January 12, 2021
As some of you may know, I am a Reserve Sheriff Deputy and School Marshal for the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office in Northern Colorado. This presents our agency with amazing opportunities to access world-class training that is available to active members of law enforcement. On behalf of our agency, I recently participated in one such training which focused on strategies and tactics for responding as a single officer to an active safety threat in a school building.
The lead instructor for this intensive training was Arvada Police Deputy Chief AJ DeAndrea. Deputy Chief DeAndrea is arguably one of the leading experts in active threat response, having served as an entry team leader at Columbine High School in 1999, Platte Canyon High School in 2006, and at the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) shooting in 2007. After hearing Deputy Chief DeAndrea describe in vivid detail the responses to these events, I was struck by how much law enforcement’s policies, procedures, and training was shaped by the successes and, quite frankly, failures of past incidents. It’s clear law enforcement’s response has to evolve to keep up with emerging threats, but so must specific tactics in order to try to stop future attacks.
The same thoughtful evolution can be applied to our Christian schools. The first step is to objectively see your vulnerabilities in order to know how to evolve.
Below are three potential vulnerabilities that you may wish to consider when reviewing your school safety plan:
Additionally, while students are typically monitored for potential warning signs, it may also be a good idea to watch for threatening words or behaviors from parents, staff, or other individuals in your community. What may appear to be a transient threat, may turn into something more substantive. Be sure to document it and report it in accordance with your school’s safety protocols.
One of the most popular trainings we offer is a De-Escalation and Tactical Communication course. This 3-hour training incorporates many of the de-escalation tactics law enforcement agencies teach their officers. From identifying potentially volatile situations to scenario-based role-playing in situations where incidents are likely to occur, this unique experience is very hands-on and empowering for staff, volunteers, and security team members. A side benefit of this training is that it is completely transferable to any environment in which you may find yourself facing a potentially threatening situation. Would you like to know more about how we can set up a training for your organization? Click here.
Many schools that have safety plans run simulated drills to test those plans, but you may want to consider conducting those drills under varying conditions to thoroughly test the effectiveness of your plan. For example, we recently conducted an active threat response training at a school and intentionally timed the simulated attack to occur during the lunch hour for the following reasons:
If you haven’t evaluated your school safety plan under varying conditions, you may want to consider doing so. We would be happy to help you design such drills to fit the characteristics of your school.
We know that, as administrators and teachers, you bear the immense responsibility of educating and developing the faith of our children. That is a noble and Spirit-led calling. We are sincerely grateful for your willingness to not only teach our children, but to protect them from harm. Thank you for all that you do.
We want you to know that as you navigate the uncertainties of this world, our agency is here to help support you in any way that we can. If you would like to learn more about some of the specific safety training and resources available to you, please feel free to contact me at CCable@AmericanChurchGroup.com or 303-590-9657.
With Valentine’s Day upon us and the official May-to-October wedding season not far behind, many couples are searching for the perfect wedding venue. Schools and performing arts organizations are looking for end-of-year performance and graduation venues. Your church or nonprofit facility might be the perfect match. Engaging the opportunity has stewardship and community outreach benefits. But opening your facilities to other activities and users involves risk. A Facility Use Policy sets the standard for your facility use. A Facility Use Agreement implements that standard. To be effective, leaders must answer three questions.
The focus of this article is to address some of the risks and liabilities associated with having an armed safety team. Click here to read PART ONE.
Over the last few years, our agency has continued to grow and expand across the Midwest & Rockies, now spanning six states: Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. Serving over 3,000 ministries and nonprofit organizations, we are deeply grateful for the opportunity to support you.
Do you ever feel like some words just get overused? I do. I live in a house with two teenagers and a sweet little boy who watches everything they do. The word "literally", gets used in 80% of sentences... It isn't even impactful anymore. It means nothing. Because if they didn't use that word, I would just expect that most of what they were saying was metaphoric in nature.
