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President's Blog: Temple Security, November 2023

Updated: Jan 31

“Just checking in to make sure you and the temple family are doing ok? I know there’s been a lot of chaos in the world. It’s unfortunate and sad that your people are constantly under threat. It’s important that everyone maintain a high level of attentiveness in public and online. If at any time someone feels unsafe, please let us know.” - Email from Detective Sean Thompson, Roswell Police

In light of all that is going on in the world, messages of support like this from our friends at Roswell Police Department are reassuring. This message is a product of the TKC’s long standing relationship with the Roswell Police Department that has forged a climate of mutual respect and the knowledge that its officers are looking out for us.

So, what does TKC do to ensure the safety and security of our members and guests while at the temple? Despite our small size, we have robust security processes – most of which have been in place for many years. This because we have always recognized the unfortunate reality that, although we have never had a threat, one can happen at any time. In this article, I am going to outline most of our systems so that you can continue to participate in our services and activities with peace of mind.

  • We require the presence of a police officer on site for all significant gatherings. Roswell Police were asked to increase the frequency of drive-bys during the day.

  • Our security system is sophisticated and includes 47 cameras around the Kehillah that provide feeds to the office and several of which are constantly recording. We also have emergency buttons that are in use regularly with people onsite.

  • Our staff, clergy and several board members took emergency preparedness and intruder training through the Roswell Police Department. We renew the training from time to time, with the most recent training being earlier this year.

  • We have extensive emergency communications protocols in the religious school among the administrators and teachers, as well as safety features in the classrooms known to the teachers and administrators.

  • We keep the building locked at all times, and we are now requiring that the doors be open for each person or small group by an usher or the onsite officer. Religious school families should already have blue identification tabs to show at drop off and pickup. If you do not have one, you may ask for one at the office. If you are not a religious school parent or if you are bringing a guest, you may be required to show identification.

  • Our sanctuary windows are coated with a reflective film that makes it difficult for anyone to see inside.

  • Several of the clergy, staff and board members are on email lists with various organizations that provide alerts relating to security threats in the area.

  • We recently reconstituted a security committee that will meet quarterly (or as needed) to assess our security at TKC.

To reiterate, in more than 40 years of existence, TKC has never had a threat to its security (verbal or otherwise). Most of the policies above have been in place for many years, and I have no doubt that they play a role in discouraging threats, past and present. Kudos to our current and past boards, clergy, and presidents for getting out ahead of the issue to protect our members and guests. I look forward to seeing you at our services, ongoing events and religious school.

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