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Month: March, 2016

The forgotten destructive aftermath

The reporter is interviewing people in the aftermath of an event that will be earth shattering. He asks one man for his opinion of what the object, it had landed in a Washington D.C. park, could possibly be. The man answers in a calm, logical, & detached manner to which the reporter is too flustered to ask any more of this spoil sport. He quickly walks away and seeks out someone else who is likely to be more animated or hysterical about the object. This was a scene in the original ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ with Michael Rennie and Patricia O’Neal from 1952.

Now a story that is broadcast a couple of hundred times every year:       The reporter stands in front of a building. He tells the story of a workplace violence (WPV) incident that happened at the business. Days later, after the blood has been cleaned, equipment replaced, productivity slowly resumes, & everyone is somewhat calming down & no more searching for hysterical co-workers, where are the reporters?

This has plagued victims of WPV for years, since becoming mainstream in the mid 80’s. No one, except the families, co-workers, & friends, pays attention to what happens after the investigation is over. But there are many costs that the media won’t cover.

And most everyone, the public, media, or uninformed on WPV, won’t even notice it either, even if they were so inclined to think about it. The forgotten aftermath of a WPV incident is far more expensive than the cost to the business of clean-up, reputation restoration, replacement of equipment, and etc. It can run for a lifetime with nightmares and anxiety.

Those of us in the security field, specifically WPV, will instinctively know these items. But most everyone else who doesn’t perceive much, except the latest fiction of TV, won’t. Even most security professionals won’t know these issues either because they just aren’t associated with them on a daily basis, like cyber security & other security professionals are on their area of expertise.

The aftermath costs are normally forgotten by most people and they need to be reminded occasionally. Not so that the sorrow can be revisited or the horror of losing them but to remind us why we need to have a plan in place. Otherwise it can strike us when we least expect it. And like an ostrich with our heads in the sand with the attitude of it can’t happen here (CHH)…


  1. Economic loss for the families (especially if it was a single parent as in a Domestic Violence (DV) incident

How do you tell a child that you have to move because you can’t afford to live near their school anymore? It would not be easy to do.

  1. Emotional toll on the families

Again, do you want to be the one telling a young child that their mother or father is never coming home again? As heart-breaking, and confusing, as it is for the kids it may be harder on the bearer of bad news.

  1. Economic & emotional loss for employees

For some employees who may be close to the co-worker it will be hard to not look over and see their face across or next to them anymore. For some it could cause traumatic episodes, leading to psychological issues.

  1. Communities

The whole community will feel the loss of an employee. Even more so if this individual was a volunteer for certain programs or groups and did a lot of charity work for non-profits, kids, hospice, or whatever.

  1. Sense of safety that every worker has a right to feel while on the job.

As a kid you experienced the safety & security when your parents told you that there were no monsters under your bed and they checked for you. Then they let you sleep in their bed on stormy nights. Now imagine the monsters standing in front of them every day, reminding them of what may happen?

  1. Work disruption/loss of productivity

A deadly WPV incident will disrupt your work flow no matter what. Even if it’s not fatal your work and productivity will be interrupted. According to some studies it will take 6-8 weeks to get back to full productivity.

  1. Medical and workers compensation claims

Depending on the injuries and wounds, this could very well cost you into the millions. And then of course there are the employees. Even with a Cadillac health insurance plan it could cost them upwards of several hundred thousand dollars.

  1. Litigation

An average lawsuit that is settled over a fatal incident is nearly $6 million. Inadequate security could cost you $1.2 million. And if you look at the findings against U.S. Security Associates last year over an incident in 2010, it was over $45 million for 2 families.


You see that most of those items will never reach the full audience of people who may have watched the incident unfold in rapt fascination. None of the final toll gets reported, except in limited circumstances. But these costs that are directly related to an incident of WPV are real and can last for a lifetime for the families who now have to live without a loved one. Or the victim themselves who may have to live with the horror of being wounded and possibly disabled, both physically & psychologically. Then, like with #5 above, there are the monsters under the bed.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                                              I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear


Do you profile people & not realize it?