The new year signals the end of one payroll year and the beginning of another. As you process employee W2s and independent contractor 1099s, take time to evaluate a critical aspect of your ministry business risk management program: proper worker classification. While the percentage of the American workforce comprising “contingent workers” (independent contractors, contract employees, temporary employees, leased employees) was rapidly increasing before COVID, since COVID and the acceptance of the remote workplace, use of contingent workers has skyrocketed. You probably have several on your payroll.
Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to speak with several thousand church safety team members across the country. By far the most common question I get from this group is “Am I covered if something bad happens?” This is not a question that only pertains to armed safety team members. Truth is, anyone who serves in the protection of a ministry should be asking that question. The purpose of this article is to help ministries be better informed and more prepared in advance of an incident occurring.
We’re encouraging all customers to stay ahead of the freezing weather by signing up to receive Extreme Freezing Weather Text Alerts from Brotherhood Mutual. It’s new. The alert also links to actions you can take immediately to prevent or minimize damage to your buildings before forecasted weather arrives.
Join us for a comprehensive, one-day training for all! Tailored breakout sessions cover complex HR topics for administration and provides in-depth training, including a deeper review into de-escalation, for the security team. In the afternoon, unite in a deep dive on child safety with proprietary insights the anatomy of an abuse claim and protecting our youth.
One positive aspect of today’s challenged economy is the availability of underutilized or empty commercial space. Before your ministry takes the plunge into a lease agreement, we want to make sure you're well-informed and prepared to avoid some common pitfalls.
In this month's perspective on the insurance market, I wanted to talk about the massive upward trending we are seeing in cancellation of policies. Our agency has observed a remarkable surge in inquiries from churches not currently under our insurance coverage. These churches are facing non-renewal by their existing carriers, a trend that has expanded beyond the norm of non-renewals due to excessive losses. Instead, carriers are now opting not to renew based on the risk profile of the ministry, which encompasses factors like geography, insured value, and construction type.
There are so many insurance policies to consider when it comes to protecting your ministry, and keeping track of each one’s coverages can be a mind-numbing task. One that I often hear confusion about is the Excess Liability policy, more commonly referred to as an Umbrella. While these terms aren’t exactly interchangeable in the broader insurance world, they do have a lot of overlap. For purposes of understanding your Brotherhood Mutual policy, they are basically synonymous.
In recent times, our team has observed a growing demand for key man life insurance, particularly within the realm of church leadership. Pastors are the spiritual pillars of their congregations, providing guidance, support, and a sense of community. While their spiritual contributions are invaluable, it's equally important to consider their financial well-being and the stability of the church should an unforeseen tragedy occur.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and it's time to prepare for the festive cheer, delicious food, twinkling lights, and heartwarming gatherings. But amidst all the joy and celebration, let's take a moment to reflect on something essential - the well-being of our ministry leaders.
Water damage due to plumbing leaks and frozen pipes is a leading cause of property claims for ministries. The damage is often made worse because ministry buildings are typically not in use every day. Last year, nearly 1,000 Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company customers were impacted. To help protect ministries from experiencing costly water damage and disruptions, Brotherhood Mutual® recommends FloLogic, a comprehensive solution that can detect even the smallest water leak and automatically shut off the water to prevent flooding.
Let's take a stroll down memory lane to 1938 when General Electric made a groundbreaking move by introducing fluorescent tubes to the world. Even though the technology had been brewing since the late 1880s, it took time and the genius of several inventors to make it shine as a practical product.
We are living in a day and age of tremendous uncertainty. Like Joseph in Egypt, the physical world is incredibly unpredictable.
In the ever-changing realm of finances, the past few years have brought forth a whirlwind of alterations. Looking ahead, the next five years promise their fair share of surprises and uncertainties.
In the dynamic landscape of today's world, managing the HR needs of any ministry can be a complex and ever-changing endeavor. Whether you're dealing with sensitive situations that demand careful handling to avoid legal entanglements or aiming to proactively establish risk management strategies, the journey can be demanding.
As we gear up for the upcoming school season, it's a fantastic opportunity to take a closer look at the coverage we offer to our beloved students and dedicated volunteers.