Lessons Churches can Learn from the Uvalde School Shooting

6th Jun 2022

This article is written for Security Team Leads & Pastors. I’ve been selling two-way radios for more than 20 years and lose sleep every time innocent people lose their lives at the hands of a lunatic. I read the articles, see blame cast, and watch third parties try to score points. They say we can never let this happen again, yet it does, and it will again.

I read an article on Fox News about Uvalde that captured my attention. The article discussed the failures of the local Law Enforcement Radio system and how it failed the school on that fateful day. I thought, what a shame, as the technology exists to overcome each of the challenges discussed. The challenges are: the Commander in Chief didn’t wasn’t wearing a walkie talkie, the system wasn’t designed to effectively communicate indoors, and the airwaves were congested because there were too many users in the area. These are challenges you should be aware of and prepared for. Let’s take them one by one.

Incompetence. The Leader wasn’t wearing a radio when he arrived on scene. Do you have a spare radio or two for Law Enforcement should something happen on your campus? Law Enforcement won’t allow you to have one of their radios but I’m confident they’d welcome using your two-way radios.

System Failure. Two-way radios don’t always penetrate buildings well. In Uvalde, it was a known fact that Law Enforcements radios didn’t penetrate buildings well. The suggestion that they could walk outside was ignorant and unsafe. Your Congregation deserves to have radios that communicate throughout your facilities. Large congregations should invest in a bi-directional amp which amplifies radio signals to eliminate these dead spots. Bi-Directional Amps are typically installed in conjunction with local Public Safety Officials to ensure their radios work in your facility. Many local Codes now require bi-directional amps in new facilities. It is worth the investment.

Congested airwaves. I remember early in my career trying to sell two-way radios to a local volunteer fire department in place of one-way pagers. The Fire Chief quickly told me it would be problem if everyone who could talk on a radio did. In a mass shooting hundreds of Law Enforcement Officers show up. Your radio system just might be more effective than theirs. There’s probably a high probability that your radio is closer to the perpetrator than Law Enforcements. Your radios will likely play a key role in the responsiveness of an incident. Inexpensive digital two-way radios block out unwanted interference and prioritizes users. This isn’t crazy expensive and allows your Key People the ability to communicate over everyone else. In an emergency, this safety feature can make a huge difference.

Two-way radios are an effective communication solution every church must have. Every walkie talkie user becomes a member of your security team. Two-way radios are a vital tool in responding to mass casualty situations both for your Team and the Public Safety Responders. An investment in two-way radios is a worthy investment for your congregation.

Ref: Fox News Article June 5th, 2022