And please don’t tell me that you don’t. Just read to the end of this post and I’ll explain why you do.  And I do, even being blind, profile people. And recently there has been a rash of incidents where people have been supposedly profiled. And it comes from every single state in the union we call the United States of America. And usually it’s us as security & law enforcement professionals that get blamed.

But is it fair to single anyone, much less an entire minority group, for the way they look? The unequivocal answer is a resounding yes! Some of you are now wanting to call, or label, me a racist, bigot, or SOB because of one line. Isn’t that profiling me?

I’ve heard of a new software program being used by police in California. It tells the department where the crimes are likely to occur during a certain time of the day. And it also tells them the stats if it’s raining and so on. Since most crimes, of all kinds, will occur in largely black or Hispanic neighborhoods, isn’t that profiling certain neighborhoods and ethnic groups by default?

And the argument that it’s for public safety doesn’t hold water on this. Pulling over an illegal immigrant is profiling, but if a Hispanic was accused of robbing a store and driving off in a similar vehicle… And if a report comes in from the dispatcher that a large black teenager just robbed a store with a hoodie and you stop someone with that description just a few blocks away… Now let me go on to how we, everyone single one of us, will profile people on a daily basis. And some of us will profile people every single minute that we are awake. And it will take a lot to convince us otherwise.

Here are some examples for you to consider of ways we profile someone or a group. And think of your first impression when you read these. Then think about other issues that may cause these actions;

  • The man walking down the street, who may wobble or stumble
  • The brat in the grocery store throwing a tantrum?
  • The employee with red rheumy eyes & can’t seem to concentrate very well
  • The security officer with food stains on their shirt
  • All of those damned ‘rent-a-cops’ who just want to make your job harder
  • The person who rants and raves against anyone, anything, & everything
  • The job applicant who doesn’t wear appropriate clothes
  • The ‘hard-assed’ security officer at the entrance

These are all examples of the way we profile people. There may be good reasons for any and all of these groups doing what they’re doing. But all we do is profile them. And after we profile them, then that profile sticks in our mind, possibly forever. Look at your daily life and see who you profile.

When I was in Loss Prevention, at a large electronics retailer, I was instructed by the manager and other officer how to spot a shoplifter. And even today I have no doubt those LP departments and officers profile people on the same basis I was taught to;

  • Women, usually black, with unusually large shopping purses/bags
  • People with baby carriages
  • People with lots of kids with them
  • Teenagers with hoodies or baggy pants
  • People with hats that could hide CD’s or cassettes

These are the people, along with others were the ones we were instructed to follow with the cameras or encourage other employees to follow around the store and/or constantly barrage with a friendly “Something I can help you with?”

Every single day we make hundreds, possibly thousands, of profiles of people we see. Some of them may be valid and others may not. Some of our profiling will target bad people and unfortunately other profiling will render judgment on good people that isn’t fair.

As security professionals it’s our job to profile people, whether you believe that or not. It may not be fair, but we also instruct our officers to do the same thing to protect the company or client. What’s that you ask? Be suspicious of anyone or anything that just doesn’t seem right. The first thought of profiling.

If we don’t then we’re not doing our job. Do we need, as security professionals, to temper this with common sense and training so we don’t accuse someone recklessly of theft, terrorism, or other hooliganish behavior? Of course WE DO. So therein is the key to profiling and not being sued.

Take a look at the list above and see where we inadvertently profile. Is it possible that they have a medical condition (or are having one i.e. a stroke or diabetic shock) or any other number of issues that is causing it? Then look at the fact that we may be mistaken. All I ask is that next time you begin to accuse someone of profiling, look back and see who YOU have profiled in the past hour or day yourself, and why.

