I recently presented on the role of protective intelligence in managing threats associated with targeted violence and the active shooter at this year’s ASIS Conference. I touched on the Navy Yard shooting in my recent blog, Government Security Clearances: Missed Opportunities to Prevent Workplace Violence. As I explain in the blog, we’re facing a new risk with the rise of workplace violence.

Beware of the Warning Signs

As we saw with the ABB Power Plant shooting, as well as many others, the gunman was known to be disgruntled, and even angry, with the company. Even more telling, he was part of a class-action lawsuit against the company over the pension plan and 401(k) fees and expenses. In hindsight, individuals at various levels might have been able to head off this tragedy, had they known what to watch out for.

The Top Four Mistakes Many Companies Make

Here are the most common process deficits and vulnerabilities in companies that fail to anticipate and prevent a violent act in the workplace.

  1. Lack of knowledge of the warning signs
  2. Poor understanding of risk and mitigation measures
  3. Limited cross-functional collaboration and information sharing
  4. Absence of an overall strategy to address targeted violence prevention

How to Address the Risks of Targeted Violence

Targeted violence is any incident of violence where a known or knowable attacker selects a particular target prior to their violent attack. To manage threats associated with targeted violence and the active shooter, we must first gain an understanding of the factors that may indicate potential risk. This includes:

  • Dispelling prevailing beliefs about attackers
  • Understanding the pre-attack process
  • Learning the processes involved in behavioral threat assessment and protective intelligence

In the coming weeks, we’ll post more insights and information on what we know about the prevailing beliefs of attackers and the pre-attack process as well as some key tips on behavioral threat assessments and protective intelligence. In the meantime, click here to download the full ASIS presentation, “The Role of Protective Intelligence in Managing Threats Associated with Targeted Violence and the Active Shooter.”

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