 using the Heart Aid. The device weighed 28 pounds and used an oral/epigastric and a precordial electrode to record ECG tracings and deliver electrical shocks. It was also capable of transcutaneously pacing the heart. In 1982, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave approval for EMT-defibrillation (EMT-D) clinical trials. Early US investigations of manual EMT-D were carried out in Washington, Iowa, Minnesota, and Tennessee. 

In the early 1990s, successful training and use of AEDs by police officers and other first responders was reported. However, some responders are hesitant to place and use AEDs for various reasons, and this should be evaluated and addressed.

In the 1990s, AED use by lay personnel was approved by the FDA and Good Samaritan legislation soon followed. AED training was included in the American Red Cross basic CPR course beginning in March of 1999. In November 2002, the Phillips HeartStart AED was approved for home use with a prescription. New York State became the first state to mandate AEDs in schools in May 2003. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandated in April 2004 that all large passenger-carrying US airlines carry and have personnel trained in the use of AEDs.

[Automatic External Defibrillation/Author: Joseph J Bocka, MD, Director of Shelby Emergency Department, Attending Emergency Physician at Mansfield Hospital, Med Central Health System (Mansfield and Shelby, Ohio); Emergency Medical Service Medical Director for several services/Apr 9, 2009/http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/780533-overview]

COSTS

The costs of the first AED’s were approximately $5,000, and as noted above, weighed about 28 pounds. Today AED’s cost about $1,500 and weigh only a few pounds and they seem to get smaller and cost less every few years.

Besides the cost of the AED, there are costs for things like extra supplies, signage. We would also suggest an alarmed cabinet, which we would suggest, to deter theft and to know when someone has accessed the AED.

This past quarter’s CSN poll asked “Does your church have an AED?” and with over 300 of you answering, the results break down as follows:

64.1 % – stated that their church does have an AED

29.8% – stated that their church did not have an AED

6.1% – did not know if their church had an AED

It is encouraging to see the majority of the people that answered do have AED’s at their church, however the downside is that about a third don’t or worst don’t know if they do.

Here is the Christian Security Network’s checklist for good AED practices:

1) Determine how many do you need; one may not be enough. The rule of thumb is a first-responder needs to be able to get from the victim to the AED and back in less than 6 minutes; so no more than 3 minutes each way. This is not only inside your building, but from the parking lots.

2) When in doubt, bring your local Emergency Medical Services or Fire Department out to help you with AED placement and response planning.

3) Look for local companies to donate money for this cause. Many support heart health and heart attack prevention and may make a contribution.

4) Look for grant programs; there are several out there specifically for AED’s for not-for-profit organizations.

5) Make the AED’s accessible and visible to the public. It may not be one of your church staff or volunteers that may use it in an emergency.

6) Have Pediatric AED Pads in your kit, as well as the ones that come with it for adults; infants and children suffer from cardiac arrest also. Things like electrical shock and blunt trauma can cause cardiac arrest, things children are may experience.

7) Train as many staff and volunteers as possible in CPR/AED. The courses are not that long, not that hard, and does not cost that much. In fact you may find a trainer that would do it for free. Check with your local Fire Department, American Red Cross, or American Heart Association. It may pay to have someone in your church certified as a trainer so you may do your own training and refreshers.

8) Check the AED’s batteries and supplies on a weekly basis and document it.

I pray that you will take this information to your church leadership and act if you are one of the third of churches that indicated you do not have an AED.

If you have any questions about how to implement a church security ministry team, need refresher training for an existing church security team, including EMS/ CPR/ AED training, or you want to learn more about church security training, feel free to call or email Gideon Protective Services or Mind Sight Training for a free, confidential consultation. See what Gideon and Mindsight can do for you. You can find us on the web.  Find out the many benefits to having a church security ministry team that benefit the church, church administrators, staff, and the congregation.