Recent headlines and incidents nationwide have demonstrated that church attacks are on the rise.1Definitions and data in statistics vary greatly depending on what entity provides them; however, it is undeniable that violence against houses of worship is increasing in frequency and intensity — one source estimates 480 incidents occur in the United States each year.2
Once an atmosphere of safety, churches have become one of uncertainty. Increasingly, church members consult police departments for their security needs. Law enforcement professionals must provide as much help as possible to these generally vulnerable populations.
A firm grasp on the community’s religious makeup is important. Are any specific groups traditionally targeted? Is anyone known to be aggressive toward a particular affiliation? Have demonstrations concerning faith-based issues increased? Can a local fusion or information center provide current trends or intelligence?