16 Feb: See the Children

As news rolled out the afternoon of 2/13/20 concerning the discovery of little Faye Swetlik’s body, I couldn’t get her picture out of my mind. It had nothing to do with a church, but it was a child. As Valentine’s Day dawned, little Faye got no candy kisses. She never saw the Valentine cards the rest of her 1st grade class made for her anticipating her safe return. I sat and looked at her picture for way too long early the next morning as I thought of the innocent life of a happy little girl cut short by evil. Faye Swetlik                                                               Kayla Gomez-Orcozco I remembered Bullard Texas, where on 11/1/16, a similar story emerged. Spanish-speaking Templo de Restauracion Apostolico…

09 Feb: Active Attack Transition Moments (Message 2 of 2)

We know little about the following. Most “news” came from one man eager to tell reporters. The Faith City Mission in Amarillo, Texas started as a homeless outreach, evolving through time into a place of hope for those who find themselves in crisis situations. Ministry patrons come to get free from indigent lifestyles, becoming students of the ministry’s “Continuum of Cultural Transformation.” On 2/14/18, on-site ministry security saw one of those students entering the chapel with a gun and evil intentions. Security responded in ways we still don’t know about. While many students got out safely, 24 remained in the chapel in a developing hostage situation. 911 calls went out; officers came in. Officers arriving at four different doors around the chapel heard a shot inside. Unlike Parkland Florida officers that same day, they went in. As they entered the chaotic and dynamic scene, they saw two females running with…

02 Feb: Active Attack Transition Moments (message 1 of 2)

While it’s good to have someone designated to call 911, it may not work like you plan. Depending on how many congregants are at your event when violence breaks out, a 911 call from your designated caller probably won’t be in the first 50. It’s also good to have a full transition plan, including posted people outside to inform arriving officers. Those moments when officers converge at an active attack scene can get hairy for the civilian defender(s) already there. Due to various dynamics of an active attack however, your transition plan might fail to develop. At our attack, as the killer was dead on our floor and I was standing over his body, 911 was jammed; I could not get through. I knew exactly where the killer was and where other armed team members were but had no way of getting that information out. We had nobody at any…