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Month: August, 2015

Have you formed your TAT or TAG yet?

Just as your company has developed policies, procedures, rules, & regulations to combat other less serious threats in the business, so you must create and do the same for workplace violence (WPV). That one thing is called a Threat Assessment Team or Group – TAT or TAG. And it can’t be something that meets on an infrequent basis or one that only meets when there is an issue.

Your TAT should be meeting, initially, several times a month. In the beginning, they have to meet that often to ensure that everything that needs to be done is getting started and completed. Consequently it also means moving in the right direction, without a lot of argument and socializing.

Part 1

The first thing you need to do is form the team. That responsibility usually falls to one person within the organization usually in HR or security. But the people on your team must absolutely be ‘team players’. They have to put aside their own departments, squabbles, and issues with others and work together. If they don’t then nothing will get accomplished and you’re wasting money (in other ways than useless meetings), time, and possibly lives.

Who should be on this team? It doesn’t have to be completely all inclusive, but it does require a good representation and cross section of the company and its departments;

Production-Including any particularly heat intensive areas (think summertime with the humidity in the Midwest & east)


Security-yes the TAT and the company need them there

Office people-secretaries, clerks, and ‘gofers’

Human resources

Union stewards

C-suite management-they have to buy into the idea and show that they do

Front line Supervisory/management

Part 2

The TAT’s first task is to review everything that has been gathered and put together for both the Crisis Management Team (CMT) and the company’s Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). This should also include the risk assessment and analysis from security and/or risk management. The main function here is to question the findings and recommendations until they are satisfied with the results in defining them.

Do they absolutely need everything from the CMT, DRP, and security’s risk assessment? No, only the parts of those plans that is pertinent to the TAT. The TAT’s responsibility is to perform assessments of potentially troubled employees and ensure the safety of the facility & employees. Not to gather intelligence for their own use. (And unfortunately some will gather it for a nefarious purpose-guaranteed)

Part 3

The third part of their responsibility is gathering and assessing all threats and violence from within the business. Even if there are none to speak of, they still need to meet and discuss other such incidents from the surrounding area and industry. This will allow the team to become pro-active in seeing and confronting any potential problems or trends with the company. A good resource for this is the Workplace violence e-report (

Discussing other incidents gives you the foresight, or hindsight, to see what other companies did and didn’t do. It allows you to clearly see what works and doesn’t or may/may not work for your company with some tweaking. And remember that WPV is more than firearms; it includes threats, hoaxes, & assaults of all kinds, physical, including throwing things, and verbal.

Part 4 – Conclusion

Your TAT needs to have the support of the c-suite, and authority, in order to pursue and complete their mission. Without this support, they are dead in the water before they ever get started. Upper management needs to give them support and the authority to act upon something they find amiss. That’s why it is so important to have a senior level manager, or C-suiter, on the team.

If the TAT’s recommendations will cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, then the C-suite may obviously, be reluctant. But if your plans and implementation are realistic in their approach and financial costs, then you need to push it –vigorously, to them. They don’t know or understand the whole problem with WPV, that’s your job. #2 is

Your job entails instructing them in what it means to the company and how it is cost effective to make these changes.

Again, the TAT needs to read, revise, and re-define every single aspect of your CMT, DRP, and other such factors as necessary to ensure that the business is as safe as it can be. This may also mean stepping on the toes of departmental heads (remember no fiefdoms are allowed). Not trying to upset anyone, but to make the business safer and get the job done right the first time.

Simply put nothing should be left off the table when it comes to the TAT review. Every sacred cow needs to be re-visited and possibly put out to pasture if it’s outdated or not plausible anymore. No matter how much it’s liked or utilized!

From security to shipping to office visitors to delivery people everything has to be analyzed. One question they can ask themselves during the initial phase of the group is simple and at the same time hard to answer. And no matter how trivial it needs to be brought up and discussed.

How could a non-employee gain access to the business to do harm? Secondly, how could an employee gain access for the same reason? Lastly, they need to think like a person who wants to get in and do harm. Think like a criminal or someone upset enough to come in and create chaos and mayhem.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page,One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues.

Is that bomb inside your business set to explode?