And yes, most profiling is harmless because it doesn’t cause any harm to come to that person. But if that person wearing a turban or burka sets off a bomb… Or that Hispanic robs a store down the street and kills someone and they are illegal… If you saw the first “Spiderman’ movie, then you understand why profiling, or getting involved, is a good idea (the wrestling promoter being robbed, Peter lets him go & then his uncle is killed by the same robber).


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Building a successful security awareness program-Part 3

In the first 2 parts of this posting I gave you the 2 most pressing needs of an awareness program. This final part is important because if your supervisors and managers don’t buy into it…

The supervisory/management role:

Who am I talking about here when I say supervisory & managerial roles? It basically means anyone within the organization that has or does exert control over one employee or group of them. It doesn’t matter if it is a two person department or a 100. Their titles can range from any number of or derivatives of these titles;

  • Leads
  • Crew leader
  • Shift
  • Assistant
  • Facility
  • Departmental
  • Plant

And then you have the people who work in offices within the facility who can or does control the actions of a group of employees. And these range from engineers to accountants to human resources to innumerable others. They have just as much responsibility for ensuring the success of your awareness program as the employees do.

It is their responsibility to follow-up and follow the rules with no exceptions for anything. In other words, if the supervisors and managers view security as a necessary evil then that’s what will be communicated to the employees as well. Whether they do this intentionally or with subtle signs of contempt for security and expect employees not to notice…

They need to buy into the program as they would any other initiative of the company. And they need to do it lock, stock, & barrel. This means that they may need a bit more training as to why it’s so important i.e. opening and leaving open a door that’s supposed to be locked at all times.

If the supervisors and managers let security slide or are lax to enforce rules or follow them, then the employees will also not follow them and the entire program goes down the tubes. And this could potentially be catastrophic for the company and the employees.

Hazards in today’s business world that range from workplace violence, which of course a perpetrator would absolutely love an unlocked & open door to sneak through. Theft of property which can be hazardous in and of itself. Visitors wandering in and getting hurt which is another area of immense liability. And the list could go on for several posts.

The key in all of this is not necessarily the training, or being overly dramatic in presenting it, but in the management buy-in. If management doesn’t buy into the program or decides that they don’t have to follow the rules and can do what they want, then your hard work is kaput.

And unfortunately I have seen it at more than a few companies/client facilities where supervisors & managers felt this way. They broke the security rules at practically every chance they got. And then when the contract (union) time came around, they wondered why the employees didn’t trust them and wouldn’t do what they said.

The absolute main point to all of this is that hourly employees, and managerial employees, need to buy into the awareness process. The world is a dangerous place and it is our, security professionals, responsibility to ensure the safety & security of employees.

However, we need help from the employees to help keep them safe. As I said in the very beginning, sometimes it’s not easy to do, especially if there are trust issues between hourly and management. But as security & management professionals it is dependent on us and us alone to make it work.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                           I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Are you prepared for…anything? – Part 4

This is the last post in this series. I hope it has, or will, help you make some decisions in your business to save it if something were to happen. Be it tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes or worse, manmade disasters such as workplace/school violence (WPV/SV), terrorism, or contamination of supplies.



After your training has been completed you’re ready for the next phase in implementing your DRP, the analysis. This necessarily has to be meticulous and carefully reviewed. All of your recommendations for deletions & revisions will come from this review. Does it have to be perfect? No, but it does have to be done in an effective & efficient manner.

And your report to the c-suite doesn’t have to be a novel. Like most of what I’ve discussed throughout my career, make it simple and easily understandable by everyone who may red it. It doesn’t need to be full of flowery and verbose language to tell what happened and what needs to be changed. If a 10 page report does the same thing as a 90 page report, why do the extra work?

And yes, I understand that if it isn’t long, verbose, & boring with unnecessarily long words, phrases, & etc. it may not be taken seriously. But the idea is to save lives and property; therefore it needs to be, as above, succinct and simple.



This is the conclusion of this series of posts on writing a DRP. Writing one can be time consuming and involved. And in today’s world, you may think that it will waste too many resources to sit and write one.

