THE MAGAZINE

Ready to Respond

By Jennie Mclamb, CPP, PSP, PCI

Human resources and the employee’s supervisor should receive copies of the incident report. If possible, these parties should respond to the report by disclosing to security any previous incidents with that individual so that security can have a more accurate risk profile of that person as a reference point if they are called to respond to a future incident. The security department should treat that information as confidential so that the individual is not unfairly targeted or humiliated.

Officers are also taught how to investigate incidents of sabotage and vandalism. This includes interviewing personnel, documenting the events, and reporting to the proper authorities, whether internal or external (such as law enforcement).
Officers are also taught that when they are called to a high-risk event in progress, they should calmly and quietly evacuate the area. Officers are trained to speak slowly, softly, and confidently to the perpetrator to avoid escalating the situation. Then, the officers are taught to direct the individual to an area where they can calm down and where there aren’t any objects they can throw or kick.

Officers learn that it is important to maintain some physical distance from the individual so as not to appear threatening. Officers learn not to touch the individual unless absolutely necessary and to remain at arm’s length to prevent an attack. As with other risk categories, once the incident is over, security officers are taught that they should interview the perpetrator and witnesses separately, document the incident, and then submit reports to the appropriate personnel.

Defensive considerations. The third day of training centers around the physical attacks an officer may face during a workplace-violence incident. The training should not focus solely on guns, because other objects that may be grabbed in the heat of the moment or concealed for a planned attack can be just as deadly. For example, knives, scissors, and other edged weapons are easily concealed until the perpetrator is within striking distance of the victim.

Any object can be used as a bludgeon including staplers, binders, and other standard office supplies. Chemicals, including many cleaning products, are easily accessible on many work sites. Aerosol sprays can be ignited by a lighter or chemicals can be sprayed or splashed in someone’s face, causing chemical burns.

The third day of training ends at a gym facility where officers receive training in baton and defensive tactics.

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