Physical Security Risk Assessment of a Church

The church is the place of worship for Christians. Christian beliefs are based on faith which hopes for better things and trust in the power of God for sustenance. Congregations meet for prayers to seek divine interventions to the problems. The Physical Security of the church as a place where masses of people meet regularly is important to the faithful and the surrounding community. Operations within the church should conform to a system configuration that addresses possible vulnerabilities in view of the potential threats and risks. In order to provide the necessary physical Security to a church composed of 1000 members, a comprehensive risk assessment is needed. The assessment process should take into consideration legal and regulatory requirements.

The church building should therefore conform to the laid down procedures for structural Security and safety of the congregation during their worship. The design and layout of facilities within the church premises should also allow for enough ventilation, space for movement, and surveillance.

Security at the entrance should remain water-tight in view of religious extremism and cultic tendencies in the modern world. Worshippers should be expected to adhere to security checks for member authentications and subscriptions. The asset value of the church facilities should be estimated from a religious and economic understanding. For instance, administrative offices, furniture, electronics, instruments, and religious regalia should be kept securely. The church leadership, such as priests and ushers, should subscribe to a unique dress code for identification by security personnel. A case in point is the attack on the catholic pontiff during Easter by a woman later to be considered psychic during the mass procession. Rival groups within the church have often fought over leadership positions creating the threat of cultic emergence. Different interpretations of scripture have also caused untold suffering among innocent congregations as a result of disgruntled priests brainwashing their followers.

State regulation of religious worship is, therefore, necessary in church administration. Registered members should therefore be allowed to worship in registered denominations. Important calendar days of worship and religious ceremonies should be supplemented with robust risk assessments for potential threats. System attributes of the church should ensure that locks and keys are securely protected against theft. System sensitivity should focus on the dangers posed by intruders within church premises, especially during worship when members are occupied mind and soul. Systems security should be focused on regular check-ups at entrance points based on the past history of security threats at the church.

Surveillance must be reinforced using CCTV cameras and observers disguising as church ushers. Administrative Security should be the hallmark of the security apparatus around church leaders recognized by the congregation and the state. Physical Security of the church premises should be guaranteed based on a robust telecommunication system and design specifications that address all the possible threats.

Facility characterization

The church building is located in the city center, surrounded by government offices and a shopping mall. There are also two intersecting streets that meet at a bridge of the only river that cuts across the city. Traffic through the roads within the church environment is controlled by a combination of traffic police and a computerized street lighting system. Both human and vehicle traffic through the streets are under surveillance of powerful CCTV cameras monitored from a control room of the city council security center. Parking grounds are located within the church compound, which also includes basement parking for the clergy and important guests. There are approximately 1000 people attending services at the church at any particular time. The church compound also houses primary and kindergarten schools. The church’s administrative block is a three-story building. The ground floor serves as the schools’ administration offices, a computer room, and a dining hall at one end.

Threat Analysis

Potential threats include thieves interested in robbing the surrounding shopping complex getting on a mission to loot the church as well. The busy street also poses a potential security threat to the church, especially during the masses. The probability of foul play among naughty individuals is high on such occasions, compounded by the accompanying stress arising from the anticipated overcrowding during mass. Electrical fires could also threaten security around and within the building due to the gas cylinders within the shopping mall and electric cookers in the dining hall. A serious fire catastrophe could be caused by an electric fault, negligence, or an outcome of an arsonist attack.

Consequence analysis

The financial value of the assets within the church compound is quite high. Theft of church instruments, furniture, and electronics could result in enormous loss to members’ contributions and sacrifice. Human injuries and loss of life could also occur during a fire incident, flooding of the river banks, and robbery. Both the short-term and long-term consequences of these incidents on the well-being of the congregation and stakeholders cannot be overstated. Members of the church and the neighborhood are expected to act according to the scriptures. Sabotage among its faithful could result in untold suffering and a major threat to the future of the church, at least as far as the influence of the church in the society is expected.

System effectiveness assessment

The strategic positioning of the fire extinguishers at the entrances is convincing. However, the church’s inability to train its members on the proper handling of the fire extinguishers presents a major weakness in case of a fire incident. The cost of training the entire church is equally cumbersome, time-consuming, and costly. The church, therefore, needs to establish a communication system in place that incorporates fire alarms, smoke alarms, and detectors. Fire security can be more established through the establishment of safe havens within the building where disabled persons and children could access easily for protection as evacuation procedures get underway. The behavior of people during a catastrophe is so unpredictable, coupled with congestion at entrances which demands that occupants are informed in time presence of danger and response mechanisms using the communication facilities. The available layers of defense include the solid walls, reinforced roofs, and fastened locks with track keys in the hands of the security personnel. Others are; fewer corridors under surveillance guards escort to guests and visitors, standby power supply provided by generators, and badges for visitors.

Risk estimation

The church is prone to a robbery attack due to its magnificent electronics, machinery, and furniture, as well as its proximity to the prestigious shopping mall. The likelihood of a fire outbreak is equally high in view of the explosive gas cylinders in the supermarket, as well as the unpredictable nature of electric faults. Sabotage could be effectively managed through stringent inspection by the guards coupled with natural and CCTV surveillance. The impact of a robbery attack at the church depends on the level of preparedness of the security department in terms of their means of gathering information, surveillance, and monitoring.

Risk reduction strategies

There is a need for First Aid kits as well as proper training of the members in small groups on the most practical way of using them. The strategy should be seen to reinforce other countermeasures such as fire extinguishers and motivation reinforcement initiatives among church members.

Removal Request
This essay on Physical Security Risk Assessment of a Church was written by a student just like you. You can use it for research or as a reference for your own work. Keep in mind, though, that a proper citation is necessary.
Request for Removal

You can submit a removal request if you own the copyright to this content and don't want it to be available on our website anymore.

Send a Removal Request