But you can’t allow yourself to think that way. Thinking like that is just as bad as the can’t happen here (CHH) attitude in WPV. It is dangerous and can lead to a relaxed atmosphere in which an incident may occur. And as I’ve mentioned, it can cost you your business as well as lives.

To briefly review, here is a short summary of what your DRP needs;

  • Risk to the business of each possible hazard
  • Prioritizing which sections are the most vulnerable and need to be recovered first
  • Forming your recovery groups
  • Ensure you know which people are critical for each action
  • Lines of Succession for events-remember vacations, illness, & other things can and will happen

Would I recommend a software program where all you have to do is type in a few words and that’s it? No I don’t. While these programs are up-to-date and wonderful tools they are just that, tools. You should engage a consultant or at the very least a cheap copy of one to help you write one. Human eyes can do so much more than a computer program.  And software has no instincts to pull from in the pit of their stomach.


Again, not having a DRP is not a good idea. In order for your business to get back up and running efficiently as possible, then you need to have a plan in place for every eventuality. And while the possibility of an earthquake in Omaha Nebraska is remote, what would you do for a tornado there. And likewise with the threats in the world today there is so much more to contemplate besides natural disasters.

From active shooters to planted food borne illnesses and chemical contamination of water and other vital supplies. You have to plan on these as well as fires, power outages, explosions, & chemical spills of a corrosive or one that is harmful because it’s airborne.

Do you have a plan? If not why? When are you going to design, write, & implement one? If your answers are not forthcoming I have two last questions for you. How will you answer the police investigations into the death or injuries of employees or customers? And how will you adjust to being unemployable for years after the disaster, whatever it may be because you’re the one that’s blamed?


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                                      I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Building a successful security awareness program-part 2


Setting the Stage-Part 2-continued:

Now that you’ve re-evaluated your culture and learned the attitudes that can cause workplace violence (WPV (, and other trust issues within the company, you’re ready for the 2nd step in the process. Picking the right way to present the information. And if part 1 in setting the stage is the most important, then this would be a very close 2nd.

The primary reason that this is a close 2nd is the fact that if it’s not presented correctly and in a way that actually engages your employees then it is a waste of time & financial resources, which is intolerable by everyone. Your employees have to be interested in learning the material and listening to what has to be said.

Will it be a ‘dull plodding’ security manager or will you hire a professional training company, at much expense to deliver it? Preferably you hire an outside consultant to deliver the information and provide the necessary material.

The reasoning behind that is the fact that many employees may not trust the security manager as they are an extension of management. An outside consultant is someone they don’t know but could more easily trust.

In part 1, we discussed the idea that your employees have to trust you in order to buy-in to the idea of security awareness. And going along with that is your management team up to and including the C-suite, where it begins, or ends, because this is where usually all the distrust originates from.

Now covering the way to show and improve your employee’s awareness and hopefully get them to realize how important security really is to both them and the company. And if you can successfully do that, then you’ll have extra eyes assisting your security officers.

There will always be those within the company who will distrust any management directive as hindering and spying on the employees. No matter what you do, there will be the ‘agitators’ who will attempt to disrupt your efforts to secure them and the company. That is their perception and it will probably never change.


The training process:

One way to increase security awareness with the employees is with posters. Safety posters have been around for decades and used a number of cartoon characters to get their point across in a humorous way. They have a tendency to lose their luster after a few weeks and their effectiveness.

The problem with posters is that they aren’t rotated enough. The posters stay up for months on end without rotation. Therefore, the only ones who are affected by these are new hires or those who transfer into the facility.

Ideally, they would be rotated on a weekly basis. However, being realistic, unless you have a dedicated individual to do them it can’t reasonably be done.

Another way to train employees is through the monthly or quarterly meetings that you, the security professional, should be conducting. A short 5-minute presentation from either a consultant, officer, security manager, or outside law enforcement can be very effective. Anyone of the security staff can present it as long as they are qualified.

And having a police officer, domestic violence counselor, or someone in a similar background will be listened to, probably better than either a manager or security officer/consultant. And usually these kinds of people can be had for next to nothing for a few hours.