Voices rise, faces flush, and hands begin to clench. Is this ticking time bomb about to explode? As you know, I hope anyway, workplace violence (WPV) can come from virtually anyone who crosses the threshold of your business. However, the threat of an employee or someone else committing an assault, deadly or not, is a threat that can possibly be avoided.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned in my career that can help to defuse this type of ticking bomb. I’ve worked in retail, industrial, & corporate areas of security, and following my own logic, these have worked well.

Observe the individual for any recent signs of bizarre behavior.

If the individual is an employee, I have to assume that you have followed the warning signs for WPV to know if they are on the edge. However, if they aren’t an employee, then you have several other areas in which they may be having a problem.

An individual in an epileptic or diabetic shock may act very strangely. With diabetics, they can act as if they are drunk becoming disoriented, belligerent, and aggressive. The same can be said for someone who is experiencing a stroke. So be careful before identifying these people as simply drunks or morons.

Don’t overdo eye contact

If the individual is truly angry and not having a medical issue, then you need to avoid direct eye contact. Why, you may ask? When confronted by a real or perceived threat, many animals take direct eye contact as a challenge to their dominance in a situation. Most humans will react the same way if they are indeed angry or have a mental illness. Look indirectly at them by changing your contact slightly over their shoulders or up or down. This allows them to understand, instinctively, that you are listening without directly confronting or challenging them.


That may sound simple, but it’s not at all. If you continue with busy work while talking to them this can be a huge mistake. Give them your full attention and don’t allow yourself to be torn in two directions. If you must do computer entry, then ensure they know it’s about their issue, not something else. Open both ears and let them know that they have your full attention.

This also means that if you get interrupted, for any reason, by any means, apologize. An apology will help to throw water on the fuse that may already be lit and burning. And if the fuse is doused, then it could save lives, namely yours.

Don’t fulfill their expectation of conflict

Basically, this means don’t argue with them. Acknowledge and validate their anger. Again, listen and pick up on other clues. Don’t escalate the situation by responding to taunts to your character or heritage. Taunts such as ‘Your mother was a female dog in heat and your dad had to put a bag on her face before donating sperm. You have to do your best to ignore the jibes.

Empathize with the person

With the economy still recovering, there are probably lots of other things weighing on their minds. Something like the following, in a genuine tone of empathy will go a long way – ‘I can understand how that would have you mad, it probably would have me mad (not upset but mad) too. What can I do to help?’

Don’t follow company policy

Not follow policy? What I mean is simply don’t stand there and spout the company handbook. All this is going to do is make them angrier. Let me tell you a story about working as a shift manager at Hardee’s and the customer who could have caused a ton of trouble.

This new employee was working the register, he informed a very large customer that we were serving breakfast and he couldn’t have a ham & cheese (he was big enough to qualify to be 4 people). When he became argumentative and I asked him to leave, the GM instructed me to give him what he wanted ‘cause it wasn’t that big a deal. The man was a regular who ordered the same thing every day. (There is also a lesson to be learned in customer service)

The corporate policy was that no lunch item was to be served until 10:30AM. He ordered his ham and cheese at 9”30AM. Since it was simple and didn’t require a big change, we changed the menu and let him order lunch.

Don’t entertain an audience

If the situation is beginning to be heard all over the building and making others uncomfortable, then get the person away from view, if not earshot. Try to get them to a more private setting, such as an office, or employee break room. But wherever you take them, just make it private.

There are several reasons for this as well. You can make them feel like they are special and are removing the person from a situation where they might be compelled to ‘play up’ to another person or crowd to save face. You don’t want other people to join in on the assault and become a disruptive mob. And lastly, while it seems like they are in control, you are actually steering the incident away from confrontation and the bullying of the employee.

(the 2nd part of this post will appear next week)

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

Post Orders: Writing them effectively & efficiently

One of the many duties, and skills,  that I acquired in my 20 years working with several security companies was the task and idea that the post orders for every client needed to be either Written or updated. So, when I was assigned to do it, I began by standardizing each book and calling it a manual instead of post orders, which had negative connotations to many officers.

