15 Mar: Full Dress Rehearsal

As building engineer for a large ministry, I conducted one fire drill every year. With over 200,000 guests per year, we also had occasional false alarms (even with our advanced positive alarm sequence system). With a secondary priority of returning to normalcy, our first priority was always the safety of our staff and that day’s visitors. Every fire alarm was taken seriously. If it was a false alarm, I considered it a drill, then reset my clock to do another within 12 months. Every drill was great training. We never waited on the fire department to discover what or where the issue was. By the time they arrived we would show them the source, then let them call everyone back in. When the alarms sounded the day of our hostage situation in 1996, our folks evacuated with the same ease and order as any other drill. As some exited thinking…

08 Mar: The Crime Triangle

In 2014 I was interviewed by a radio station after the host had read my book. She seemed particularly interested in the part where I talked of the 3 elements of crime;  … it only takes three elements for any violent crime: 1)   An attacker motivated by a cause 2)   A victim who represents that cause 3)   A lack of protection  The first two elements exist in just about any major gathering of people. The third may be more common in faith-based organizations than any other group.[i] Those 3 elements are often reduced to 3 simple words, desire, ability and opportunity. As pointed out by many in law enforcement, eliminate any part of the equation and the crime will not occur. We have more control over opportunity than the other two. By removing the opportunity, those with a criminal desire and the ability to act on that desire will find…

29 Feb: Sheepdog or Alpha Dog?

                      There are great books and messages on dealing with strong-willed kids and strong-willed spouses. Dealing with strong-willed associates is common too. But there are few model insights for the clash of those titans. The protection business is filled with strong-willed associates; men and women.  Almost daily, I correspond with some security operator having issues with a person, persons or me. Some are more right than wrong or vice versa; but of course, not in their mind. We can learn from the marriage model. My wife and I are both strong willed. We learned (and keep learning) that being right is not as important as being in agreement. Getting there can be painful. Being right is important to me. I am responsible if something fails, so I must be the one seeing things clearly, then leading through the jungle. Well,…