Businesses, churches, schools and every other organization have something they can do to reduce the likelihood of tragic events like we witnessed at the Capital Gazette this week; take the threat from individuals and groups seriously.
It begins with every organization understanding the need to conduct a comprehensive threat assessment or Vulnerability Assessment (VA) of their facilities and work areas to identify vulnerabilities that make it easy for someone to enter a premises and carry out an attack. Most importantly, it involves interviewing employees to hear individual concerns that might not be discussed openly, but might provide the very piece of information, that if taken seriously, could prevent the kinds of tragic active shooter events that we have seen lately.
The Maryland newsroom shooting is yet another example of clear signals, pointing to something bad in the making, and being ignored or downplayed.
A current article highlights an interview from the paper’s former publisher, Tom Marquard, who said that after the paper and Gazette employees received a barrage of twitter rants and threats from Ramos, they chose not to press charges or seek a restraining order “because he and others thought it could provoke Ramos into something worse.”
Brennan McCarthy, the former attorney for Jarrod Ramos, who was also threatened, said that the moment he heard about the shooting, he said, “that’s Jarrod Ramos,”
Everyone has role to play in reducing the likelihood and potential threat of a violent event occurring in the workplace, schools, houses of worship, public entertainment and eating venues, or anywhere people gather. Whether it’s individually reporting something suspicious, or taking proactive action as a leader or decision maker in a company or organization to bring in an outside security organization, like Counter Threat Group, to analyze and identify potential vulnerabilities, the time is now to accept your role in improving the safety for you and those around you.
One cannot eliminate the risk of active shooter or terrorism events, but there are plenty of steps that can be taken to reduce the risk, and this week’s tragedy was another unfortunate lesson in missed steps.