Think About it -- A Somber Reflection of Our Vulnerabilities

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In 2022, the church security world felt the brutal murder of one of our own in Albuquerque, NM. Church Security operator Daniel Bourne was killed by a man who ran him down in a truck as Bourne was patrolling the parking lot of the Calvary Chapel Church in Albuquerque, NM. Evidence quickly led authorities to a local man by the name of Marc Ward.

The trial of Marc Ward started this week and will continue into next week.

BNN Breaking journalist, Muhammad Jawad wrote of the trial,

As the trial progresses, it serves as a somber reflection on the vulnerabilities faced by individuals tasked with ensuring the safety of communal spaces. The case against Marc Ward, with its mix of direct and circumstantial evidence, underscores the complexities involved in achieving justice. Whether through a conviction or acquittal, the outcome of this trial will undoubtedly have lasting implications for the Albuquerque community and beyond, prompting a deeper examination of the measures needed to protect those who dedicate themselves to the safety of others.[i]

Jawad captured one of many realities of church security operations.

Everything you do could end up at the mercy of a jury. The outcome will not only affect you (and perhaps your surviving family, as is this case), but will have lasting implications applicable to all those who dedicate themselves to the safety of others.

When you watch any trial, consider one stark reality of the courtroom. As a jury hears compelling narratives from strangers in front of them, the only ones of those strangers not required to tell the truth, are the attorneys themselves. 

You will never see an attorney lay his hand on the bible and swear to tell the truth. They don’t have to. 


Think About it

The potential of a trial, related to their actions, with all the realities of the courtroom, are trained into law-enforcement officers of any agency. All 50 states have their own version of “Pattern Jury Instructions.” Some agencies make their state’s version a required reading for new officers.

That church wants God’s will (which is always truth). I believe truth will prevail in this case due to the kind of man Daniel Bourne was, and the effective security program of the church.


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Lessons From the Farm (No. 1)
Having moved back to farm country (from where I continue to manage the Faith Based Security Network), there is also the reality of needed work to be done on the farm. Fortunately, there is not (yet) any cropland; the daily duties are centered around making sure the small cow herd is healthy and accounted for. It is rare that I can’t think of the applicability of some farm action to the realm of effective security operations.  Such was the case this week when a neighbor called to see if I could help him out. Helping is just part of common rural hospitality. It’s called “neighboring.” When someone’s ox is in the ditch, you go help them. He owns no oxen, but he did have a few hundred acres of corn to get harvested in a narrow window of time. He needed to keep 3 semis continuously filled as drivers ran the harvested corn to the granaries. He had a 12-row combine working nonstop cutting the corn. The missing link was a man on a tractor to catch the freshly harvested corn out of the combine into a 750 bushel mobile grain cart, then transport that corn to the waiting semis. The inset picture shows the operation and equipment well. He set aside an hour to have one of his workers train me on the tractor and the mobile grain cart. After that I was all alone in a John Deere 8400, 4-wheel drive row-crop tractor.  This wasn’t like driving Dad’s old 2-cylinder John Deeres 50 years ago. This $300,000 monster had a computerized cab more like a cockpit. At 30,000 pounds and 225 horsepower, it was bigger, more powerful and more expensive than any machine I’d ever operated. One hour of training.   Think About it The great late Jeff Cooper said, “Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician” (another version quoted him as, “Owning a pistol doesn't make you a pistoleer any more than owning a piano makes you a pianist”). A few hours operating powerful machinery doesn’t make one a farmer either. Is your training commensurate with the tools and the needed actions? How much is a life worth? If you think an hour might be a little light for training on a monster tractor, how much is too light for your tools of protecting life?
This week’s TAI is written by FBSN Board Chairman, David Dixon. David has served 37 years in law enforcement, is a 40 year church staff member and started their security program in 1985 that he continues to manage today. I find his article to be spot on. As a grandparent of eleven with two more on the way, I have watched in amazement as our adult children packed up to leave the house with their kids for a trip or even just for dinner. They plan for every scenario they might face while away from the house: Snacks, drinks, bottles, diapers, changes of clothes, toys, tablets all make their way into a neatly packed backpack ready for the great adventure away from home.  It is mind-boggling the amount of preparation young moms go through before they leave the house to head out with their kids in tow. Intuitively, these moms think ahead to what challenges might come their way and what “mom” tools they might need to solve the problems when they arise. It has been amazing to watch our three daughters and daughter-in-law produce the proper tool at just the right time when one of the kids goes into meltdown mode while away from the house. Think about it:  Do we approach our duties as law enforcement and church security operators with the same amount of preparation as a mom leaving the house with her kids? Do we have all the tools in our toolbox when we head out to work the streets or to fulfill our duties at church?  Preparation is the key to a successful shift in whatever area we might be working. And preparation goes far beyond just having the right equipment on our belts or in our backpacks.  Have we prepared physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the task the Lord has put in front of us? Does our training portfolio match the task that we are given to take on? Does our prayer life and walk with the Lord get us ready for the spiritual attacks that will come our way? Do our life experiences and emotional strength have us ready to walk in the deep waters we sometimes find ourselves? Are we physically fit enough to handle the role assigned to us? I believe being a young mom is a high calling, and I have watched with great joy the young moms in our family navigate raising kids. I also believe that law enforcement and church security is a high calling, one that I love accepting. Let’s step back and self-evaluate and make sure we are prepared when we leave the house to tackle this great endeavor of protecting God’s people.