Thanks to everyone who asked questions and gave suggestions at the congregational meeting on February 4thto improve church safety. I took all of your ideas plus others that were suggested to the Operations meeting on Wednesday, February 14th. Please read Jennifer Howard’s (Chair of Operations Committee) article listing the various decisions that our Committee has made: new things we have done or are doing soon and a few ideas that we rejected plus several ideas that we are researching. We also plan to meet with State Police soon with specific questions and obtain their recommendations for improving safety at our church.
I am sure you all join me in thanking the Safety Team, Steve Slater, Jim Newtown, Jim Gentz, Jason Bell and John Straw for providing safety each Sunday during the worship service. Most of our time is spent in the narthex, but we also make the rounds of the whole church, including checking the parking lot and deal with any people coming for assistance including those coming to the food pantry.
The Safety Team attended a two hour A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) presentation by the Flint Township Police Department, which focused on best actions to a violent intruder.
We also have a church Security Team. Their job is to secure the church (make sure all lights are off, windows and doors closed and locked and set the alarm) on Sundays after everyone leaves. The Security Team members are: Jennifer Howard, Jim Newtown, Ray Rust, John Helsom, John Straw and Dr. Van
Comprehensive Church Safety Plans
The Operations Committee met on February 14, 2018 and discussed and made some decisions about the suggestions offered by the Flint Township Police Department training on January 25, 2018 and by the congregation on Sunday, February 4, 2018.
This is a list of discussions and decisions.
1. Develop a drill and practice several times a year for fire, tornado and violent intruder - YES
2. Button to automatically unlock/lock main entry and RE doors – MORE discussion needed
3. Smoke detectors that are integrated and automatically call fire department – Ray Rustwill research
4. Emergency escapes from sanctuary /window or door leading to fire escape/escape ladder/fireman’s pole - NO (not feasible)
5. Request Flint Township Police to meet with us – POSSIBLY later when have specific questions
6. John Helsom ideas
· LED strobe light – John will purchase 6 flashlights with strobe
· Loud alarm over front door-John will research and install
· Front doors hook with camera/smartphone and added lock – John will researchbuzzer entry with camera and voice communication
7. Inter-office intercom (Something in addition to the two new walkie-talkies) – NO (walkie-talkies are sufficient)
8. Other thoughts
· Cameras for parking lot and patio
· Mace for Cheryl and Erin – Jennifer Howard will purchase
· Panic bar locks on sanctuary side doors
· Alarm siren remote activation in narthex
· Lock for double doors to sanctuary
· Remote pager from narthex to sanctuary