This wasn’t always an easy thing to do. Some sets of post orders hadn’t been updated in more than 5 years. That made it difficult for any security officer assigned to a new post to understand what was going on. And worse, the amount of White-out and red/black/blue marks through outdated paragraphs was even more confusing. In some books, there was more blacked out that was printed! It made the post orders look like testimony to a Select Senate Committee on Aliant Encounters. More was redacted than was visible. Now how the hell are officers supposed to learn with that?

I standardized the post orders for every single post we had. From Wells Fargo with 15, to Allied with 45, and First Response with 35. And the ones I revised with Allied were still being used 10 years later when First Response took over an Allied account. Which shows I did something right while I was there.

What to Utilize:

I stopped calling them post orders after I left Wells Fargo. I began calling them Security Operations Manuals for … This made the officers/client think that they were actually better than they were before. And in doing so, it helped to make the officers stand a little taller and take their assignments a tad more seriously. And in this aspect, it helped for them to be more respected by the client’s employees and the client, because of the professional look. They were placed in a new binder with client/company graphics/logo on the front.

As with training classes, I utilized the KISS method when writing the post orders. I kept them simple for several reasons. #1 was ease and simplicity in finding something that needed to be accomplished. #2 was so that if an officer had to take over and work an account with only a couple hours of training, then they could read the post orders and quickly, effectively, and efficiently work the post, it wouldn’t be perfect (nor is the idea of only a couple ours training), but it would suffice, in most cases.

  • General Orders
  • Policies & Procedures for both the client and company
  • Code of Ethics/conduct. Yes this is important to include
  • Laws, regulations, and other necessary items, if they deal with such intricacies
  • Emergency call lists. Not just for emergency services but for the facility personnel
  • Anything else that may have been necessary for the post/assignment

Post Orders:

So now we come to the actual post orders themselves. What do you include in there and where? Again, it should be a very detail oriented, leaving nothing to chance or misunderstanding in normal circumstances. But writing them like that it is very effective and efficient after it’s been completed;

  • Access control
  • Visitors and visitor control. And yes it was separate
  • Cameras, monitors, recording devices, and etc. This was used when necessary and sometimes with alarm panels and other electronic controls – all which had their own section
  • Emergency procedures. Broken down into the likely disasters that could befall the client and the different procedures for each.
  • Trucks, trailers, and pick-ups/drops of same. This included a separate section for deliveries of various materials
  • After hours maintenance
  • List of all equipment on post
  • Diagrams of the equipment, maps of the facility, usually broken down into separate maps for fire extinguishers, fire hoses, alarm pulls, lighting controls, and etc.

And these won’t be the only things in your Security Operations Manuals either. There may be thing sin your facilities that need their own sections. I’ve worked at heavy manufacturing plants before and special care had to be shown for the chemical tanks and other hazards.

So, as with many posts I write, I’m giving you the generalized guidelines to make your security officers more effective and efficient. You will always have to write your own and tweak them to the needs of your company/clients. Despite what some people want you to believe, there is no one size fits all in security, no matter how many places are alike; they have to be treated differently.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues.

Paranoia, Vigilance, & terrorism

The United States, and most of the western world, is becoming paranoid and scared about terrorism. We defeated a few Islamic extremists but then that just gave rise to ISIS. So should we be scared or terrorism? Or should we not be frightened and just remain as vigilant as we can in our snuggly warm sequestered lives?

                I am paranoid. I make no bones about it. I will admit that being paranoid about a great many things has kept me safe from being injured or assaulted. And it has kept clients of mine from being robbed or suffering losses for whatever the reason.

I always stress the importance of being a tad bit paranoid! It is a trait that has served me well over the past 32 years and I have been told by more than a few that my instincts were correct. I’ve been asked by many how I knew something was going to happen. The simple truth is I didn’t, I’m just cautious and paranoid, therefore I always think, and walk, on the ‘dark side of the street’ and therefore life. My instincts are so on target I scare others around me. Other times, ehhh, not so much.

Being vigilant means you know what is going on around you at all times. Paying attention to anything & everything. You might only notice something peripherally out of the corner of your eye and it doesn’t concern you at the time. But you have to file it away for future reference.

Now with radical Islam utilizing the internet to radicalize young unsuspecting people to do their bidding. Add threatening us from all sides and parts of the world, we need to become vigilant, and a bit paranoid as well.

