Advice Needed: Discreet Comms

Rerun7

Furious George
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Feb 18, 2017
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So, long story short, after the TX event my church finally decided it would be wise to have a security/safety team in case of emergencies. They’ve been resistant to the idea before but now they are all in and I’ve been asked to help create/maintain the team/procedures.

I need some advice on comms. The campus we have is somewhat of a nightmare. There are multiple buildings and entry points to secure and we will have some discreet individuals helping watch these areas.

I don’t want to look like the Lord’s secret service so trying to stay away from traditional radios with ear pieces.

Are there more discreet options out there that work well? Primary purpose would be to alert the security team to any emergencies that arise which may be in a different building or out of sight across a large main building. Not necessarily regular back and forth across the network.
 

Gunfighter14e2

Rusty Nail
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You can install a lighting/notifcation system as some have. When an issue happens the number of the area al issue will light. Not a cheap system an must be powered via a central battery system, not A/C voltage. Radios with ear wigs are the cheapest but involves some training. They can be locked to one or two freqs were fat fingers will not hose them up. A pa system is the cheapest but even with sitrep codes, it will upset many.
 

Rerun7

Furious George
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Feb 18, 2017
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Got any links to the lighting or good ear wigs? We are going to have to have to make some general modifications to the building so it’s not out of the question to have something tied into the building.

Yeah, I don’t want to do anything like a PA for multiple reasons. But if I’m at the north entrance and there is a situation at another building or entrance I want to be able to respond.

We may have to go to standard radios/ear pieces but hoping there are some alternatives. My Google fu wasn’t finding much.
 

Gunfighter14e2

Rusty Nail
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These will work good for your needs an similar can be had for most all HT's (hand held radios)
You will have to make your own number board but that is easy with a glass front an etching with a sandblaster or acid. Panic buttons will be needed for every space an a board for every space as well. In the long run radios will be your best bet so as not to involve/alert others until the shooting starts, then your PA should sound an all your people there should do as your SOP for said event ditcates, med, fire, weather, or bad guys.
 
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Missalot

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Jan 28, 2019
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I think it will be a nightmare to keep consumer quality radios running consistently with adequate coverage after the new wears off. The equipment is not high quality and people have to remember to keep the batteries charged and keep extra batteries on hand. Plus, it's easy to get the VFOs off frequency, set the squelch too high, etc. etc.

If you really do want a decent radio system, your church can apply for a commercial license frequency on 2 meters and run with it with commercial motorola style radios (big, ugly, loud). If you have a large campus, you can install a repeater ($$$) for better coverage. and for talking to people in basements and closets.

I think a simple PA system with code blues in the sanctuary and code reds in the office is going to be your best bet. It works, its relatively cheap, and it's easy to operate when people are in panic mode.
 

eca7891

Citizen Army
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The obvious question I would have is do you really need an earwig?

How much chatter are you expecting to have during a none event?

You have my curiosity up, this is why I ask.
 

eca7891

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Well. If it’s a gun discharge, everyone will know.
I was just curious.

No idea how much chatter would be taking place during none event.

I just assumed you would want to keep the channel clear. Ie, not relaying what the score is during the game.

Not arguing here.
Just trying to learn some.
?
 

Gunfighter14e2

Rusty Nail
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Well. If it’s a gun discharge, everyone will know.
I was just curious.

No idea how much chatter would be taking place during none event.

I just assumed you would want to keep the channel clear. Ie, not relaying what the score is during the game.

Not arguing here.
Just trying to learn some.
?
Most people within the circles that wear those, are taught to read body language. That info is normally spread before something happens, if you have to wait for the shot you need more training.
 

eca7891

Citizen Army
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I understand that from a professional stand point.

Will a church security team have that level of training?

Trying to learn

I’ll stop asking questions after this.

Sorry for the off topic.
 

Sean the Nailer

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You don't have to 'stop asking questions' as this IS the forum for such to begin with. Some details/thoughts may be 'left out' and/or only conveyed via PM's or whatever.

