Local Law Enforcement
Determine the law enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction for the location of your church/building. Contact them to see if they offer any advise or programs that would help. Simply establishing this relationship can bring advantages as simple as them now having correct contact information if they find a problem at the church when nobody is there, or to notify you if there is an emergency nearby that would cause you to want to lock down.
Social Justice and Suspicious Activity Reporting
One local congregation who found some great value in working with their local law enforcement struggled with posting signs encouraging people to report suspicious activity. Some people associate such reporting with the negative things that have happened to some disenfranchised members of our society being unfairly looked upon as "out of place" and unfair police responses to those reports.
We think this is another wonderful opportunity to bridge our faith with our world. As we build relationships with police and hear this encouragement, our churches should see the responsibility of changing the hearts in our community. The reports are a very important part of making people know that our churches are safe places, and yet negative things have happened across the country when reports are made unfairly.
Judging pre-attack indicators is subjective. Helping people make these subjective determinations in consideration of their biases is exactly the type of thing churches can be doing in their community in this time when many people are living in fear.
Here is one resource to help. Please pass along any other helpful information to post or share here.
- What Police Consider Suspicious - This is from a neighborhood social media platform but the advise can be applied to this scenario. They received some bad publicity after some users of the platform posted information based solely on the race of someone legitimately in their neighborhood. The police handled their response appropriately, but the users of the social network demonstrated the worst of our humanity.