Active shooters are a real and growing threat. Employing physical security measures, putting policies into place, and drilling your Emergency Action Plan are all solid ways of preparing for an active shooter.
But the reality is that you have a higher likelihood of being affected by workplace violence than you do of being faced with an active shooter at your place of work. Workplace violence statistics indicate that about 5 out of every 1,000 employed persons are victims of workplace violence annually. Active shooter statistics can’t give us quite the same type of statistics for comparison (i..e, statistics aren’t calculated in number of victims per 1,000 workers annually). But we do know that your chance of encountering an active shooter in your place of employment is far lower given the number of active shooter events annually.
The point here is not to downplay the severity of active shooter situations or the need to prepare for them. The point here is to make you very aware that workplace violence is something you shouldn’t ignore.
Recently a Washington teacher was struck in the back of the head and had his neck zip tied by the perpetrator. The attack was from behind, so the victim did not see his attacker, and the teacher could have died from the head wound and asphyxiation from the zip tie. Luckily the teacher was found moments later by another teacher and the indication is that he will recover from the attack. (Surveillance cameras were present and will hopefully provide the forensic evidence necessary to catch the perpetrator.)
Workplace violence is real, and it can be scary. Not every case is as scary as that at Bothell High School. Workplace violence can manifest as lesser assault, domestic violence, stalking, threats, harassment, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. Employers and employees deal with these issues all the time, so its important to address workplace violence in your place of employment. Having policies and procedures in place to deal with workplace violence is an important step in keeping your people safe.