Safety and Security Committee
In 2019 your Session formed a committee to assess and improve the safety and security of members and visitors, as well as to protect our church building and its contents. Session considered making Safety & Security part of the Property Committee since many of the actions are related to improving the security and safety of our building/property. Improvements in security for people will also require building/property projects. However, the additional workload on an already very busy Property Committee would be too much. Session also wanted representation from other committees. Safety & Security has four members representing Property as well as members representing Worship, Discipleship, Stewardship, PW and Personnel (Office Staff). The members are Betsey Bopp, Denise Haralson, Dave Hykes, Elva Hullihen, John Oskin, Geoff Rach, Bob Smith and Kim Stevenson….please let one of us know if you are interested in joining!
Ten (10) people completed CPR training on January 25th 9:00am-noon at PT High School. We can all feel a little more comfortable knowing that we have 10 more people trained to help in a medical emergency. Forty-one (41) people attended C.R.A.S.E. (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event) training provided by PT Officer Blake Danowski on February 18th. The session was scheduled for 1-1/2 hours, but lasted 2 hours as a result of great questions and discussions. Blake covered many topics, including a few basic items:
While in church (or anywhere else), where are the two closest exists?
Where is the closest fire extinguisher?
Where are first aid kits’ and where is the AED (Defibrillator)?
In addition to providing training, Officer Danowski toured the church with the committee to assess our church’s safety and security. He provided ideas and recommendations for improvements that the committee will pursue.
While we are in a low crime area in a good neighborhood, we should take reasonable precautions to protect the safety of children, staff members, and everyone who wishes to worship or use our church for other activities. We did have an instance last year where a stranger was wandering inside near the Preschool area and when confronted would not identify himself. Committee members discussed security with ten (10) other churches in our presbytery and some have had instances of intruders, burglary, child custody issues, and other incidents.
The committee is working to make the delicate balance between providing adequate security while providing easy access to worship and other activities. We are working with three companies on the final details for proposals to implement access controls and other security solutions. We plan to seek approval for the following during session’s March meeting.
Automated locks with access using keycard/fob, or Keypad codes for authorized people to enter the church (Office, Elevator and Rear/Fellowship doors). Members will be provided with a card/fob or key-code (depending on the final solution) for entrance. Visitors during weekdays will need to use a doorbell (audio/video) to request entrance.
Session has already approved locking the narthex/sanctuary door 10-15 minutes after the start of a service. We plan to use the existing lock and install a system for people arriving late to request entrance, without disrupting the service.
If approved, there will be other security related systems installed to help prevent intrusion and other incidents. The systems will also help us to react quickly should an incident occur.
Unfortunately, commercial grade security systems for a building of our size are expensive. Based on the proposals received to-date, we continue to estimate that we will need approximately $11,000 to implement reasonably good solutions.
PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND TO HELP PAY FOR THE NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS IN OUR SAFETY AND SECURITY AND TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR OTHER MAJOR BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS AND REPAIRS.
Your Safety & Security Committee