In the past training was conducted in longer full length training in which employees quickly lost interest. It’s not their area of responsibility and therefore it’s all a distraction to them. But in 5 minute bursts…

One of the last things you can do to increase interest in security awareness and have your employees is to show them how it actually affects them when security isn’t ‘tight as a drum’  If it’s in the IT department, then show them the information that can be stolen from your computers and how it could affect their jobs i.e. corporate secrets and plans.

Likewise, with factory floor workers show them what theft and possibly workplace violence can cost them. Crying children, grieving spouses, & totally distraught elderly parents can be a huge factor in their acceptance.

Another of this is demonstrations and role-playing during the meetings. Most WPV incidents are over within 3-4 minutes of their start. Basically this means in the time it takes to conduct the security meeting everyone in the room could be dead or dying.

Use written tests with a reward for filling it out and submitting it. It won’t cost the company that much to offer sandwiches at a local burger joint or a free lunch. You don’t have to grade the test, just see if they get what’s being taught.

Lastly, a simple suggestion box may be helpful. Yes, an old fashioned suggestion box or use a digital alternative. This can be for questions they may be afraid, or embarrassed, to ask in front of their peers. Or to turn in someone for some wrong doing, or suspected, or potential security issue. It just has to be taken with a grain of salt for obvious reasons, especially if there is still a trust issue.

In part 3 we’ll discuss the supervisor/management role in the awareness program. It really is up to them in a lot of respects.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                 I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Are you prepared for…anything? – Part 3

Production Floor:

I use the term production floor to refer to the area where your work is performed. In a call center it will be the phone room/floor, hospitals and schools will be called… and offices… But no matter where the production of your company is performed there is one thing that must be done. All, and I do mean all, floor supervisors & managers, and possibly hourly employees if not needed in Facilities, need to be involved in putting it all back together again.

The most important task they need to tackle is to assess the damage to the machinery and raw materials they use on a daily basis. You don’t know how long your recovery will take, or what resources you’ll need, until you can make a complete assessment of the damage and needed, necessary, resources. The idea obviously being to get back to full production as soon as possible.

If that means they all have to be reassigned to clean-up then that is what has to be done. Everyone within the organization needs to be pushed in the direction of assisting the company to fully recover. And that means possibly suspending the union contract, if they will agree, so that anyone can help anywhere within the facility. For the sake of the company and employee jobs, let’s hope that it can be agreed to.



It is an absolute vital necessity to train employees in the DRP. And this will mean every single employee in the company at that location. From c-suite to hourly employees doing the production work. This is to ensure that everyone is knowledgeable in the plan so that they know their place in it and how to react, or not, to an incident.

The employees need to be trained in any way possible, and have it ingrained into them the plan. Until the plan itself becomes nothing but second nature to them. Being realistic it may mean nothing, because people act differently in a crisis, most times, than they do in training or simulation. That may be counterproductive but…

Types of Training

     The type of training you need to have is as varied as the type of companies that will need them. But there are 2 kinds that are quite effective in a disaster, and especially an active shooter scenario. table tops and full blown drills. These training examples have been the target of some confusion, so let me try to explain them.

I have been to training exercises with table tops that literally had more in common with a classroom than an exercise. I’ve had some that were nothing more but a classroom discussion group and nothing was planned just discussed to get information out so they can say it was done, liability dismissal.

I’ve also participated in exercises where it lasted for hours and was extremely intense. The facilitators threw monkey wrenches into the mix and did their best to ‘discombobulate’ the people in the room. It worked very well. Almost too well.

As for a full blown drill, I’m sure you can figure it out. It’s like the fire drills we had in school, or for those old enough to remember, nuclear strike drills. In this case you need to at least twice a year, have a walk thru drill. This is simply just an evacuation and walk thru of the actual plan.