When I worked in industry and hearing protection was paramount, my radio had a headset that had the bone-conduction speakers that sat in front of my ears. This way, the earmuffs wouldn't interfere with my hearing what was on the radio. I never had (or needed) the fancy-schmancey "throat mics" but my point of all this is to say that the typical 'ear-wig' is going to be far less conspicuous than anything else out there.
Ear wigs are to keep things from being over heard by those who
(1) Don't need to know
(2) So the info will not panic the weak.
As to these answers, I would say that there is a (3) that is applicable for earwigs, too. "So that the receiver can hear what is being said/conveyed BETTER when there's all-the-sudden an immense amount of noise. Such as yelling/screaming/gunfire (God Forbid) and the usual chaos and mayhem of such events.

Being able to continue with a modicum of a line of communication is paramount to teamwork.
 

powdahound76

Old tired dad
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Sep 7, 2011
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Ear wig is key so if one person sees something, it can be quietly communicated to the rest of the team.

So if Jim sees a possible issue and tags on, then someone is backing Jim up, cameras are watched, team is a little more alert.

All while the 250-300 other folks are doing their thing completely unaware.

Depends on the team.

Some yes. Some no.

Some practice till they get it right.
Others practice at a level so they are still on top when the adrenalin is pumping and their HR is 200.
 

Rerun7

Furious George
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Feb 18, 2017
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Fayetteville, Arkansas
Well. If it’s a gun discharge, everyone will know.
I was just curious.

No idea how much chatter would be taking place during none event.

I just assumed you would want to keep the channel clear. Ie, not relaying what the score is during the game.

Not arguing here.
Just trying to learn some.
?
Not a lot of non-event chatter. But we need the ability to communicate easily with one another if needed. So if anyone is having an issue, let’s say someone suspicious is identified or someone comes in acting strung out on meth they can alert other members to come for backup.

Also, if there is gunfire you may or may not be able to identify where it’s coming from (adjacent buildings).

The complication I have is that we aren’t trying to look like some paramilitary group and be obvious to everyone in the congregation.
 

Blutroop

Major Hide Member
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Oct 25, 2018
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I understand that from a professional stand point.

Will a church security team have that level of training?

Trying to learn

I’ll stop asking questions after this.

Sorry for the off topic.
There are most likely people that already have some training in most every congregation. Just cause you don’t see em doesn’t mean they aren’t there
 

Alpine 338

Lumberjack
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Does everyone on your security team have a Smartphone? If so, then put them on vibrate, and send group text alerts. If situation warrants a need for voice comms, then revert to a walkie-talkie mode by using a VOX application like this...


www.voxer.com
 

alpine44

Sergeant
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Mar 23, 2010
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I would no stress out too much over the ear pieces and mics. As many others pointed out, there are discreet options out there and you are going to see some hearing aids in your congregation anyway.

What makes you stick out is your BEHAVIOR. Same as with the potential threats.
 

MattPM0000

Private
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May 30, 2018
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I was going to suggest something like what Alpine suggested. Why not just a group call or walkie-talkie type function on your phones. And buy some bluetooth headsets. They will look much more common place and seem less out or the ordinary. No extra cost for communications other than the headsets, which might be cheaper than ear wigs.
 
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Txhillbillie

Private
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May 5, 2020
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Options for discreet surveillance on a budget:
As mentioned above voxer is an option that works.

Free: smartphones with what’s app or my favorite signal. Group chat and mute your mike. Add a cheap Bluetooth headset and your good. Chances are you also have an elderly man or two with Bluetooth hearing aides.
Some cost: Voxer subscription and same hardware
High cost: Radios with earwigs. Still require a phone to call 911.

Develop a comma PACE plan.
Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency
Think outside the box, lights, hand/arm signals, personnel positioning to tactical advantage discretely, etc..
 

opeagle

Sergeant
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Nov 18, 2009
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I’ll add this:

I occasionally work a church security detail, for a pretty large church. One issue is simply the noise level in the common areas. I find it very difficult to hear their radio chatter with the little FRS radios if there is no earwig for them. Just something to ponder is the higher noise in one area and relative quiet in another.
 

Rerun7

Furious George
Belligerents
Feb 18, 2017
926
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69
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Thanks for all the input. Shortly after my original posts we tried several things that weren’t great in regards to communication apps on phones, etc.. it became painfully obvious the day I had to deal with a potential threat and had to resort to non verbal signals to alert others on duty that day.

Right after that we bought 10 radios with earpieces which have worked great so far. They are however not as low profile as I would desire BUT the function is way more important so I’m glad we went ahead with it. Gonna keep testing other earpieces that will plug into the radios and keep the church secret service look to a minimum.
 
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