Terrorists can use toys to threaten aircraft. Drones have been sighted over every major airport in the country. From New York, Newark, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, Chicago, & even Kansas City. They have threatened firefighting craft in wild fire areas. And these drones can be used for more than irritation and ‘sightseeing’.

There are videos on Utube that show drones with firearms attached. From your standard 9mm pistols to actual machine guns, capable of blasting through any bullet resistant glass. Then you can add unexplained explosions on the beach and other places as a possible dry run to kill us or drive us into submission?

People taking pictures of critical infrastructure, airport terminals, financial institutions including Wall Street, sports arenas, as well as bridges and highways. Many states have heavily overloaded highways that can be easily obstructed by any number of reasons.

For those that live in California, you know how bad it can be. One minor accident could prevent innumerable people from either getting away or getting help. How many remember the wildfire incident in San Bernadino a month or so ago. Traffic was at a standstill, cars burned and people were hurt because they couldn’t move fast enough to get out of the way – because the highway was too congested and overloaded.

Do I want you to be as paranoid as I am? Of course not. Leave being paranoid to the professionals (security and law enforcement). What I want people to do is to watch for those warning signs of terrorism. The ones that people ignore so well, especially with their own love ones. Look and watch for them and if you see anything beginning to happen and they start to pile up, then tell someone.

But being paranoid and being vigilant are 2 different things. You have to be vigilant in today’s violent world. It does no good for anyone to sequester yourself away from the world and believe everything will be all hunky dory in the morning. Therefore being vigilant is the best way to protect both yourself and your family.

And I’ll add that being just a tad bit paranoid isn’t necessarily bad either. It’ll help keep you on your toes and hopefully fine tune your own gut instincts to be more vigilant. And if you can become more vigilant hopefully you won’t get caught in a cross-fire or other crime.

But no matter what we can’t sit and sequester ourselves away and cover our windows with plastic wrap and duct tape. If we do these kinds of things then we might as well bow down to ISIS and convert to their form of Islam!

By conforming to what they want to fear them and for our own lives, then they win. I don’t want them to win and I would be willing to project that 99% of Americans don’t want that either. Therefore we have only one course of action.

Be vigilant and paranoid. Pay attention to people doing weird things and spouting off the Islamic propaganda of extremism. If someone is acting furtively and sneaking about, then say something. Don’t wait and be the one on the evening news that says in amazement “I didn’t think they’d do that. I didn’t think about that sort of thing in my neighborhood!’

NOTE: not all Muslims are or have been radicalized. Most are kindly citizens and only wish to live peacefully with everyone else.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page,

Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

Do you really need a college degree in security?

A question that has gone from the ‘olden days’ of security until now. Do you really need a college degree in order to be a good security officer or manager? And having been in the field as long as I have, I feel that I can succinctly answer that question. No, you don’t

I believe that you don’t need a college degree in order to be a great security officer or manager. It may make the managerial aspect of the field a bit more challenging, but that just means more hard work than you are accustomed to. But what are wrong with that, are we afraid of hard work?

I have worked with and managed security officers & co-workers who have had degrees. Most of them were practically worthless and ineffective at their job. And yes, this included a couple of my managers.

I supervised one officer back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He had a Bachelors and was working on a Master’s in social work. He was constantly tired, argued at every little change in orders, and didn’t know how to interact with the employees he was trying to secure. He quit 6 months after I took over, because he didn’t like the improvements that made his job harder.

Back in the mid 90’s, while at Allied Security, now Allied-Barton, I had a colleague, right out of college. His attitude was practically the same. He was in the wrong job in the wrong city, for the wrong reasons, and he let everyone know it. And he also let everyone know that his criminal justice degree made him better than everyone else at the company, including the managers.

I literally could spend the next month writing about this subject I’ve had so many people with and without degrees. The one thing I found that made the best officers, supervisors and managers as well, were those without a degree.

It’s not that they were submissive and did what they were told, but that they were conscientious and concerned about their job, not moving on to another with better pay. And while they certainly couldn’t pass a college aptitude test, they knew the elements of security & customer service better than most.

