Conducting Threat Assessments2 min read
Prior to developing and when evaluating their threat response solutions, company, government office, and school leaders should collaborate with their security personnel to assess commercial, criminal, media, natural disaster or terrorist threats to the building or the people or assets within the building. The team should evaluate the organization, those associated with it and its relationship with local law enforcement.
Facility and Business Evaluation
Some threats are inherent to the type of business or facility. For example, bars have a significant threat of aggressive behavior, while government facilities may be threatened by terrorist activity. In addition, the location of the business or building may have intrinsic threats, especially if other criminal activity is common in the area. However, unexpected threats should also be considered and evaluated.
Security plans, especially weaknesses in the protocols or asset vulnerabilities, should also be assessed. How and whether an organization is able to address internal or external security breaches should be identified so the facility’s security plans can be adjusted appropriately
Communication capabilities should also be assessed. For example, are those inside the building able to communicate with each other and is secure external communication to law enforcement available during an incident?
Employee evaluations must fall within legal boundaries. Employees’ criminal histories should be checked prior to hiring. In addition, security personnel, managers and some or all employees should be trained to recognize warning signs. For example, has a coworker exhibited violent behavior, writing or speech? Has the person experienced failed suicide attempts, significant losses, public humiliation or failures? If an employee has a concern, the organization should gather information from multiple sources to corroborate the concern. In addition, they should seek the underlying problem and determine if it can be solved, neutralizing the threat.
Visitors and possible visitors who may pose a threat, such as known criminals, should be assessed to determine their intentions. Imagining or reviewing scenarios with hostile visitors will help security develop a more comprehensive response plan.
Law Enforcement Collaboration
Law enforcement may be a significant asset during threat assessments. For example, the police have knowledge of local crimes and reports about people who may pose a threat. Therefore, open communication and collaboration, including access to video and audio surveillance during an incident, with law enforcement is paramount.
Threat assessments enable the development of comprehensive security and disaster plans. Protect your assets and people by assessing your building, location and type of business as well as individuals within and outside the organization who may pose a threat. Finally, establish strong relationships with local law enforcement.