Message from U.S. Attorney Wagner – Security Challenges for Houses of Worship – Security Guides
June 19, 2015
Email from Sean Vassar: U.S. Attorney Wagner asked that I forward the following message on his behalf:
The tragic acts of violence that befell the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston are a sobering reminder that houses of worship can be vulnerable to those intent on doing harm. Because religious facilities are open buildings which welcome members of the community, they present unique security challenges. Houses of worship and the people who use them can be targeted by hate groups, terrorists, disgruntled members of the community, or simple criminals who seek to plunder the building.
Attached are three documents, from various sources, that contain security related information and best practices specifically for houses of worship. My office distributed these materials in 2012, shortly after the horrific shootings at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. I am sending you this email in order to provide information that may be useful in helping you to protect your congregation and its religious property, while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere. Please review this information and see if there are any steps you can take to enhance security at your house of worship.
Know that the men and women of my office, and our federal law enforcement allies, stand ready to support you. Please don’t hesitate to contact Sean Vassar if there is anything we can do to assist you, and the communities you serve, during this very difficult time.
Benjamin B. Wagner | United States Attorney | Eastern District of California
Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse | 501 I Street, Suite 10-100 | Sacramento, Ca 95814
t (916) 554-2700 | f (916) 554-2874