To have a full blown exercise you will need to coordinate with every local agency you can to assist. From

Law enforcement, fire, medical, & any other agency that may respond to a disaster including chemical companies. These exercises should also go the full route with simulated injured and dead.

One of these I participated in had an explosion in one of the manufacturing plants. We had searchers, rescuers. Police, fire, ambulance, and off-duty medical personnel that showed up to help. It was a great drill and the plan was re-evaluated and made better. With extensive and meticulous review & planning.

If you will be scheduling a full blown exercise, then you don’t want to tell your employees when or where it will occur. Surprise is the best option in a training scenario because it allows you to grade the responses accordingly. And as I said just above, when it goes down reactions will vary differently than table top or testing scenarios.

Informing them that it will occur is okay, especially if you’re in a healthcare or educational setting. And in some cases you may actually want to inform them of the time so as not to scare anyone about the training exercise. Scaring them into believing its real is definitely not a good idea no matter how effective it may be.


The last part of this series will be forthcoming next week. Stay tuned.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Building a successful security awareness program

We all should know, even millennials, the old WWII adage Loose Lips Sink Ships or various derivatives of it. This is as true now as it was 60 & 70 years ago. But it’s all about keeping company information & employees safe & secure. Even when they don’t want to admit it to anyone.

In the past, it was generally accepted by most businesses that you could put a security ‘guard’ on duty and that’s all you needed to do, except lock the doors and turn off the lights… That’s it, it’s all you need. Right? 20, 30, and more years ago, yes, it was all you needed, but now…

The primary purpose of security awareness is to change/inform behavior and improve the culture at the company. Additionally, the ‘secondary’ purpose is to protect both company assets/property & the employees who make it go. Of course they don’t necessarily believe that.

Many employees interpret security as a hindrance to their work efforts. In a union environment there is something called ‘strike memories’. That’s where the union leadership and most union members see security as an extension of management and therefore an adversary and not help or protection, even if it is just a plain old rent-a-cop.

So building an awareness program to convince employees that security can help to further work efforts, and not hinder, and protect their lives, and jobs as well, is of paramount importance to the company. But when financial resources are tight, how can you do this and not bore them or have them remember any of it?

It is unfortunate, but it’s rare for a company to actually implement a program that intends to actively engage the employee with the sole purpose of striving for a better security culture. Part of this is the adversarial nature of many companies as well as the fact that the employees feel that it’s the company’s  responsibility to protect them and they shouldn’t have to do anything to help.

I’m hoping to build you an outline, a guideline if you will, to try to help you to design and implement an awareness program. Am I positive that this will work? Absolutely not! For some companies, who follow through to the end, it will work. For some, either management or employees, or both, will not have enough buy-in to have it succeed. And if that occurs, you have bigger issues than implementing a security awareness or other similar programs.

I will start the process here and finish it with 2 more posts. It’s not hard or complicated to either understand or implement. However, where it may become complicated is in the actual details of several key components of the program, and that’s something I can’t do much about. So with that said, let’s get started with attempting to outline what’s needed;

Setting the stage:

This is possibly the most complicated and most difficult step in the entire process. Because this starts before finding someone to deliver the presentations and put up posters, show videos, or anything else. But it is by far the most important. The employees have to trust you and management.

By management I mean all employee leads, supervisors, & ass’t supervisors. Then would be the departmental managers and continuing up the line to senior staff in the ‘white collar suite’. Without the trust that must be engendered beforehand you are impotent in trying to convince them to assist with their own safety & security. And sometimes it can get worse with the employees even attempting to sabotage or interrupt security programs.

This goes to the corporate culture and what management puts out. There is an old cliché that says ‘You get back what you put out’. So, if you trust your employees and do what you should to be a good supervisor then they will instinctively trust you and management, hopefully. Check out these past blog posts to learn what these are.

I will reiterate here, and probably several more times as we progress, that if your employees distrust you, for any reason, then they are not likely to either listen or involve themselves in the security awareness program. And many times the excuses that may come out of it are the same as they would be for workplace violence.

