You’ve created a security team for your masjid. Now what? What do you do? The answer: Nothing. Nothing until you’re clear on what your masjid’s security policies are.
Security policies serve several critical purposes. They help the security team identify and prioritize what they need to work on. The masjid board or shura should come up with the policies. The job of the security team is to implement the policies.
Every action that the security team takes should be somehow related to implementing a policy. If your team is doing something that cannot be linked to a policy, you’re putting the masjid at risk. Comprehensive security policies protect the masjid from claims of bias. For example, we have a policy that states that one of the requirements for carrying a weapon at the masjid is that the team member should conduct shooting practice at a shooting range at least once every two weeks. It is a lot easier to rescind someone’s permission to carry a gun if they haven’t logged any training than it is because a shura member “doesn’t think the brother is taking the responsibility seriously.”
It is human nature to get excited once you’ve formed your team. You want to start patrolling, you want to start ‘laying down the law.’ This is exactly the time when you need to take a step back and let the masjid shura know that you can’t start in your new role until the shura has identified and approved the policies that they want your team to implement.
Examples of policies are:
- Child Safety Policy and Procedures
- Criteria of Denial of Volunteer Applications
- Background Checks for Volunteers
- Emergency Response Guide and Policy
- Security Team Policy and Procedures
- Emergency Response Worksheets
- Volunteer Interview Policies
This is a lot for a new security team to come up with. We looked around and found out that Full Armor Church Safety Solutions has a good set of policy documents that you can purchase and customize for your own house of worship. There are other services as well, some free, some paid. Find one that you would like to use and start with the documents that they provide. Then customize them for your masjid. Once you have a coherent set of policies, present them to the masjid shura for approval. Only once they’ve been approved should you start implementing the policies.