Think About it... SOS.24; A Destination of Significance

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I have participated in many security events. I have had the honor of sharing the platform with some of the best presenters in our space.

Some years back, I envisioned an annual summit where faith-based security professionals could come from across the nation to learn things directly applicable to safety / security service in their churches, synagogues or other faith-based organizations. 

A summit where every speaker had passionate, applicable concepts for faith-based security operations. I wanted many of the speakers I had got to know, to be there with me.

I envisioned an audience where only vetted security operators, faith-based leaders and first responders could hear more detailed information, shared freely due to the vetted nature of the audience.

Some successful event planners told me it would be professional suicide to have people “apply” to be admitted into an event. That the expenses of a nationwide summit, with high-level speakers, would require us to sell as many seats as possible. To have their application to the event be truly an application, pending the validity of their service, would cost too much in lost seats.

They were wrong. From July 25th through July 27th, the 6th annual Security Operations Summit (SOS.24) is coming to Highlands Ranch, CO (a south-side suburb of Denver). We expect over 500 vetted participants from 40 states or more, to gather in what has become an annual pilgrimage for many.

Speakers this year will include;

  • Dave Grossman (nationally recognized author and speaker)
  • John Giduck (one of the nation’s leading authorities on the continued risk of foreign terrorism)
  • John Riley (the best presenter I’ve ever heard on real de-escalation techniques)
  • Bruce Alpe (Security Director of Houston’s, Lakewood Church)

And MANY others. We are adding more every week and already have 18 solidified.


Think About it

A pilgrimage is an inspired practice consisting of a prolonged journey, often undertaken by plane, train or automobile, toward a specific destination of significance.

The FBSN first developed the SOS as a “destination of significance.” Every summit has been exactly that. The pilgrimage happened on its own and continues to happen as long as we focus on the significance.

Every year we hear back from attendees that the SOS is the one event they will budget for next year. We are honored to be trusted with that remarkable standard.

Here is the link to read more about, or register for SOS.24


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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.