Safety in Faith
Over the past decade, houses of worship have increasingly become a soft target for attack. Safety in Faith workshops are designed to address those concerns by providing safety and security presentation opportunities. That said, Safety in Faith workshop trainings are public events and open to anyone interested in learning how to provide safety and security in a building-gathering setting.
Workshops are hosted multiple times throughout the year by the JCSO, with support from the District Attorney's Office and partner public safety agencies, including Arvada, Golden, Lakewood, Westminster, and Wheat Ridge Police Departments; and Arvada, Evergreen, and West Metro Fire and Rescue. Many partner agencies offer safety and crime prevention tips at information tables during the workshops, which have all been well-attended and well-received.
Safety in Faith Coalition
While the Safety in Faith program offers houses of worship a venue for general safety and security presentations, the Safety in Faith Coalition serves as a more immediate source of information for faith leaders by keeping them informed via email of suspicious activities and incidents that occur at houses of worship in Jefferson County and the Denver Metro area. By raising awareness of local incidents at the time of occurrence, our hope is to prevent the same or a similar incident from occurring at another religious institution. Additionally, the virtual coalition affords us the opportunity to strengthen our public safety partnership with the faith community continually rather than periodically.
If you would like to be added to the Safety In Faith Coalition email list, please submit a request to [email protected].
Does it cost to attend a Safety In Faith event?
This a NO COST safety and security training for houses of worship. However, the Safety in Faith Summit is a public event; anyone interested is welcome to register.
Do I have to belong to a faith-based organization to attend?
Over the past decade, houses of worship have increasingly become a soft target for attack, and this training addresses those concerns. That said, this is a public event and open to anyone interested in learning how to provide safety and security in a building-gathering setting.
The Safety in Faith program provides safety information to houses of worship in the county. We offer the annual Safety in Faith training to all houses of worship regardless of denomination. This program does not violate the separation of church and state concept because we are not advocating any religion or faith over another or sponsoring religious activities.
We also provide safety information and presentations to businesses, schools, and other organizations and groups within our jurisdiction. The Safety in Faith program is titled such because the information offered through the program addresses specific safety concerns houses of worship face that many of these other organizations do not. Religious sites can be a target for violence. Many religions operate with an open door policy (i.e., everyone is welcome), thus exposing them to dangers that private businesses, schools, and other organizations do not share. However, the Safety in Faith program is a public event; anyone interested is welcome to register.
History of Safety In Faith
Following the tragic church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, the Sheriff's Office realized our relationship with the faith community in unincorporated Jefferson County was not comparable to that of homeowners associations, schools, and businesses. Therefore, to improve the public safety partnership with local houses of worship – regardless of denomination – the “Safety in Faith” program was launched with a one-day training summit in August of 2015. Almost 300 faith leaders, administrators, and security team members attended the inaugural summit to hear how the faith community can address its unique safety challenges posed by the juxtaposition of welcoming anyone while keeping their place of worship safe for everyone.
Since then, Safety in Faith trainings have been hosted each year by the JCSO, with support from public safety partner agencies. Many partner agencies offer safety and crime prevention tips at information tables during training, which are well-attended and well-received.