By Kim M. Kerr, CPP; Reviewed by Kevin Siegmund, PSP
One of the foremost experts in the field puts together a comprehensive and functional manual to avoid an employee "going postal."
***** Workplace Violence. By Kim M. Kerr, CPP; published by Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann, www.elsevier.com (Web); 344 pages; $79.95.
Ever since the term “going postal” emerged in the aftermath of the deadly post office shootings in 1986, workplace violence has become a primary concern for security managers. Amid other high-profile active-shooter incidents such as Columbine in 1999 and Virginia Tech in 2007, security professionals across the spectrum have sought to address threats while maintaining functional work environments.
One of the foremost experts in the field of personnel security and workplace violence, Kim M. Kerr, CPP, has put together a comprehensive and functional manual. This book’s 15 chapters are easily digested, providing the reader with a great understanding of workplace-violence dynamics and remedies, such as increasingly common zero-tolerance policies. Kerr outlines the pros and cons of such policies, not only from a management perspective but also from an employee perspective.
Kerr further addresses the critical issues of preemployment screening, hiring, retention, training, and supervision along with the legal ramifications of each. Also discussed are the measures an employer should take to conduct and demonstrate due diligence.
The text presents a comprehensive look at early warning signs, violence on campus, policies and procedures, training, and responding to an active shooter. The emerging issue of cyber-based threats is fully addressed in a complete chapter that includes specific recommendations for employers and employees.
Some chapters could have been arranged to fit into a more logical sequence. For example, reaction and recovery might have been better placed after active shooter response. Nonetheless, the reader still comes away with superior knowledge and understanding.
Of tremendous value are 12 appendices that can assist the reader in crafting sound policies and procedures. Templates include workplace weapons and violence policies, emergency procedures, and plans for active-shooter response and disaster recovery.
This must-read book presents an in-depth look at the dynamics of workplace violence.
Reviewer: Kevin Siegmund, PSP, is a court security officer with Inter-Con Security in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, specializing in physical security and antiterrorism. He retired from the Army Military Police Corps as a first sergeant and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in security management from American Military University. He is former chairman of the Baton Rouge Chapter of ASIS International.