Editor’s note: Since this post was first published in 2012, we’ve now helped protect dozens of churches in the Lowcountry, recently including Mother Emanuel AME Church, Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Grace UMC Church, Charleston Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church, St. Johannes Church, Central Baptist Church and many more.
Here at Charleston Security Systems, we’ve noticed a rise in requests for church security systems and monitoring, and church security camera systems in 2012.
Historically, churches and other places of worship have been known to be “soft targets” for would-be burglars. A “soft target” is a place that would be deemed an easy target for a burglary. With the caring and acceptance of the places of worship, criminals have the notion that this kind of organization wouldn’t put up much resistance in case of a burglary.
It’s an unfortunate truth, but a truth nonetheless.
What makes this truth doubly unfortunate is the fact that several of these churches or host to schools, nurseries and day cares – among other child related activities.
When a church burglary occurs, not just one family or one organization is affected – several families and organizations are affected.
Now, the rise in requests from churches and other places of worship does correlate a bit with a relative rise in church vandalism and burglaries in the area. This is only logical from our experience in the security business. Some homeowners, business owners and other organizational leaders don’t believe that they can be burglarized – until AFTER they have a break in or burglary.
So what can you do to help prevent burglaries at your church or other place of worship?
If you are a member of a church (i.e. not a decision maker of the church), ask the leaders what steps they’ve taken in order to protect themselves and the church from a burglary. Try to raise their awareness, as this will only help them in the future.
If you are a decision maker at a church or other place of worship, ask yourself if you consider your premises to be protected from top to bottom. Have there been burglaries in the area? Do you know any other churches that have been burglarized? Do you keep valuables or other property outside at night?
Remember, while the rise in church vandalism and burglaries is unfortunate, there are multiple forms of raising the level of security for churches including:
1. Reinforcing locks and other entry ways
2. Installing outdoor lighting (especially in parking lots)
4. Installing a security camera system inside/outside of your church.
We here at CSS hope this church security trend doesn’t continue, but we do take pride in knowing that we are keeping so many communities safe – and will continue to do so for anyone in need.