By Jason Murphy
Fifteen years ago, it would seem as though a security team had no place in a church, except for directing traffic. Nowadays, you will have a hard time finding many churches that do not have a security team. The No. 1 tool for those security teams is radios and earpieces. Without them, security teams cannot communicate and keep track of each other and potential threats that they may see. Some security teams may have 2-3 radios, some 15-20, and some have as many as 50-100 or more.
Unfortunately, security is becoming a necessity in this ever-changing world, and without communication throughout your church, a security team is only as strong as each individual security team member. Two-way radios have been around for more than 85 years, and yet they are just as important now as they were back in World War II, albeit for different reasons.
Some security teams have undercover team members that keep their radios concealed and clear acoustic tube earpieces in their ear similar to the earpieces that you see the Secret Service or FBI wearing. Some security personnel may have a special security shirt on, a radio hanging on their belt and an earpiece hanging on their ear. No matter how the radios and earpieces are displayed or concealed, they are all providing an extra layer of security for the church members.
There is no other tool in the world that can be used to get a message from one person to another person or multiple people quicker than a two-way radio. Sure, you can reach a lot of people with a group text on your phone, but you cannot send a text quicker than you can press a button on your radio and say what you need to say.
Using two-way radios is something that many of us have done throughout our lives, including growing up and playing with cheap walkie talkies from a department store as a kid when we played hide and seek. We used radios to talk to friends in the car behind of us on those long car rides to a family vacation, and now radios are used to communicate issues and inform others of potential threats inside of a church.
When it comes to an emergency inside of a church, two-way radios can be the difference between life and death. Radios can be used by a team member to bring attention to a particular person or situation, whether it be the person watching the security cameras in the control room or the security team member who is undercover hanging around the front door who notices someone acting weird on their way into the church.
Some churches have greeters with a key fob that they can press a button and alert security via their radio system if they are uncomfortable with a certain person or situation in their area.
Some church pastors may have a key fob in their pocket or mounted to their pulpit. If they become uncomfortable with a situation, they can press the button and it will send a message over the security team member’s radios, and they can immediately take the necessary action to address the situation.
When you stop and think about it, almost everyone in the church during service is facing forward with the exception of the pastor. He or she is the only one that may see a threat coming at them head on. If they were to see something strange, press their “panic” button and then begin tapping on a specific side of the pulpit, that would signal security where they see a threat.
Beyond the security team and greeters using radios, many churches have a nursing ministry that are assembled before during and after services to serve any medical needs that church members may have. The nursing team can easily be alerted no matter their location on the church grounds to come to the rescue of a church member that may need their help.
Many churches also utilize radios for their children’s ministry. Should a teacher in one classroom need help or support, they can simply press a button on their radio or earpiece and ask for help.
It is also important for the children’s ministry team to have a channel on their radios that they can quickly and easily communicate with their security team to alert them of an issue they have in their classroom or maybe something unsettling that they see out their window or in their hallway.
Being able to alert security quickly and quietly without others knowing is the key to not alarming students and or the congregation and causing a bigger uproar than may be necessary. Church security teams are typically trained to handle situations that may arise, whether it be in the church or in the classroom, so getting them involved as quickly as possible is always best. Radios are the best way to accomplish that.
All churches are different, whether it be in size or attendance, and all have various needs and challenges. But one thing is for sure: No matter the church, communication is a must, and good radios are the best solution.
Jason Murphy is the sales manager for WS Communications, a Kenwood Master ProTalk Two-Way Radio Distributor for the Midwest. WS Communications has been a Kenwood Distributor for 11+ years and proudly provide sales and service to a variety of industries across the country, www.wscommunications.com.