I’ve served under managers who have had a degree. That didn’t make them a good manager. In some cases it made them worse. One manager had a teaching degree for elementary school. And he managed that way, treating everyone and everything as children and refusing to handle the issues within his area of responsibility, except in the limited way that elementary teachers are accustomed to. And he let the district manager bully him in every possible way.

So, I’ve been passed over and not given a second look on more than a few job applications, as well as promotions back in the day, because I don’t have a degree. I firmly believe that experience should count for more than just passing time until a better offer comes around. I am self-taught in security, and customer service, by reading, learning, & absorbing everything I could and can, & having some great managers.

Does this mean that certifications aren’t important within the field? No. If you’re serious about staying in the field and wish to do as I am want to (save lives & property), then getting a certification will help.

Garnering your CPP (Certified Protection Professional), PSP (Physical Security Professional), CSMP (Certified Security management Professional), even the CPO (Certified Protection Officer) or something similar is a worthwhile endeavor and should be followed-up on.

But spending 4 years in college learning how to learn and nothing but ‘book learnin’ helps no one except the colleges and universities. In order to be a true security professional you need to work in the field, garnering the practical knowledge needed to be effective in this ever changing career.

You need to work in a farm field with mud up to your knees, to secure a special event. You need to sit post on the Missouri River bank in July with all the mosquitos swarming around you. You need to work 3rd shift in a warehouse so dark you can’t see past the flashlight. You need to be around chemical spills and active shooter events that threaten the facility.

And you need to have the customer service and people skills necessary to deal with anything unexpected that comes up within your purview. And unfortunately, most of those with a college degree that start in security right after college have not a clue of the conditions their officers work in or how to handle a crisis. And even some of those who have a college degree years ago but are new to security are in the same boat.

So next time you interview someone without a college degree and only experience give them a second look. They may be exactly who you need. Not the ideal candidate, but… the one you need. And they can learn even better I would wager, because I’ve seen, lived, & managed it.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field for 32 years, and 24 studying workplace violence issues. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV and other security issues, as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Building occupants unsure how to react to workplace violence

Here is an article that I got as a news brief on Monday the 10th. It says basically the same things I’ve been saying all along. Companies don’t have a plan to deal with workplace violence (WPV), they are not communicating it well to the employees, OR they just don’t care due to an attitude that it Can’t Happen Here.

Sooner or later it will happen there and then… all hell will break loose. When will companies, and property owners, learn they need to have a plan in place to handle the potentially deadly consequences of WPV. Not all WPV involves firearms but those are the ones that capture headlines and cause the most panic within a building.

And if you look at the statistics collected by Allied-Barton a few years ago, 83% of employees believe that their employer doesn’t have a high interest in preventing WPV and less than 70% have an actual plan in place.

These stats are sad and lead to many a lost wife, husband, son, daughter, brother, sister, or friend. Think of the heart break caused by a fatal incident. And then think of the people who may eventually be out of a job because the business owners, or C-suite, were too short-sighted to have a plan in place. And communicate it effectively to their employees.

And as for property owners of large office buildings and complexes… they need to ensure that their security officers are more than ‘observe & report guards’. They need to have the contractor providing those officers provide ‘observe, report, react efficiently & effectively officers’.

What everyone not involved with WPV issues need to understand is that WPV is not just a deadly incident involving a firearm. That’s only the ones that the media covers. More than 15 million employees are affected by WPV every year and we don’t have nearly that many firearm incidents in the United States. Many more are bus drivers being assaulted for non-robbery reasons, social workers being killed because of a court decision and someone trying to run over utility workers in a cross walk.

Building Occupants Unsure How to Respond to Workplace Violence
Buildings (07/24/15)

Although quite a number of organizations have developed emergency response plans, a new survey shows nearly 25 percent of workers still say they have no idea what to do to protect themselves in the case of an office emergency that poses a physical threat. Conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll, the study shows that while over 90 percent of workers believe their office is a secure place to work, in general, 30 percent believe it’s not well protected from physical attacks. Only 40 percent noted that their organization had guidance on how to handle altercations with another person. The survey also demonstrates that while 85 percent of occupants feel their workplace is resilient against such “Acts-of-God” as fire, floods, or other disasters, over 20% report that the company does not have an emergency plan in place to respond to such an event. Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, comments, “Keeping employees protected means not only putting measures in place to keep them safe, but making sure employees are aware of the policies and procedures.”

