4 Measures that will make your congregation safer at no expense
Here are some things that we all can do immediately and with little to no investment to enhance our congregations security.
First, we have to understand the objective of “Security”. The two objectives we have to set before us are:
- Keeping the wellbeing of our congregants, meaning protecting, or better said -preserving their lives.
- Maintaining the normal day to day routine of our congregation uninterrupted.
In a utopian world, if we had a magical way to identify the perpetrator when he is planning the attack and have law enforcement arrest him at this point, our job would have been easy and our objectives accomplished. Unfortunately this is not the case.
So the question still remains – what can we do immediately to help to accomplish our objectives. Here are four basic measures that can be applied immediately at no cost –
- Lock the door!
- Assign “Greeters”!
- Patrol and monitor the facility perimeter and entrance!
- Leave an operating phone (before Shabbat) in reach for “Pikuach Nefesh”!
- Lock the door – In all the last attacks on houses of worship the terrorist had free access to the facility through an open door. A locked door can delay (or, in some cases even stop) the killer and let the people inside take action (barricade, escape via emergency exits etc. and call for help)
- Assign “Greeters” – assign a trusted member (or more) of the congregation to the front door. He should screen the arriving guests. Any unknown guest should be questioned politely as to the reason for his arrival, does he know someone in the congregation, does he have basic knowledge of customes etc.
- Patrol and scan the facility perimeter and entrance – to identify any abnormalities – unattended/suspicious objects, break in, vandalism/damage, suspicious vehicles or people in the vicinity.
- Leave an operating phone (before Shabbat) in reach for “Pikuach Nefesh” – an operating open phone should be left in reach in case an emergency call need to be placed.
By applying these basic rules your congregation will be safer.