Pulling a Glock pistol from behind a church bulletin, a 27-year-old man shot at Pastor Fred Winters on March 8, 2009, in Maryville, Illinois. The first bullet hit Fred’s Bible; the last one hit his heart.
We mention this story because it happened in a small community just outside of St. Louis, a small town right in our backyard. But unfortunately, the shooting at Maryville’s First Baptist Church is not the only example of extreme violence in places of worship.
Since the year 2000, churches and faith-based organizations in America have faced over 1,000 “deadly force incidents.” These deadly force incidents have hovered near 250 per year since 2015.
As a faith-based company and family, we want to see these places of worship protected! That is why we strongly urge churches to invest in the safety and security of their congregations with a panic button system.
How Can Panic Buttons Improve Church Security?
Installing a panic button system is one of the first steps you can take to create a church security plan. With panic buttons installed, church leaders, staff and volunteers, and congregation members will know that help is one push of a button away.
Panic buttons offer an easy way to contact your security team and local law enforcement in case of any security issues, so your congregation’s minds will be at ease. Panic buttons serve as a common-sense way to ensure everyone feels safe while at worship.
How does a panic button work?
When someone pushes a panic button, text alerts instantly go out to your church security team. The hope is that this alert could help warn your organization BEFORE a shooter has time to enter your auditorium, potentially saving the lives of everyone in your congregation.
In addition to alerting your security team, a panic button can warn local law enforcement officers so they can be en route to your church as soon as possible.
Where should we put our panic buttons?
Churches typically place panic buttons in nurseries, welcome centers, at the front desk, and in offices. Anywhere pastoral staff or church members can provide an immediate alert is a good place for a panic button.
Invest In Your Church’s Safety Today
We know that nothing is more important to a church than the safety of its congregation. If your church doesn’t currently have a panic button system installed, please share this letter with your trustees.
We hope and pray that your church will never need an emergency panic button, but we also hope that you’ll do everything possible to be prepared and protected.