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page,

Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

Are you afraid of being sued over security?

Some contract security companies, and their clients, need this post. The main question is do you, and them, know the 3 prevalent ways that your security program, and the provider, can be sued over your security program. Most people don’t and that could be a serious issue for both of you.

                Unfortunately not knowing, or paying attention to, can lead to financial ruin for both the provider and your company. So, it is in the best interest of both to look at these and then decide whether or not you can wiggle out of these. There are literally hundreds of terms that attorneys will use in their filings, but it basically comes down to three main areas;

  • Inadequate Security/Staffing

Somewhere in the paperwork that is filed against you, there will be a case for not having enough security or staffing on the premises when an incident occurred. This could mean a multitude of issues have happened, or not.  That no one was observing (or sleeping) the video monitors, abandoned the front door for the restroom or, that the company didn’t pay enough for a good pad lock on the gate.

And it doesn’t always have to be security people that get the brunt of the legal assault. In the nursing field an example is a nurse leaves the door propped open to the ICU to allow easier access for the ER people to bring up a patient. That means that they will be responsible and could be sued along with the hospital for having inadequate security.

And what about if you’re short an officer, or an employee, to cover the back door while building materials are being brought in and out? This is all in addition to not having adequate locks, lighting, policies, procedures, & etc.

As for other staffing issues, you have to avoid, at all costs, the all too common WBS when filling a post, whether it is a call off or a no show. WBS is one of the riskiest ways for you to fill an opening, and too many, far too many, security companies fall into this trap, usually to avoid violating, and consequently losing, the contract.

                Now you may be asking what WBS is. In the contract security industry if you run short of people, for innumerable reasons, you may plug someone into a place they’ve never worked at before, causing Warm Body Syndrome. And if that post requires a minimum amount of training, then you’ve committed WBS because the ‘guard’ they’ve posted there has no clue and no training on that post.

  • Inadequate training

Your security officers and site/shift supervisors were not properly trained for the duties that they were assigned to the post to complete. If you work in the contract industry this is one the biggest issues that you have, training your officers adequately, effectively, and completely.

On the other hand if your supervisors or managers aren’t properly trained, they don’t know what to do, efficiently, either. That’s as bad as WBS if a person who should know doesn’t know what to do in certain situations on a particular post.

A prime example of this is in the nursing field. A nurse who is supposed to know how to handle am arterial bleed, or other ICU issue or procedure, and doesn’t. Is that inadequate training and could get her and the facility sued?


  • Negligent hiring

Again, whether you are in the contract security field or not, if you hire the wrong person it could cost you. A survey that I saw several years ago stated that even for front line employees with minimal training, it could cost the company as much as $20,000 to replace them. Remember, it’s not just the hiring but add in the recruiting, training, time consumption in the process, and other such things.

If you hire a convicted felon, even if they did so by false pretenses, and they assault someone on the job, you could lose several shirts. And even if you manage to stay in business, your insurance will go up. This literally means that your clients, and others, will be demanding that your background checks have overwhelming proof they were completed and were thorough. And that means additional time and/or financial resources need to be expended.

As for other hiring issues, what if you were to hire a person who has a history of mental illness but hides it well, and many can hide it, until it rises up and explodes. And there are a multitude of issues that can cause a negligent hiring suit.  Therefore, with diligent thought and action, reference checks are a good thing for everyone concerned.

In this litigious society we live in, and especially the supposedly deep pockets of business, you have to ensure that you cross your T’s and dot your I’s on everything. Otherwise, someone will spill hot coffee on themselves and sue you for serving them hot coffee.

Attorneys will have innumerable phrases and words to file (and obfuscate) file against you. But they mostly come down to the 3 areas listed above. So you have to ensure that everything is operating the way it should with no shortcuts that may threaten the business. Shortcuts are fine, as long as they don’t come back to bite you.

So, the question comes up again here at the end. Are you afraid of being sued over your security program or provider? I can say only one thing. Unless you’ve done everything possible and gone beyond it, then as Yoda said “You should be”.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page,

here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues.

