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DOTL -- The Four Words Whose Application Might Have Prevented the Uvalde Massacre
May 31, 2022
DALLAS, May 31, 2022 /Christian Newswire/ -- The National Organization of Church Security & Safety Management (NOCSSM™) will present its 17th Annual National Church Security Conference to be held at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas on August 13th, 2022.

We all seem to be focused on how the police responded to the shooter. While this is an important subject and certainly could have cut the shooting spree short, there is another action that was taken that enabled the shooter to enter the school unabated. We are talking about the door that was reportedly propped open by a teacher.

From article by KSAT.com:
"11:27 a.m. - A teacher at Robb elementary propped open an exterior door in order to retrieve a cell phone. The teacher who propped the door open walked back to the exit door, and the door remained propped open."

In the security world we constantly battle between being "secure" and the convenience factor. People feeling that it is too inconvenient to have to go around to the specified entry door. Add the outright neglect of not unpropping the door. In this case the price for not being inconvenienced is the death of 21 people.

Decades before I made my life's work "Church Security" I had the job of protecting the world's secular treasures. I spent 18 years as the Vice President of one of the world's largest rare antiquities dealers (now Heritage Auctions, www.HA.com).

Designing and operating sophisticated video surveillance, intrusion alarms, access control, huge safes, vaults and bullet resistant walls and doors and man traps were my everyday task for almost two decades.

This article is about access control systems and the wide variety of features of these advanced systems. One of these features might have mitigated the shooter entering the building.

The typical access control system uses mechanical strike plates or magnets to hold the door locked until a card key is presented or numeric code entered that has been programed to unlock the door for several seconds. The system can be programmed to let only certain people enter between certain times of day, unlock/lock the door during certain times, etc.

What if I told you that a common feature of access control systems is to send an alarm if a door is open (or propped open) too long (Door Open Too Long or DOTL setting). This setting is used to tell whoever is monitoring the system (or alarm sent via text, etc.) that the door has been open longer than the setting, typically 10 seconds or so.

To enable this feature the door must have a door contact connected to the system. This contact is the same contact that alerts the system that the door has been opened in the event of an unauthorized entry like that of a burglar when the system is set up at night or any other time the facility is closed.

While we can't keep a teacher from purposefully circumventing the door from being closed or locked, it can notify you that THE DOOR IS OPEN.

Another useful tool to help mitigate this type of neglect is an alarmed delayed exit door where an emergency exit door has a system that, upon pushing the panic bar that opens the door, an alarm sounds and delays the opening of the door for 15 second or so.

The subject of how we can harden our private schools as well as other vital subjects will be featured at our 17th Annual National Church Security Conference to be held at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Tx – August 13th, 2022.

Speakers this year will include:
  • Chuck Chadwick - President and Founder of NOCSSM, Former Mega-church security director with over 4 decades of experience in Private Security and 2 decades in Church Security. Chuck heads the largest state licensed volunteer multi-church security force in America. Preeminent Authority in Church Security. https://nocssm.org/
  • Scott Stewart – VP of Tactical Analysis. Torchstone Global company. Preeminent Authority in International Threat Intelligence. https://www.torchstoneglobal.com/.
  • Dr. Sean Lawler – Tactical Firearms Instructor/Medic for a Federal Law Enforcement Agency.
  • Matt McCarthy – Stop the Bleed
  • Nate McDougall of Watermark Community Church Dallas https://watermark.org


While not all churches have the degree of concern as a mega-church, every church wants to meet the unthinkable with a degree of preparedness. The one-day conference is the best training attendees can get and a great value to every church.

For further details go to www.NOCSSM.org

NOCSSM™ is the Oldest and Largest church security organization in America and has continually served churches through its website resources, educational tools and affiliated educational and professional companies.

SOURCE National Organization of Church Security & Safety Management (NOCSSM™)

CONTACT: Chuck Chadwick, 214-305-5616, cchadwick@nocssm.org