Active Shooter and Workplace Violence
Veterans Day is our important holiday to reflect upon those that have served our Country through military service. As we think about our Veterans today let’s also consider ways to learn from the past and to put these lessons to use in the future. There are many lessons for business security and active shooter incidents that are extremely relevant.
In thinking about our Veterans, perhaps we can take away some valuable lessons on the ways our soldiers are trained and deployed to protect our country. Our businesses can learn from the practices of the military to better deal with the growing safety and security threats we are seeing in the workplace.
When new soldiers start their military service, they attend basic training also known as “boot camp”. Boot camp training is highly intensive training that occurs over several weeks. The purpose of this intense training is to provide many skills that most Americans do not have growing up. This includes the physical, mental and emotional skills needed to be a soldier.
How do you train an 18-year-old to run towards gunfire instead of away from it?
This act would seem to defy all logic and clearly goes against all human instinct. Boot camp training provides a form of psychological reprogramming to overcome natural human instincts. Through drills and repetitive training, recruits are trained to react in new ways and respond as a team towards the attack.
New military recruits are trained to “act and think as a unit”. This concept is at the heart of what teamwork is all about. Members of a team must believe “if one fails, we all fail” and failing is not an acceptable outcome.
Law Enforcement Training
We also train all our law enforcement personnel in the same way. Police officers are trained to run towards gunfire and not away from it. When everyone else is trying to escape the danger, our cops are trained to run toward the shooter.
We saw this last week when Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, ran towards the shooter and was tragically killed. Our law enforcement officers do this every day throughout our Country.
I spent over thirty years in law enforcement including twenty-two years as a U.S. Secret Service agent and I was often asked how I could “jump in front of a bullet”. One of the reasons is because the Secret Service provided intensive training to create muscle memory response. Through the extensive and repetitive training, the goal is to create a response during incidents that is instinctive and automatic.
The Secret Service also takes the training a step further and requires intensive ongoing training. This ongoing training lasts for the length of an agents’ career and depending on the agents’ position may increase to match the job duties.
So as U.S. citizens what might we learn from Veterans Day?
It goes without saying, that we need to remember all our Veterans that have made the ultimate sacrifice and died for our freedom. We need to thank all our Veterans that have served our Country in this capacity.
We also need to think about better ways to protect our Country domestically and learn from the lessons of Veterans Day. As our society changes and terrorism and active shooter incidents increase, we can take a clear lesson from our military and the “boot camp” concept.
How do you train employees to respond to situations that are risky to a business?
If we think about an “active shooter” incident in the workplace, most businesses have no plan and there has been no training. Without training and preparation, the result will be chaos and complete disorder and confusion.
Why do most businesses and organizations run fire drills? We run these training drills to help employees to be prepared in the event of a fire or disaster. In a successful drill, employees understand the risk associated with the incident and how to respond to best reduce the risk.
So, what are the takeaways for businesses:
- Provide basic “boot camp” type training to all employees on the biggest risk to the business.
- Insure that the training is ongoing and adapts to the current risk to the organization and employees.
- Think about ways to change employee behavior to encourage them to think about security as part of their daily common practice.
- Think about ways to overcome normal human behavior and train employees on the safest way to handle incidents.
- Give employees the proper tools to make smarter decisions on the risk facing the business.
- Conduct drills that train and educate employees on the biggest risk.
- Work as a team with your employees to ensure that everyone knows the risk and their role in the process. Train as a team and stress teamwork as part of your normal business practices.
- Physical and cybersecurity risks go hand in hand. Employees are frequently on social media sites as friends. Employees need to understand the importance of reporting post by co-workers that may identify that a workplace violence attack is possible.
- See something – say something applies to online as well as physical security risk.
The Value of Security Awareness Training
Founded by former Secret Service Agent and Deputy Director of the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Levin, The Center for Information Security Awareness(CFISA) is designed to help businesses, government agencies, and academic institutions empower their employees to fight cybercrimes. We provide personalized, engaging, compliant, and affordable training in PCI-DSS, HIPAA, InfraGard Awareness, and Cyber Security Awareness.
Remember, no matter how big or small your company is, and how well the back doors to your system are barricaded, one employee click on the wrong link, attachment, or website could open the front door. CIFSA trains your employees on the best practices to avoid potentially catastrophic data breaches. Call us today at (561) 325-6050 to learn how we can help.