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Month: January, 2014

January 28, 2014

The Columbia Mall shooting makes sense

                On January 25th, Damion Marcus Aguilar, a 19-year-old disaffected recent high school graduate walked into the Columbia Mall in affluent Columbia Maryland and opened fire at a Zumiez store. He killed 3 people, including himself, and wounded 5 more.

                Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley released a statement that read in part “On behalf of the people of Maryland, I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and all those affected by this senseless act…”

 

                This act of violence was NOT senseless. It makes, and made, perfect sense! At least to Aguliar. To normal people it doesn’t make sense to anyone. From the Governor, to the media, to the shoppers who were scared out of their wits and will be for months or years, and anyone who refuses to see the vulnerabilities in our security systems and their own sensibilities.

 

                Aguilar is one of those people who had a distorted view of the world and a real perception of reality. His journals show a person who was alienated, disaffected, and a loner. What does this say about him? A whole lot. If the journals are ever released, we will have a clear picture of what pushed this bright teenager on the path to murdering random, supposedly, employees at a Zumiez. The key is that while 99% of all people believe that the violence was senseless, to Aguilar it made perfect sense. In his mind, he knew that this was the way out of his seemingly trapped existence.

                Remember the phrase I trumpet? PERCEPTION IS Reality. This is what he had in his mind. His perceptions shaped his world, no matter how warped we think it was.  And he was stuck in that pit of perception.

                Being realistic, if someone has the perception that everyone is out to get them and there are assassins around every corner waiting to ambush them, there is nothing we can do to change that perception. At least not without either drugs or massive amounts of psychiatric treatment.

                If you look at every incident of WPV over the past 30 years, the perpetrators had a perception of the world. And literally no one could dissuade them of their perceptions. Whether that perception be of persecution, stalking, or whatever it was there, and in their mind it was perfectly acceptable to do what they did.

                So was this a senseless act? To us perhaps. To Aguilar it made perfect sense to take other people with him when he went out in a ‘blaze of glory’. Did he have remorse after killing 2 and wounding 5 others? I believe he did, because he had much more ammunition and crude bombs with him, just another sad commentary to this incident, a moment of clarity after the foul deed was done.

               

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 130 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 22 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit his website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/OneistooMany to see incidents of WPV/SV; you may not have seen or thought about.

 

Healthcare and WPV

Healthcare and WPV

            This isn’t simply a post on the costs in healthcare of WPV. This is an attempt to show you the issue with Workplace violence in a healthcare setting. And it’s much more prevalent than you may imagine. According to my wife, who is an RN, since she became an LPN in 1978, she has been assaulted, both physically and verbally, at least 3,000 times!

            Most are simple verbal assaults by angry patients or families. However, several times, she’s been the recipient of a physical assault i.e. having a firearm stuck in her face, kicked, hit with fists, & having equipment flung at her. She has suffered mostly minor injuries, which is fortunate.

            I also have talked to several other nurses and employees in doctor’s offices across the Phoenix area. Of those I talked to, they estimated they are assaulted verbally, and less commonly physically, more than a half dozen times per week! And these include regular office workers.

Here is a listing of 4 incidents since the middle of December;

  •  In Phoenix, in December, this incident never made the media. a patient was being obstinate by kicking and spitting at his care team. He happened to hit one nurse in the eye with spit. She subsequently has to undergo several rounds of drug therapy because he was HIV positive.

The real issue with this incident is the reaction of the police officers who responded to the hospital after the incident; a nurse began discussing the incident with the police officer who responded to the scene, the nurse was told “It’s all in the line of work you do, you expect that sort of thing. So, we don’t necessarily do anything about that.”

The nurse then quietly responded “So when a police officer gets beat up or shot and wounded, it’s no big deal. It’s the same thing, it’s all part of the job so you expect it to happen. Therefore we shouldn’t really take it that seriously, right?” She got a shocked look and they discussed it for a while before the officer realized what it actually was. 

