Copycat – not just another movie
“According to a Facebook post by Joint Base Charleston on Friday, August 7 at 5:00 p.m., the suspect who had made a threat to the public through friends and on social media, to commit a violent act in local movie theaters, was detained in Dallas, TX.”
Copycat! This is a phrase we all heard or used as children. It was repeated over and over. It was yelled when another child was doing something we had done, and was meant to belittle whatever was going on with another child. Our being first and right were important to us then.
Today, the copycat phrase is important to us to be able to predict what will happen next. As adults, we see other things emerge in patterns of crisis events. Barriers to behaviors of concern become lowered, as we all become de-sensitized to crisis events that used to shock us. Once someone sees an action as possible, the emotional barriers to take similar actions are lowered. This new behavior becomes ‘acceptable.’ In any event, it is 100% predictable.
Each report of workplace violence opens the door to ‘copycats’. Violence becomes expected. The violent acts seem reasonable. Violence becomes the solution to real or imaginary problems.
The recent series of shootings and threats at movie theaters is the ‘new norm.’ We are seeing these events in multiple theaters across the country. Nationally, movie theaters are now on notice that this new norm of behavior requires new planning, procedures, and controls to prevent or mitigate another attack. Yes, more attacks will occur. They may be blamed on a movie’s theme, or mental illness, or something else. It does not matter; every theater must now take steps now, or risk the safety of patrons and staff. Theaters are now on notice. Just like your company, school, or church.
We see that violence begets violence. We do not want to live in world where airport level security with metal detectors and security personnel are the norm at theaters, churches, schools, and events.
Fortunately, there are immediate low-cost steps that can be done to lower the risks to us all.
Awareness – We can establish a program to identify behaviors of concern before they escalate to threats, violence, and death. Does your company, church or school have a Behavioral Risk Threat Assessment Program?
Intelligence – The statistics tells us that over 80% of the time someone else knows when an individual intends violence. In fact 67% of the time two or more people know. When people know, they talk. And today, they talk on social media. Does your company, church or school have an Intelligence Network with 24/7 real-time monitoring?
Training – Plans and training make a difference in outcomes. Plans must be actionable and available. People must know what to do and when to do it. A safe work environment is an OSHA requirement. Yet, the vast majority of companies, theaters, schools, and churches do not have an actionable, available, trained workplace violence program in place. Today, every organization’s plan can be on their employees’ smart phones. Does your company, church or school have a plans that have be tested, trained, and available?
Finally, unfortunately, violence will continue to escalate. Our today is our tomorrow. When you see patterns of behavior, it is only matter of time before it comes to you. Firestorm® follows a PREDICT.PLAN.PERFORM.® Methodology. With 2 million episodes of workplace violence annually in America, you need to act now. Let us know if you would like our help before or after the violence comes to you. Every crisis is a human crisis. Don’t wait for the next copycat.