“Your idea is absurd”

Have you ever heard that comment before, from your boss, co-worker, or teacher? Or just add stupid, asinine, idiocy, or some other nonsense instead of absurd. But a good quote to live by no matter what someone says is “Any idea that is not absurd is not worth considering”.

Do you know who said that? One of the greatest minds, and scientists, of the 20th Century. Albert Einstein. If you think of all of his wild & crazy theories & ideas that he proposed in his life and then actually proved. And his discoveries and theories are still being taught today!

Yet when he proposed them, starting in the early part of the 20th century, he was considered a crack-pot my most everyone, even his colleagues. They thought he was eccentric with some of his theories. Theories he couldn’t possibly prove. Yet he persisted and he was proven correct later on them.

The same holds true with workplace violence (WPV) and other security issues. WPV is an idea that 99% of all people don’t even consider it a threat or a remote possibility. And while the threat of firearms in the business may be a rare event, the other incidences of WPV can lead to violence outside the business as well.

Incidents such as a bus driver being shot or a co-worker being assaulted on the street in front of their home. These may be rare but they do occur. And yet the idea of them happening is so absurd to most people that they won’t even consider it. This year alone, I’ve counted at least a half dozen incidents of the 97 (as of this posting)  I’ve tracked that were away from a business site, but related to it.

So if you take this into our realm of security and WPV, you can see that the idea of protecting and saving the lives of our employees, not to mention loved ones, friends, colleagues, and such, is a totally absurd idea, according to many managers and c-suite executives. The worst, according to them, is the idea of spending money on such an outlandish and absurd idea! And even worse, why train people on something that are so absurd, it’s a waste of time and resources!

And while business owners and managers are not stupid, many times they lack the foresight needed to combat this deadly and financially draining concern. Somehow we need to convince them that they need to listen and take the proactive steps to protect their investments, businesses, financial resources, employees, friends, and family members  in preventing, or at the very least limiting the liability and reducing the risk of an incident.

This is never the easiest thing to do. Mainly because the idea of security is absurd and it’s a cost center and not one that produces a profit. It just wastes resources and is a drain on the bottom line, which of course is their main concern.

So as what happened after 9 11, a kneejerk reaction will occur after any incident, and the finger pointing. And usually it won’t be the short sighted profit is almighty c-suite executives who won’t lose their jobs. It’ll be the person in charge of security, whatever their title may be, and/or the contract company losing it in favor of another who promises the same old tired rhetoric.

We need to remind everyone who is insistent on not spending on security, from HR Managers who oversee the contract(in many cases), the bean counters in accounting, and c-suiters who refuse to allocate the necessary funds to secure the employees and property.  

                And they have to be sold on the idea, and buy into, the idea that just one deadly incident will cost much more than you are proposing in resources. Security can be a profit center and not just a toilet to throw money, but you have to convince them of that. Convincing them thatspending now can reduce the risk later is not easy, but it is absurd.

Any idea that is not absurd is not worth considering!


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page,

here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues.

WPV Numbers for July

This has been a busy month for workplace violence (WPV). I haven’t tracked this many incidents in a single month for at least 4 years! What brought it on? Not knowing the people and circumstances in which they went off, I haven’t a clue, except the usual warning signs.

Washington D.C. July 2                  0
Kingman, AZ. July 1 (3 incidents) 16w
Fayetteville, NC. July 2                   0
Columbus, OH. July 2                     0
San Bernadino, CA. July 4              6w
Cincinnati, OH. July 4                     2 w
Phoenix, AZ. July 5                          0
Washington D.C. July 6                   0
Columbia, NC. July 6                       0
New York, July 8                              1w
Boston, MA. July 9                           1w
St. Louis, MO. July 13                       2w
Chestertown, MD. July 14                0
Phoenix, AZ. July 15                                  1d
Chattanooga, TN. July 16                  2w     6d
(as of this writing it is still not known if it was terrorism or just regular WPV)
Hayward, CA. July 22                                      1d
Lafayette, LA. July 23 3d                   9w
Prescott, Flagstaff, Phoenix, & Tucson July 28    0
Casa Grande, AZ. July 29                                        2w
July: 20 incidents 11 dead 36 wounded

Total # of incidents: 97 Arizona 33
80 Dead 137 wounded

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page,
here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues.