Role of Security Coordinators

Security Coordinators are selected to develop, coordinate, and oversee the proper protective measures needed to keep their respective house of worship, school, or community center secure.

Coordinators receive training focused on facility security and identifying suspicious activity in order to develop security measures and procedures. These individuals then instruct clergy and other members of the congregation on the developed security measures and act as liaisons with local law enforcement and first responder agencies.

Below outlines the steps needed to become an effective security coordinator:

Phase One: Development

  • Contact law enforcement and first responder agencies to build a partnership and to familiarize them with the organization, its operations, and its members.
  • Develop a plan to inspect the grounds/buildings for security gaps, such as inspecting the condition of vegetation/landscaping or determining if there is proper lighting around the facility to ascertain if anything gives an advantage to intruders.
  • Utilize the talents of congregation members, including first responders, metalworkers, locksmiths, IT, landscapers, security experts, etc.
  • Design and maintain a key inventory system for all buildings and ensure that all locks, doors, and alarms are working properly.
  • Establish a visitor/contractor plan for pre-announced escorts.
  • Establish a mail/delivery protocol to inspect mail coming into the facility.
  • Develop a cybersecurity plan.
  • Install first aid and trauma kits in the facility.
  • Devise emergency response plans (active shooter, bomb, intruder, weather, hazmat, suspicious package, etc.).
  • Develop a communications plan for announcing an emergency and designate a spokesperson to set the message.
  • Determine a parking policy and create “stand-off” safety distance from building in the case of an emergency.

Phase Two: Training

  • Attend training events offered by NJOHSP, DHS, and other government agencies.
  • Train all employees on security procedures and identifying suspicious activity using NJOHSP and DHS offered courses
  • Train staff in first aid and CPR.

Phase Three: Implementation

  • Coordinate monthly meetings with church leaders and quarterly meetings with the congregation.
  • Consult with local first responders prior to any vigils, celebrations, and special events.
  • Maintain CCTV system and make sure that it is monitored by an individual trained in identifying suspicious activity.
  • Implement cybersecurity safeguards.
  • Check the institution’s website/social media for suspicious conversations; determine the sources and contact police in the event of suspicion or concern.