I recently had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a conversation with the Leadership Institute’s Workplace Violence and Safety forum. The discussion, while covering some great topics, like the phenomenal presentation on vaccine site security given by Dean Sobcoviak, CPP, CHPA, and his team from Sutter Health, we tended to focus more on the recent active violence events in Georgia and Colorado. The discussion ranged from anti-Asian violence to active shooter preparedness. There were many excellent response protocols discussed, but what I missed in the conversation was an active discussion on threat assessment. I think this is a lost conversation nationally as we continue to deal with active violence events.
Effective protective intelligence and threat assessment are the tools I see as presenting the most opportunity to stem the tide of violent attacks. How many times have we seen security and law enforcement failures in threat assessment be a key contributor to active violence? How many times have we heard the phrase; the police already had the shooter on their radar? In all these cases, we see a failure to identify warning signs through protective intelligence processes and then assess those warning signs through effective threat assessment processes accurately. This failure is not an ignorance issue or a failure of security or law enforcement professionals to do their job. This failure is a leadership failure in response to these horrific attacks.
Lost in all the emotion and charge political fervor is a genuine and legitimate discussion on how to better resource threat assessment and protective intelligence capabilities. Law enforcement agencies, especially at the local level, are suffering calls for de-funding that limit the already strained resources they apply to threat assessment. Our private security forces in healthcare have historically abdicated this responsibility to others. Building a protective intelligence capability and an operational threat management process is a critical security function. This is a vital step in the active threat prevention process and the only means to be truly proactive in preventing targeted violence.
What are your thoughts? Does your hospital have a protective intelligence capacity? Does your healthcare facility have a threat management team? How are you proactive in preventing active threats? Join the conversation in the comments below, and don’t forget to like, follow and share to support the Proactive Security Blog.
Mike, this is critical. We have to avoid the head in the sand complex. I have learned that it is best to identify gaps in coverage before an incident does the same.
Interesting article, Charles. Thanks for sharing with the Healthcare Security Community.