 

  • Gunman at Reno Hospital Kills One and Wounds Two

         New York Times (12/18/13) Onishi, Norimitsu

          …gunman …hospital in Reno… opened fire, killing one person and injuring two others before shooting and killing himself…

 

  • Man Kills Himself after Shooting Rampage at Florida Hospital

        Orlando Sentinel (FL) (01/07/14) Breen, David

       …shot himself early Sunday at the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. …fired at several vehicles… two nurses    and their patients before shooting himself…

 

  • Gunman shoots one at hospital

Carson Valley Times           January 19

            …88-year-old man …shooting a woman, believed to be his wife…Carson Tahoe Hospital

In Carson City, NV.

 

                In a study conducted several years ago by a major healthcare & hospital organization, it is estimated, by their membership, that 85% of ALL healthcare workers have been assaulted in one form or another. The majorities of these are in nursing homes and long care facilities, but…

            It is interesting to note, that while the number of assaults (that are reported) of healthcare workers is less than 2% of all reported incidents, they result in more than 20% of injuries and lost time.

            One of the biggest issues with WPV in a healthcare setting is the overall lack of security. Hospitals are, for the most part, for-profit institutions. And because they are for-profit, they don’t want to spend money on a cost center i.e. security. And because of this, most security departments are not very well funded or staffed, because good security can be expensive and time consuming to administration. Hospitals want their facilities to be warm, compassionate, &inviting, which is as it should be. However, there has to be a balance of security with the idea of not turning it into a gulag.

            I know of a hospital in Phoenix that there are more than 500 beds throughout all care departments. For this amount of patients and roughly 2 people per bed at most times (not nurses but overall employees throughout the system), there are only 2 security officers on duty at one time, for a completely open and accessible facility.

            Healthcare institutions are also one of the last places you would expect to see or hearing bullying, harassment, or threats by supervisors/managers to co-workers. But it occurs to more than 95% of all employees in this setting. ? And because ‘it doesn’t occur here (It Can’t Happen Here!), nothing is done to either stop or even curb it, by HR, legal, or security (which is the red headed step child and shouldn’t be involved in such things that isn’t…(.

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 130 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 22 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the Facebook page to see incidents of WPV/SV you may not have seen or thought about at;

www.Facebook.com/OneistooMany

Heg’leH neH QaQ jajvam

January 17, 2014

Heg’leH neH QaQ jajvam

 

                A phrase that anyone who enjoys Star Trek: The Next Generation knows and likes. Simply put, this Klingon phrase is a staple of the Klingon cultural philosophy – It Is A Good Day to Die! Now you’re asking yourself ‘Why are we discussing Star Trek and Klingons in a blog about WPV and security?

                You may think, and in many respects it is, that Star Trek is fantasy and isn’t real. You will also think and believe that it is science fiction and will never be real in our lifetimes. But Star Trek is much more. Look deeper into each episode and you’ll find moral, political, ethical, & emotional realism and relationships to today’s issues and problems. But I won’t dwell on anything but WPV here.

                So again, you ask, why am I continuing to read this blog on WPV when he’s discussing a fictional television show? This is just as simple to answer as the one above in the first paragraph.  Many and I would venture to say that 99% of all perpetrators of WPV believe in this phrase, even if they don’t voice it openly. But if you look at their motives and the way that they ‘attack’ their victims, you can see how they do, in fact, believe this philosophy.

                In Klingon culture, it is the highest honor to die in battle. An even higher honor in battle is to take a hated enemy with you. Hence, with most school and workplace violence perpetrators, this is the main motive behind their shootings – take a hated enemy with them. It doesn’t really matter if the person is a real enemy or not, the perception is there.

                Do you remember any of these names below?

  • Patrick Sherrill, Edmond OK. Post Office
  • Nathan Farris, Mid-Buchanan Middle School, Faucett MO.
  • Dylan Clebold & Eric Harris in Littleton Colorado at Columbine High School
  • James Homes in Aurora at a movie theater

                Too them, obviously, it was a good day to die. They planned to die along with their victims, even James Holmes. They confronted and killed their ‘hated enemies, whoever they were, before dying themselves, in battle. Now those are from the past. How many of these names from 2013or so do you remember? They did the same thing. They were distressed, either mentally or emotionally, and decided to take some hated enemies with them when they died, in battle. In many cases, including these, enemies can be either real or imagined.

