Articles by semperverus

Tactical Training for Individuals and Church Security Teams to Thwart Active Violence Incidents (Part 2)

This is the follow-up post to the first article about how Blue Arrow Consultants trains church security teams in handling Active Violence Incidents (AVI) in their houses of worship.

SemperVerus attended the two-day, more-than-six-hour training session at a Michigan church building with that church’s security team. It consisted of two hours of classroom teaching and four hours of live-action AVI scenario training with inert Glock blue guns and Glock 19X Gen5 Airsoft pistols and protective clothing.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Tactical Training for Individuals and Church Security Teams to Thwart Active Violence Incidents (Part 1) ]

The course instructor was Del Kostanko, police trainer and founder of Blue Arrow Consultants, LLC, who teaches that knowing how to assess and respond to threats can lessen the need for force, reduce the chance of physical harm, and minimize liability.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Prayer for Church Security Team Members ]

Disruptions during church services and events are generally benign, without violence, and can be solved using de-escalation techniques and skills.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Gentle Response De-Escalation Training for Church Security Teams ]

But, in the rare case of an AVI, church security teams must know how best to work cohesively to appropriately and courageously stop the deadly threat. SemperVerus highly recommends Blue
Arrow Consultants
to expertly train your church safety team in the best practices of SWAT methods to properly prepare for when very bad times happen.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Chart: The Spectrum of Potential Threat Personas in Self-Defense and Church Security ]

The following is merely a small sampling of the excellent lessons Del taught, along with photos of some of the physical execution of those lessons in staged scenarios:

Church Security Book Review: A Gentle Response

With the title taken from Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire,” the book A Gentle Response: Conflict De-Escalation With A Ministry Mindset is written to guide staff and volunteers of all faiths and houses of worship in proven ways to defuse tense and potentially dangerous situations. Its author, John Riley, is an Army veteran, retired police officer, consultant, trainer, and founder/president of Gentle Response, a consulting company specializing in very dynamic, realistic conflict de-escalation training seminars which are specifically designed to help students develop stress inoculation, muscle memory, self confidence, and confidence in colleagues.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Gentle Response De-Escalation Training for Church Security Teams ]

The book is filled with practical insight and examples by the author, gleaned from 20 years of road patrol experience, observations, and training as a certified crisis intervention specialist through the National Anger Management Association of what can be said and done by law enforcement officers to more effectively and successfully de-escalate a situation to ensure that everyone goes home safe. While it’s written to church security team members, it’s principles can be equally applied to individuals as part of your personal self-defense toolbox.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Prayer for Church Security Team Members ]

The following are highlighted quotes from the 90-page book:

Statue of Billy Graham Unveiled in Statuary Hall of US Capitol

Salvation in Christ Jesus was offered in National Statuary Hall May 16, 2024 at the unveiling of a 7-foot tall bronze statue of the iconic late global evangelist Billy Graham (who died at age 99 in 2018) which has John 3:16 and John 14:6 carved in its base.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Spiritual Fitness: How Long Does It Take to Read the Bible? ]

US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson, other congressional members, dignitaries, and the Graham family and friends officiated at the hour-long ceremony, which was carried live on C-SPAN.

In his prayer of invocation, US Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry Black described Mr. Graham’s life as “the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless day, and like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth. Lord, we celebrate his laudable example of blameless living, of obedience to your commands, and of telling your good news of salvation around the world. Inspired by his great and sacrificial life, may we emulate his commitment by refusing to deviate from integrity, living above reproach, and striving to transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.” [Editor’s Note: These expressed characteristics are the same advocated by living the SemperVerus life.]

Active Self Protection Self-Defense Checklists and Acronyms

John Correia is the founder of Active Self Protection, teaching people to develop the attitude, skills, and plan (ASP) to defend themselves and their families from harm.

John is a nationally-recognized subject matter expert in private citizen defensive encounters and law enforcement use of force, a master firearms instructor, martial artist, court-admitted expert witness, teacher of teachers, and former pastor. He reviews thousands of violent incident videos as true-life self-defense teaching lessons on his Main and his Extra YouTube channels.

The following is a collection of some of the acronyms and checklists John has created to assist in remembering self-defense techniques and mindset.

•   Vehicles are transitional spaces where threatening incidents can easily happen. Follow this LET’SS GO checklist IN NUMERICAL ORDER to quickly remove yourself from vulnerability:


  1. L ock your doors as soon as you get into your car.
  2. E ngine on.
  3. T ransmission in gear.
  4. S seatbelt buckled.
  5. S can your surroundings.
  6. G et organized.
  7. O n your way.