How Focus on the Family Deals With “Difficult Guests”

Can you drag 200 pounds for 50 feet horizontally in 20 seconds? Wear a ballistic vest for a full workday? Maintain as many as 2,000 weapons? Train others how to use their firearms? Investigate your coworkers? Assist HR when they are firing employees? Provide a “sympathetic ear” to distraught visitors while enforcing security? Help get rid of explosive devices at the workplace?

If so, Focus on the Family has a job for you. But only if, while filling in as one bad mofo, you are, also naturally, a consistent witness to Jesus Christ who “models a high degree of integrity, ethics, compassion and morals based on Biblical standards.”

The Colorado Springs ministry/armory is currently seeking a lead security officer at its world headquarters/compound in Colorado Springs.

The salary is only $34,080 a year. But one of the job perks ? which was initially advertised at the ministry’s Website but then mysteriously removed after a reporter made an inquiry — is to serve as the “liaison” between Focus on the Family and the Air Force Academy, which has invited ministry officials to shoot at its taxfunded rifle range for at least six years.

Air Force Academy spokesman First Lt. John Ross says that plenty of government agencies use its rifle range — including the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, IRS, Department of the Treasury and the Colorado State Patrol — but Focus on the Family is the only private organization with clearance. Two security personnel from the ministry, Ross maintains, currently use the facility.

“They’re one of the few churches that requires armed guards,” he said.
“The way it works is, Focus on the Family, when they come out, they bring their own targets and their own rounds and work around our schedule,” Ross said. “We give them no financial support or instruction and they use all their own equipment. Basically all they do is they shoot into our dirt out here.”

In 1996, Kerry S. Dore, who had been injured on the job site several years earlier while helping to build Focus’ mammoth northern Colorado Springs headquarters, stormed the building. He took two receptionists hostage and menaced two other employees. After six tense hours, Dore surrendered, without anyone being physically hurt. A sign next to the remaining bullet hole just inside the ministry’s entrance attributes the “power of prayer” as having helped to end the standoff.

But obviously prayer isn?t the only power the ministry, which employs 1,300 people, is counting on for protection these days.

In addition to the reference to its Air Force Academy connection being deleted from the job description, one potential applicant swears that the listing, which has been posted for at least two weeks, also initially included a reference to being in charge of maintaining 2,000 weapons. That number of munitions is also no longer advertised. The potential applicant, who decided not to go for it, requested anonymity, fearing retribution if his name is used.

The following is an abbreviated description of the job currently listed, which can be read in full at the ministry’s help wanted site. It brings new clarity to Focus on the Family’s creed: “a religious organization dedicated to the nurturing and defending of families worldwide.”

Job Description:

The Security Officer Lead position exists to provide security support to the ministry through presence on campus and during trips of senior ministry leaders; specializes in security for facilities staff and guests while working with contract guards Colorado Springs Police Officers and El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputies; receives supervisory guidance from the Manager of Security and integrates all efforts with other members of the Security Department staff.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Provides a physical security presence and emergency response during work hours
  • Provides personal security for the president and various VIPs when on site as necessary for back-up
  • Provides security for the president during off-site travel as required
  • Assists receptionists in dealing with difficult guests
  • Oversees and provides maintenance of department?s weapons and equipment
  • Serves as Firearms Training Specialist Simunitions Trainer Armorer and Equipment Specialist for the Security department
  • Serves as Range master overseeing department training on pistol range
  • Serves as liaison to Air Force Academy shooting range Colorado Springs Police Department and El Paso County Sheriff?s department (NOTE: The above reference was removed from the ministry’s help-wanted website after a reporter inquired about Focus on the Family’s use of the taxfunded rifle range.)
  • Assists Human Resources when requested during termination interviews
  • Provides sympathetic ear to distraught visitors while enforcing security
  • Responds and assists in potential explosive device evaluation/removal

Other Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Provides investigative and reporting services regarding employee activities as requested by Employee Relations
  • Investigates and reports on adverse incidents as directed by supervisor
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Working Environment/Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 70 pounds to chest height
  • Must be able to drag 200 pounds fifty feet (horizontally) within twenty seconds
  • Must be able to subdue irate/irrational people without injury to self/others
  • Must be able to wear ballistic vest for full workday
  • Must be eligible for a concealed carry permit

JOB QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS:

Character/Spiritual:

Is a consistent witness for Jesus Christ; maintains a courteous Christ-like attitude in dealing with people within and outside of Focus; adheres to the Standard of Moral Conduct and Statement of Faith; upholds Focus on the Familys ministry in prayer
Demonstrates behaviors aligned with FOF core values

Personal Characteristics:

  • Demonstrates superior physical conditioning and a fit appearance at all times
  • Diplomatic tactful patient peacemaker discerning detail-oriented self-motivated self-accountable assertive decisive flexible and approachable
  • Models a high degree of integrity ethics compassion and morals based on Biblical standards in all business and personal activities
  • Courteous humble attitude

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Cara Degette

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