  • Adam Lansa, New Town, CT. Sandy Hook Elementary
  • Karl Halverson Pierson, Centennial CO. Arapaho High School
  • Scott Edgerton, Boca Raton, FL. CBIZ MHM.
  • Sang Ho Kim, Garden City, NJ. Save Energy
  • Kurt Myers, Herkimer, NY. Barber shop
  • Aaron Alexis, , Washington D.C. Washington Navy Yard
  • Cheng Vang, Roseville, MN. CPI Card Group

                These individuals also decided it was better to die ‘in battle’ than to die on their knees. Whether they were distressed by anything more than rage and blind-sided mental illness doesn’t matter. They wanted to kill their perceived enemies and then die themselves, as evidenced by the taking of their own lives at the scene of what happened.

                66% of all perpetrators will kill themselves at the scene of their attack. A few others will die because of police or private citizen action, but even then it’s more likely a suicide by cop attitude that forces the hand of the individual holding the firearm in front of them.

                And the enemies can be real or imagined. Perception is Reality. This is so very true in many school/workplace violence incidents. If the individuals are troubled by mental illness, then their perception is the only reality they will accept, nothing else (or anyone else’s opinion) matters!

                While you may think that Star Trek has no basis in reality, look a little deeper into the episodes and you’ll see them in a different light. In the correlation between SV/WPV and Star Trek, there are more than a few similarities between our realty in security and the fictional universe of Gene Roddenberry.

                Ending this blog is fairly easy since we’re talking about Star Trek. I will end with another Klingon phrase you may know. This means ‘Success’ to anyone who is not a Trekkie. So my security, both professional others, go and have success in preventing WPV/SV. Q’apla! (Qwapla)

Star Trek & Klingon words and phrases are registered trademarks of CBS STUDIOS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 130 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 22 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197.

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/OneistooMany

Internet Safety/Security – Part 2

January 10, 2014

Internet Safety/Security – Part 2

 

                This is part 2 of the blog on keeping yourself safe on the internet and your information with you and not a hacker or other ner’do well. I do apologize for not posting this sooner, things got a bit hectic in the last days of 2013 and early 2014. But without further ado!

 

Passwords

                Changing your passwords at least on a quarterly basis, is a good way not to be hacked and keep them wondering and worrying about their efforts. And if they start worrying about it, then you’re not worth it and they’ll move to someone else’s computer.

                It’s estimated that a password containing 8 symbols can confound the common hacker for as much as 6 months, symbols meaning numbers, letters (upper and lower case), and the symbols above the numbers on the keyboard. If you can lengthen it, not to mention remember it, to 15 then it’ll take the average hacker more than a trillion years to hack your password. And even with the programs for such things it’ll take years to find it, which hopefully, you’ll have changed it by then!

                An example is this; I love Eileen. 1 l0v3 3i!een

 

Websites:

                You have to be careful with your web surfing as well. Too many times, you can click on a link within an e-mail and it will re-route you to a different website. One with viruses and malware, which as you know can be trouble,

                The best advice I can provide if you want to web surf, is to never click on a link within an e-mail. Keep your security settings as high as you can and still allow you to surf. And lastly, type the name of a trusted website into the browser yourself, especially if you’re going there for the first time.

                Once you’ve been to the site a couple of times it should be okay to keep it in your ‘favorites’ folder and just click on it. But if you’re shopping on-line, then look for the locked padlock on the corner of your screen before putting in your card or other personal info. This is one way that cyber criminals want to get a hold of your info and steal your identity.

 

                Identity Theft:

                One of the biggest crimes, and invisible ones, is identity theft. It’s one reason why illegal aliens get jobs and government benefits and someone else gets the blame and booted off disability or can’t buy a house, car, or anything else on credit.

