Tactical Training for Individuals and Church Security Teams to Thwart Active Violence Incidents (Part 1)

SemperVerus interviewed Del Kostanko, who founded Blue Arrow Consultants, LLC believing that individuals, church security teams, and businesses utilizing threat assessment knowledge to make a location more secure—and to prepare people for what dangers may occur—can lessen the need for force, reduce the chance of physical harm, and minimize liability. Also interviewed below is the security team leader of a Michigan church who asked Blue Arrow Consultants to train his team.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Tactical Training for Individuals and Church Security Teams to Thwart Active Violence Incidents (Part 2) ]

With your extensive background in the Marine Corps, and as a police sergeant, tactician in hundreds of high-risk operations, and trainer of police officers in how to respond to Active Violence Incidents, why did you form Blue Arrow Consultants?
I discovered that tactical training for Concealed Pistol License (CPL) holders is rare, and very expensive. There are numerous CPL trainers in Michigan for people to get their permits to carry, and they do an excellent job, but there is less of an opportunity for those with their CPL to go to the next level. Through progressive training classes, I take them to the next level. My students learn invaluable skills to address threats more quickly, and efficiently, to better protect themselves, their loved ones, and the public.

6 Laws of Mindful Self-Defensive Tactics

In his article, Pre-Contact Assessments & the 10 Laws of Defensive Tactics, trainer and use-of-force expert Ron Martinelli, PhD, reminds police officers how to make sound, legal, and reasonable decisions under stress in order to preserve the lives of citizens as well as their own.

The following extracts from that article are adaptations of those tactics that are appropriate for use by civilian and church security team concealed firearm carriers.

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

•   Your mouth and your mind are your two greatest weapons.
“The best fight is the one you don’t get into. Good verbal skills and sound tactics will keep you out of more critical incidents than any other defensive weapons or tactics you have.”

If you suspect, but are uncertain, someone is posing a threat to you, strip away the ambiguity of the moment by loudly telling the person to “STAY AWAY.” If he or she continues to advance, you know he or she is a threat and you can take immediate evasive or self-defensive action.

Interview with Kevin Robertson, Director of Security at Saddleback Church

SemperVerus interviewed Kevin Robertson, director of security at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California, and author of the books Church Security 101 and 201: Creating a Safe Worship Environment (Purpose Driven Communications, 2014 and 2019).

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

Why is it important for a church of any size to have a security team?
I believe it should be a foundational ministry. There are many ways for us—church leadership—to be good stewards. Keeping those God put under our care, as well taking care of the “tools”—items we use daily: laptops, pens, copiers, electronics—is also stewardship. I liken a security ministry at a church to one’s fire insurance policy at their home. We hope and pray it will never be needed, but if we need it, we want to have it in place.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, New Edition of Hostility Against Churches Report Shows a Doubling of Attacks ]

Why do you emphasize that a security team is a ministry of the church?
I tell people that God truly knew what he was doing: taking a former cop, turning him into a pastor and head of security at a church. This gives me the blessing of being able to see church security through both “lenses;” from a law enforcement standpoint and equally from a pastoral standpoint. Church security is a totally different thing than security on the streets. I used to interview each potential security staff or security volunteer. In the start of the meeting, I’d tell them, “I’ve got a question for you and it’s the most important one.” Afterwards, they would typically tell me they thought I was going to ask them something tactical, or are they willing to go hands on. What I asked them is, “Are you willing to pray with someone?” Now I want you to be safe, and pray with your eyes open. But this is something, off and on, God puts someone in our path and we’ll need to pray for them.

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