Religion of Sunday, 13 April 2014

Source: GNA

Churches advised to train members on security

Dr. Kwesi Biney, Founder of Royal Kingdom Security Network Limited (ROKSNEL), a Ghanaian private security company, has advised Church leaders to provide security training for their members to combat security threats.

Dr. Biney, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company, made the call at a day's sensitization seminar in Church security training for Pastors, Priests, ushers, church administrators, Sunday school teachers and children’s ministry leaders in Sunyani.

Forty-seven representatives from various Churches, including Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Methodist Church, Ghana, Action Chapel, Deeper Life, Hope Ministry, Grace Outreach, Glorious Baptist and the Assemblies of God in the Sunyani Municipality attended.

Dr. Biney referred to the recent crime wave gradually creeping into some Churches in Ghana and other West Africa countries, and stressed that effective security measures and services by churches in the country now was more than necessary.

He announced his Company had partnered with a United States of America (USA) security agency, Strategos International, to undertake training in West Africa as an accredited representative and award certificates of training issued by the international agency.

Dr. Biney said even though no Church or religious body would like to contemplate of violent acts occurring within their walls, Church security was an issue Church leaders must not brush over.

He, therefore, emphasised that there were many tangible reasons like child abduction that warranted Church leadership to prepare through training and education of their members as a preventive measure.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sampson Agbeko of the Sunyani Office of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, in a presentation on “Church Security, the Role and Responsibility of the Church and Police,” stated about 30 percent of all churches have experienced a threat or other emergency in recent times.

He added that 75 percent of churches had no security plan in place and, therefore, cautioned that churches must be prepared for a variety of threats and emergencies.

DSP Agbeko suggested some security guidelines for church leaders, including a basic plan, whether that involved disruption of service, violence, natural disaster or a medical emergency.

He said one person should always be in charge of overseeing security as part of his or her defined duties at the church, emphasising that person should have the ability to command and control the response with instant communication by using two-way radios or similar equipment.

DSP Agbeko also mentioned the use of surveillance and observation as critical to avoiding and minimizing harassment and threats, suggesting the use of more cameras placed at vantage angles among others.

The DOVVSU officer also recommended the use of multiple layers of security under which he explained churches could also train other members outside the Church to be a component of their security, including ushers and greeters.

Church security members should have procedures for the lock down of sensitive places such as child-care areas, adding measures should be in place for notifying the child-care Coordinator immediately of any potential disruption or security threat.

A retired educationist and also an Anglican Priest, Very Reverend Moses Kankam Dwumfour, chaired the function.