                You have to be aware of what you do on-line no matter what you’re doing on there. Clicking on bad links, downloading malware (unintentionally), opening phishing e-mails, sharing ‘open source software’, placing too much information on-line in social media, not to mention other personal financial information, and many other things

                The world itself is a dangerous place to live. The internet is both a good thing and a bad one. It allows us to discover new worlds and fascinating new ideas. But it is also a bad thing, because of what people do with it i.e. trying to get something for nothing and endangering people’s lives with hacking and other nefarious schemes.

 

Conclusion

                Any open network or radio frequency can be ‘hacked’. You have to be aware of these things and probably never do your banking or shopping on an open network. Ensure that your Wi-Fi network is secure, at home, and that if you have any internet accessible items in your house that you keep the firewalls, virus/malware protection up to date and you change your passwords frequently – at least quarterly.

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 130 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 22 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/TodaysTraining

www.Facebook.com/OneistooMany

Summary of 2013 WPV

January 6,, 2014

Summary of 2013 WPV

 

                Yet another year has disappeared and with it, another year enters our consciousness with all the potential of good things happening throughout the world, including peace, goodwill, and understanding. Both on the world front as well in the realm of security. Unfortunately, it is but a pipe dream for us and the world of security.

                Workplace Violence (WPV (will rear its hideous viper-like head once again. It will kill hundreds, whether it be in robberies or non-robbery, incidents. And it will wound many hundreds more. And even worse it will traumatize even more, thousands of people. Every person who endures a robbery or other kind of WPV will be psychologically scarred for a long time, some for a lifetime.

                But we’re not going to talk about the future for now. I want to inform you at the beginning of this shiny New Year how bad the last one was for WPV. Remember that WPV is responsible for more than 17% of all workplace deaths. And suicide accounts for another 8% of those. That is a fairly alarming number to people.

                In 2013 the numbers break down to this that I have recorded. And again remember, I don’t get all the incidents that occur across the country. And many incidents aren’t even counted in the official statistics, i.e. those that happen at night clubs or bomb threats and such. SO I will break it down by the numbers to make it simple for you and anyone reading this;

  • Number of incidents: 181  
  • Number of Arizona Incidents: 59
  • Number of those killed in non-robbery incidents: 133
  •  Number of those killed in Arizona: 25
  •  Number wounded in the same incidents: 164
  •  Number wounded in the same Arizona incidents: 28
  • Number of states where incidents occurred: 50
  • Number of Businesses affected by WPV: 100%

 

                In previous blog postings I explained what WPV actually is and that because of the definition I place, and other WPV experts, it is safely noted that the last 2 statistics are exact. They can be startling to some not in security, however, if you look at the many facets of WPV, even one or two person companies will experience an incident of WPV at one time or another. (If you want to read what some of these many facets are, look at the blog of December 22, 2013)

                The reasoning’s for WPV go beyond the easily spouted & digested ‘They’re just crazy’. They dovetail into the warning signs, mental health, economy, and many other factors. There is never just one reason why an incident occurs in a non-robbery event.

                It takes a comprehensive and complete approach to solving this and ‘connecting the dots’. No one issue can be blamed in all cases. Neither can he idea that someone ‘just snaps’. That just absolutely never happens. There are always warning signs to someone who is likely to ‘pop their cork’.

                And also keep in mind that WPV takes in many different forms of crimes. Whether it be a threat or arson. And of course it involves the murder of someone at work as well. And also away from the business too.

                The solution is not complicated. Lots of people, including security professionals, try to make it that way for their own reasons, whatever they may be. But the truth is it isn’t. It is time consuming and nothing else – and most companies simply don’t have the time or money to devote to it. But in order to defend themselves against any lawsuit that may come about they need to begin to expend the resources, in some fashion, to combat this threat.

                I can only hope that my book will help both small and large company’s recognize and prevent an incident. And while they is never a guarantee or fool proof prevention strategy, we can at least keep the possibility even more remote than it may seem at this point.

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 130 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 22 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/TodaysTraining

www.Facebook.com/OneistooMany