In part 2 of this blog we’ll continue with Setting the Stage and begin actually the training and prodding process of moving your employees to assist in your security efforts and making them more aware of the issues.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                                       I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Are you prepared for…anything? – Part 2

This is the 2nd part of this series on writing and implementing a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). I mentioned in the 1st part that you need to have 3 different groups of people to handle the issues within your business. In this part we’ll begin discussing them and why they are important.

An added note before we continue; don’t bypass the people who are making the recovery possible. Don’t change or implement something unless all parties are notified and they approve of such a change, no matter how small you think it may be.

Each of these groups, within the overall group, has their own agendas to getting their job done correctly. Therefore they also have to work together in order to ensure that it is both effective& efficient, for all parties, which are the keys in getting back to normal.



This working group would include every department that is necessary to maintain the smooth running of the facility. And while this would generally be for a manufacturing plant, it can easily be adapted for any other facility you may have such as warehouses or office buildings.


The main responsibility of this section of the Facilities group will be the cleanup and effective repair of necessary equipment to get the company back up and running quickly & efficiently. Regular employees may have to be drafted and placed into this group in order to facilitate the quick turnaround of the recovery. And if you have a union, you’ll have to get their permission as well.

If you are in a facility other than a manufacturing plant then it probably won’t be as difficult to get back up and running. But you will have to have these people nonetheless because of computers, office equipment, and other such necessities of modern office life.


The person coordinating security, and not responsible for anything else during this time, will need to be as intricately involved with the entire recovery process. It is their responsibility to ensure that all necessary contractors, and vital recovery equipment/materials, are passed through efficiently. And this should also mean that normal entry control rules are bypassed to expedite their entry, as long as it doesn’t compromise security any further.

And it may also be necessary to temporarily contract with a security company for additional officers, with all the deleterious effects, including warm body syndrome, laziness, & etc. But all officers should be responsible to you and not their employer to avoid any confusion.



            This group will have the responsibility for everything that is administratively necessary to get the business up and running again. They will be involved in ordering supplies, approving new contractors, allowing, and entering, contractors into the computer system as well as innumerable other issues and necessities. From IT to HR to all other support functions will be in this group.

If you have a food service department, then they will also be in this group. It is the responsibility of this group to expedite requests for anything and everything, from office supplies to paying or arranging payment for contractors. Scheduling, insurance, payroll, and the innumerable other administrative duties that will need to be handled on a minute by minute basis.

As fir emotionally draining duties, this group may have the worst of it. HR has to account for everyone and then make the appropriate notifications to families. Therefore they need to have an accurate account of who was at the facility at the time of the incident and approximately where they were at when the crisis struck.

And this means that the floor supervisors provide to HR a ‘duty roster’ on a daily basis of employees and where they are working. And the supervisors need to update that list at least twice a day for any employees leaving early or arriving late. Yes it’s a royal pain the ass for supervisors & managers to do this, but it’s better than scrambling during a disaster to find someone who may not be there.

They will also have to deal with the regulatory issues as well as many other sundry issues connected to these. The company legal department may be placed into this group as well in order to help ease through the myriad of reports, governmental, & regulatory issues, which can be extremely complex & confusing.

Notifying the employee assistance plan (EAP) or arranging for grief counselors and the like will also be in these groups responsibilities. They need to provide for all support that employees may need. From working with facilities for food service to the EAP to handling requests for the Red cross and the like.

As I said, this group will have the most emotionally draining of any group assisting in the business recovery. And because of that they may, understandably take more breaks and have more time off, both during and after the process is complete.

The company needs to, and should, facilitate this no matter what the policies & procedures say. The only issue would be if someone is abusing the time off. And in that case it needs to be tracked, but carefully. This has the reasoning so as not to being sued for whatever an attorney can raise or invent, real or not. Remember Perception is Reality, especially with PTSD and the like.


In the next segment we’ll discuss the last group of people that you’ll need to recover from a disaster.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Do you know the numerous warning signs?

