Written by Robert D. Sollars
RECENT MEDIA APPEARANCE:
Been quoted in another article, not on security…although with a security leaning and experience to it, “Why is it important to document an accident no matter who’s at fault?”
NOW THE BLOG:
Usually, when I hear about an incident of workplace or school violence (WPV/SV), there is always a pundit on the news channels and newscasts, whether it be the reporters, talking heads, or news anchors, that are more than willing to tell you, ‘They just snapped with no warning’. Then they will discuss how we can prevent these incidents all with no clue on how to do it effectively, efficiently, & with small financial investments.
Those so-called experts…ARE just out-n-out WRONG. Those things are usually said for one reason and one reason only. They make excellent sound bites & the audiences, in this era of .24 second news cycles, expect to be placated and mollified. But do we need good sound bites for these potentially deadly incidents or the absolute unvarnished truth to prevent these tragic events and to prevent trauma to so many others who are uncounted in the death reports?
I’ve said this for decades and will continue to do so ad nauseum, that there are ALWAYS, and I do mean always warning signs. And it doesn’t really matter whether it’s with their words, hot & greasy French fries, fists, pencils or staplers, or knives and firearms. There will always be warning signs they are about to hurt someone. Someone will notice and, generally ignore, those signs and could have potentially prevented a traumatizing incident.
The key to all of this is whether or not we act upon these signs or not. One of my favorite sayings that get derided is; we can either choose to act upon the warning signs or ignore them. Which way we decide to act could determine whether someone will live with trauma or die…IF they listen to the warning signs & act upon them.
Unfortunately, it’s as much the people, as well as the organizations themselves, that these signs are ignored. The reasoning is simple…failure to connect the dots and the idea of not ‘snitching’ on someone.
Connecting the dots is a simple exercise, especially when you know what to look for, which is the organization’s responsibility. It’s not just that simple either. Literally, everyone needs to know not to brush off what someone brings to them, and it includes literally everyone that is told about a potential issue.
Some will cry wolf too many times and therefore not be credible when reporting such things. But even if they aren’t credible in all cases, it may be the one case that they are and an incident occurs. After that, it’s all about cleaning up the blood, traumatized mental states, broken machinery, lives, and the publicity. And of course, after that is litigation and potential bankruptcy or lack of funding for other more important programs.
When someone makes a threat to a school or other organization, have you noticed what happens? The facility is evacuated and searched by the police…usually to find nothing untoward. Why this extreme action? To ensure that the one time they don’t react, the likelihood that an incident would occur, they be held liable or that one will explode and injure, or kill, dozens of people. If it does, then who gets blamed for it?
So, the conclusion is fairly simple…do you and your organization take it seriously if someone informs on someone who may be potentially dangerous? Or do you, and they, just ignore it because you have more pressing things to worry about at the moment, and you admonish them for ‘snitching’? Maybe, they’ve cried wolf too many times so you ignore it as another false prank. Possibly you utilize the zero-tolerance policy and suspend/terminate them without a fair hearing and think it’s over? Hoo boy, are you letting yourself in for a big surprise, if not now then…
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It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Anywhere… For any Reason
I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear
Permission to share? Of course, with full attribution.
Copyright 2022 Robert D. Sollars