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Responding to Threats

How churches can be vigilant in their security and threat assessment efforts.

Responding to Threats

In working with churches, I have come across a common tenet: the church must be an open and inviting place for all people. But with the realities of church shootings and acts of violence, how does the church— the place that is open to everyone—protect itself from the harm that can result when people are not screened, when new faces are added every week, and when unpredictability is a constant?

It is well established that the church has no legal duty to protect against the criminal actions of a third party unless the criminal act was reasonably foreseeable. To determine whether it is reasonably foreseeable that a criminal act will occur, the church would consider if any criminal activity recently took place at the church or in the immediate area, look at the time frame of the occurrence (how close or remote in time it was), and whether the church had knowledge of the criminal activity. ...

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Gisele Kalonzo-Douglas is an attorney, risk manager, strategic planning consultant, and crisis management professional with over ten years of experience.

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Posted:
  • July 14, 2016

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