Are you a good observer? Do you think, or know, your employees? Are you in tune with them? This post may give you a pause, I hope, so that you can re-evaluate your observational skills, your company’s policies & training, &their reporting procedures.

There are innumerable warning signs besides those for employee behavior in spotting workplace violence (WPV). Here is a small list of the signs that as a supervisor or manager you have to pay attention to and consider.

And whether you think about them openly in the front of your mind, or you let them stew and simmer in the back it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that after a rapid & rational thinking process… you inform someone such as HR, security, or the c-suite. And then not have anyone take umbrage about it and actually do something to prevent it or lessen the carnage. And if they don’t act in a timely fashion… you hoist the flag and keep talking about it.

  • 21 behavior warning signs for employees
  • The excuses you may hear around the facility, especially in an union environment
  • Notices on bulletin boards or tacked in restrooms and such
  • The attitudes that management has towards employees, encouraging WPV

  • The profile of an average perpetrator, although it is changing

  • Physical security issues and holes
  • Loopholes in the policies & procedures
  • Inadequate directives and policies
  • Inadequate employee training on WPV
  • C-suite, or executive, ignorance of the issue


Yes, I know that this is a lot for a front line supervisor or manager to think about. It may actually interfere with the manufacturing or distribution process. It may actually slow you down a tad bit. But the question is whether you wish to be on the TV news stating an obvious stupid statement such as “I didn’t expect it out of them! They were always so nice to everyone!” or the equally foolish “I didn’t think it could happen here!”

We have all heard people say these things on Television, radio, and in print. And as security professionals we know for a fact that it could have been, possibly, prevented. If only the warning signs, and the others above, had actually been listened to and believed.

As security professionals it is our duty to assist front line supervisors and managers to bring these issues to the executive or C-suite level. Whether that attention be via training, memos, meetings, or whatever. We need to do what we can to keep the business safe from a WPV incident.

And being perfectly honest, it doesn’t really matter if that incident is an active shooter event or an employee throwing things at another. Both of these can and usually lead to greater issues than just the death of one or more employees

it is up to us to inform the company, or the client, of the potential liability and resulting financial cost of ignoring the issue. And you will be criticized, and roundly called an alarmist, for bringing up these issues, but it is our duty to do so, whether anyone likes it or not.

So as has been the case for decades we are caught in the proverbial catch 22. So we take the business side into consideration first? Or should we take the safety & security of the company/client & its employees first? And if we do either one without the other are we the one facing professional liability for not doing one or the other? That is a question only you and your individual company/clients can answer.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

Workplace Violence (WPV) incidents for February

Chandler, AZ. February 2              0

Tucson, AZ. February 2                  0

Phoenix, AZ. February 3                               0

Tampa, FL. February 5                    1d             6w

Tempe, AZ. February 6 (school)                      0

Surprise, AZ. February 8                               0

Denver, CO. February 9                                  0

Abingdon,MD. February 10              3d

Fargo, ND. February 10                     2d

Phoenix, AZ. February 10                                0

Columbus, OH. February 11                  1d           4 w

Glendale, AZ. February 12 (school)     2d

Baton Rouge, LA. February 13              1d            2 w

Phoenix, AZ. February 13                               0

Albuquerque, NM. February 14                         0

Jonesboro, AR. February 14                                  0

Smithville, MO. February 16 (school)                1w

Crystal City, TX. February 17                             0

Lakewood, WA. February 20              2d           1w

Kalamazoo, MI. February 20             6d            2w

Bailey, CO. February 24                      2d            2w

Alameda, CA. February 24                                   1w

Palmdale, CA. February 24                                   1w

Hesston, KS. February 26                   4d             14w

Lake Ridge, VA. February 27             2d

Dayton, OH. February 28                   1d

Middletown, OH. February (school)                 4w

Anthem, AZ. February 29                          0

February:   28 incidents   27  dead     40 wounded


Year-to-Date incidents: 52   Arizona: 18

30 Dead   59 wounded


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear