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Keeping Religious Institutions Secure - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128013465, 9780128014882

Keeping Religious Institutions Secure

1st Edition

Author: Jennie-Leigh McLamb
eBook ISBN: 9780128014882
Paperback ISBN: 9780128013465
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 13th April 2015
Page Count: 210
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Keeping Religious Institutions Secure explores the unique vulnerabilities that churches, synagogues, and mosques face in regards to security, making them attractive to criminals who see them as easy targets.

The text illustrates why all places of worship should think about security and the types of breaches that can drive people away. The book focuses on the most frequent security concerns experienced by houses of worship, including embezzlement, vandalism, assault, hate crime, and in rare cases, an active shooter—and how to help prevent them from occurring.

Beginning with an overview of the basic security concepts and principles that can enhance the security of any religious facility, it then delves deeply into the particular security concerns of houses of worship, including the use of volunteers, protecting religious leaders, ensuring safety for children and teens, interacting with local law enforcement, handling the media, and much more.

Key Features

  • Covers security best practices that are adaptable to any type of religious institution.
  • Addresses the key security measures—physical, electronic, environmental, and procedural—for protecting people and facilities.
  • Includes guidance on identifying threats and vulnerabilities and instituting countermeasures for deterring crime and violence.


Security practitioners and consultants, law enforcement, and clergy and lay leaders in houses of worship.

Table of Contents

  • About the Authors
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction
    • Incidents in the United States
    • Incidents Outside the United States
    • Safety versus Security
    • Purpose and Scope of this Book
    • Organization of this Book
    • Considerations
  • 2. Examining Typical Crimes
    • General Crime Information
    • Financial Crimes
    • Crimes against Property
    • Crimes against Persons
    • Hate Crimes
    • Final Thoughts
  • 3. Understanding Basic Security Principles
    • General Concepts
    • Disaster/Crisis/Incident Management Cycle
    • Physical Security
    • Electronic Security
    • Environmental Security
    • Operational Security
    • Information Security
    • Final Thoughts
  • 4. Evaluating Risk
    • Risk
    • Risk Assessment
    • Security Survey
    • Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Putting It All Together
    • Final Thoughts
  • 5. Choosing Physical and Electronic Security Countermeasures
    • Security System Functions
    • Designing and Implementing a Physical Protection System
    • Improving an Existing PPS
    • Systems Integration
    • Performance Measures for PPS Functions
    • Building Your Facility
    • Final Thoughts
  • 6. Utilizing the Total Environment
    • Benefits of CPTED
    • What is CPTED?
    • Behavior Management
    • Space Assessment 3-D Approach
    • Putting CPTED Principles to Work
    • Final Thoughts
  • 7. Developing Policies and Procedures
    • Topics for Policies and Procedures
    • Emergency Plans for Security Incidents
    • Recovery Plans
    • Information Security Policies
    • Issue-Specific Security Policies
    • Policy Distribution
    • Final Thoughts
  • 8. Identifying and Handling At-Risk People
    • Threat Assessment
    • Signs of a Person Being Under the Influence of Chemical Substances
    • Mental Illness
    • Suspicious Behaviors Indicating Criminal Activity
    • Early Warning Signs of Potential Workplace Violence
    • Warning Signs of Potential/Impending Violence
    • Domestic Violence
    • Meeting with a Potentially Violent Person
    • Confrontation Management and De-Escalation Techniques
    • Final Thoughts
  • 9. Reacting to an Event in Progress
    • Declaring a Crisis
    • Bomb Threats
    • Other Threats
    • Suspicious Mail or Packages
    • Suspicious Items
    • Potential Attacker
    • Managing Anxiety
    • Managing Verbal Aggression
    • Physical Intervention
    • Final Thoughts
  • 10. Responding to an Active Shooter
    • Factors that Affect Decision-Making
    • Preparation
    • Run
    • Hide
    • Intervene
    • What to Do when Law Enforcement Arrives
    • Final Thoughts
  • 11. Recovering from an Incident
    • Immediate Aftermath
    • Short Term
    • Long Term
    • Summary
  • 12. Handling the Media
    • Introduction
    • Media Liaison
    • Other Considerations
    • Final Thoughts
  • 13. Recognizing Intangible Capital and Liability Concerns
    • Intangible Assets
    • Intangible Capital
    • Protecting Your Facility’s Reputation
    • Liability Concerns
    • Final Thoughts
  • 14. Increasing Security Awareness
    • Factors that Negatively Affect Awareness
    • Security Awareness Program
    • Final Thoughts
  • 15. Implementing and Training
    • Implementing a Security Program
    • Training
    • Final Thoughts
  • 16. Keeping the Principal Safe
    • Deciding If You Need Executive Protection
    • Threat Identification
    • 24-Hour Protection
    • Residential Protection
    • Facility Protection
    • Protection When You Travel
    • Protection for Your Family
    • Personal Protection Detail
  • 17. Assessing the Need for Less Lethal Tools and Firearms
    • Use of Force Continuum
    • Training
    • Budget
    • Less Lethal Tools/Weapons
    • Firearms
    • Considerations
    • Final Thoughts
  • 18. Establishing Security Partnerships
    • Within the Organization
    • Outside the Organization
    • Community
    • Other Religious Institutions
    • How to Establish Partnerships
  • 19. Protecting Children and Youth
    • General Procedures
    • Principles of Safety
    • Abuse and Neglect
    • Reducing the Likelihood of Victimization
    • Standards of Conduct for Staff and Volunteers
    • Prevention Strategies
    • Final Thoughts
  • 20. Conclusion and Summary
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 2015
13th April 2015
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author

Jennie-Leigh McLamb

Jennie-Leigh McLamb

Jennie-Leigh McLamb, CPP, PSP, PCI, has over 10 years of experience in private security. Currently, she is an independent security consultant who advises businesses and other institutions on preparedness and planning for a variety of threats, as well as conducts risk assessments and physical security surveys. She also conducts training sessions and designs curricula for a variety of topics including workplace violence prevention, security awareness, creating policies and procedures, screening social media for new hires, and situational awareness.

She began her security career in the Private Security Services Section of Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) where she performed a variety of functions including evaluating sources for alternative training credit, conducting compliance agent training, and helping develop new regulations as well as internal policies and procedures for regulating private security personnel. As the compliance and training administrator for a private security company, she managed training and licensing of over 1500 individuals across multiple jurisdictions and contract requirements, designed and updated curriculum and tests, and developed training plans in support of business proposals. She is an instructor and curriculum developer for both online and onsite courses in various security topics including access control, patrol, confrontation management, and others.

In addition to her ASIS certifications, she has an MS in Security Management and is finishing an MBA with concentrations in Cybersecurity and Information Security Management.

Affiliations and Expertise

Private security consultant, Richmond/Northern Virginia


"This comprehensive compilation of information and references goes into great detail, so it will be useful to novice security managers and those with no security background. There are many good examples of steps to take to properly manage and evaluate security in general...Mission accomplished." --Security Management

"With religious institutions under increasing threat by terrorists and active shooters, this volume provides highly useful information on security principles and best practices for protecting such soft targets against such threats." --Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security International

" The book goes through basic security principles; and evaluating risk; and how to choose physical, and electronic, security counter-measures." --Professional Security Magazine Online

Ratings and Reviews