Security Technology Executive

FEB-MAR 2017

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www. • Februar y/March 2017 • SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE 25 » The threat management team is made up of subject matter experts from the Corporate Security, Human Resources and Legal departments. « Every year, the team assesses numerous threaten- ing incidents involving current and former employ- ees, upset customers and others in the community in order to mitigate violence from spilling into the work- place. Often these situations are fluid and change happens rapidly, so clear, frequent communication is critical to the success of the threat management process. To facilitate the process, the team relies on preemptive mitigation strategies and policies already in place within the company. For example, the company maintains a Workplace Violence Prevention policy and provides de-escala- tion training to customer facing teams. In addition, the company recently implemented a Workplace Violence Prevention Resources internal web page to increase employee awareness and provide informa- tion to help employees in identifying , reporting and preventing incidents of workplace violence. This type of communication is absolutely critical to a success- ful workplace violence prevention program. In order to facilitate reporting , the company pro- vides several methods and encourages employees to utilize these channels. The company relies on Cor- porate Security to vet the threat reports and activate the threat management team as appropriate. Once a report is received and vetted, the assessment pro- cess begins. This includes: • Information gathering (i.e. background inves- tigations, interviewing pertinent parties and maintaining contact with victims throughout the process) • Implementing mitigation strategies • Monitoring and managing , adjusting approach as information changes We apply industry-accepted threat assessment tools and methodologies when assessing risks. In order to better understand the idea of threat management, it is best to see it in action. In 2010, the team was faced with managing a particularly seri- ous case involving an employee and her estranged spouse. We became involved the day the estranged spouse contacted the customer service line and told the representative he was thinking about doing harm to the building in which his ex-wife worked, and potentially to other employees in the building. Immediately following the threatening call the information was forwarded to Corporate Security. Security confirmed that the person referenced by the caller was an employee working out of that particular location and immediately added security personnel to the site. Human Resources made contact with the employee that evening. She informed the team her husband had been arrested earlier in the evening after she contacted them to report the threats she had been receiving from him over the course of that day. Corporate Security also made contact with the local sheriff 's office to report the threat. Knowing that the husband was currently in custody, though unsure of how long he would remain police custody, the team had more time to conduct the investigation. An interview with the employee is one of the first steps in the process with any follow-up background investigation. This serves two purposes, first to get a better understanding of our threatener and second, to gauge how forthcoming the reporting person has been with investigators. Establishing a rapport with and earning the trust of the victim is an extreme- ly important part of the assessment process. A victim that is forthcom- ing with information is invaluable to the assess- ment process, as no one knows their threatener like the victim. We have found that many domes- tic violence victims are often fearful of reporting the violence or threats because of what they think it could mean for their employment status. T h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n revealed that the spouse suffered from some men- tal instability, which was controlled relatively well by medication when he took the medication as prescribed. The team discov- ered the husband had years of contact with the local police department for a variety of violence-related issues. The spouse also exhibited a rapid escalation of warning behaviors indicating his risk of acting out violently was high. After the most recent arrest, he was arraigned and denied bail. The husband was held in the local jail for approxi- mately six months, where he received some treat- ment for his mental health problems. During this time, the team was engaged with the court system, local and federal law enforcement officials. The threat management team met regularly over the course of many months to address strategy changes based on the most recent information. Our focus became making preparations for what might happen once he was released from jail. To that end, the team had to rely on the flexibility of our staff members and

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