AUBURN — A company that describes itself as an innovative leader in security training, consulting and protective services will bring classes in personal safety, church security, intruder awareness and workplace violence to Auburn.
Strategos International will offer four different classes July 30 through Aug. 2. The Auburn Police Department is sponsoring the classes.
“We felt that there was a need to bring this type of training to our community, but we didn’t have the expertise to teach it,” said Auburn Police Chief Martin McCoy. “It’s going to be a learning experience for us, as well.”
The first class, entitled “Personal Awareness and Safety for Believers” will take place July 30 from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at Dayspring Community Church in Auburn.
“It’s for just about anyone that attends church and is interested,” McCoy said.
Strategos said the class is geared toward church members who wish to increase their awareness and vigilance, pastors, church business administrators, facility managers, security directors, children’s ministry directors, security team members, greeters, ushers, parking teams, deacons, elders, church staff and volunteers.
“Living life on mission and spreading Christ’s message to those with hurts, heartaches and hang-ups can put Christians in hostile environments and circumstances,” Strategos states. “In addition, many churchgoers have been wrongly taught that defending themselves and others is unethical and unbiblical.”
Topics covered by the class include: biblical authority for awareness, safety and security; overcoming objections for protecting yourself and others; demographics and statistics on violence against women; statistics and justifications for fighting back; body language; dressing to defend; safety and security while approaching a vehicle and traveling in a vehicle; safety and security at home and while traveling abroad; and self-defense principles.
The cost of the class is $30 per person.
On July 31, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dayspring, Strategos will lead a class in church security planning for leadership personnel. The class is intended to provide those in church leadership with the tools needed to start a security ministry from nothing or to formalize a security ministry already in place. It will cover the importance of constructing a written plan.
“Putting a plan for your security ministry in writing is very important, because actions in a crisis will be judged under the assumption that your team reacted subjectively,” Strategos states.
The class is designed for church administrators and leaders, McCoy said. The fee is $99 per person.
A second class aimed at church leaders and those in frequent contact with the congregation and visitors will focus on intruder awareness and response. The class will take place Aug. 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dayspring.
“Your church can be secure, yet welcoming,” Strategtos states in a class overview. “A focus on security does not, and should not, compromise the mission of your church.”
Participants will learn how to recognize physical indicators of suspicious behavior, statistics on church violence, the biblical and ethical justification for church security, the history of violence at churches, approaching armed individuals, verbally de-escalating conflict, lockdown procedures, and what to do when lockdown fails.
The cost of the class is $99 per person.
A statement from Dayspring staff said the church strives to make its facility a safe place for children, students and adults.
“In fact it is part of our code. Our code supports our mission at Dayspring to do whatever it takes to help people become fully devoted followers of Christ. Feeling safe and comfortable is a large part of growing in our faith. Another portion of our code is that the methods must change, meaning that as times change so do the way we do things in order to facilitate the best environment for spiritual growth. While we believe our current safety measurements are good, we want to continually grow,” the church stated.
“We are fortunate enough to have not had any incidents requiring us to have such a training, but we want to be prepared should anything occur as well as offer the opportunity to other local churches to have an in-depth safety plan. Along with the safety of the adults who attend our gatherings, we want mimic the safety and security that our local schools do for that of our children and students.”
The LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department offers ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training to churches, businesses and organizations in its community. The instructor-led classes are designed to provide preparation and a plan for individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active-shooter event. The training takes four hours, said LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department Director of Communications Bill Morr.
“There’s a lot of need for this right now,” Morr said.
LaGrange County officers have conducted at least 15 classes, with eight more scheduled to take place in the next few months, Morr added.
“It’s a great opportunity,” he said.
The classes are offered at no cost, and any interested groups should contact the sheriff’s department.
Fremont Police Officer Adam Meeks also is trained to offer the ALICE program and is working with schools in how to react to the threat of an intruder or active shooter event, said Fremont Town Marshal Joe Paterson.
The Noble County Sheriff’s Department also has officers who are trained to provide classes in church and workplace safety, said Chief Deputy Chad Willett.
“We’ve had that training several times throughout Noble County at different churches,” said Willett.
Just this past week, the department conducted two different workplace safety planning sessions, Willett added.
“The officers that have received training to provide the classes do an overall evaluation of the workplace to try to identify areas that the security could be increased,” Willett explained.
In DeKalb County, Strategos will round out its training with a class on workplace violence and intruder response Aug. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Auburn Police Training Facility, 1131 W. Auburn Drive.
The class is designed for workplace leaders, administrators, supervisors, human resource personnel, security and personnel who interact with the public and customers.
Participants will learn to identify potential threats in the workplace and how to respond to violent intruders. The class fee is $60 per person.
Through the Auburn Police Department’s community policing fund, McCoy has purchased 50 spots in a church class and 50 seats in the workplace class, to be divided between DeKalb County businesses and churches. McCoy said DeKalb County churches or businesses interested in receiving a free spot should contact him at 920-3200, ext. 1901.
McCoy said individuals, churches and businesses from outside of DeKalb County are welcome and encouraged to attend the classes, but the free spaces are limited to DeKalb County churches and businesses. Each class size is limited to 80 people.
“We’re hoping we can fill this up,” McCoy said.
Registration may be completed online at strategosintl.com or by calling (888) 569-5444.
For more information, people may contact McCoy at the police department, 920-3200.