Updated: Jul 12, 2019
Violence and mayhem can occur anytime and anywhere. My heart goes out to the families of the most recent mass violence/shooting tragedy in Virginia Beach. Twelve people were senselessly murdered yesterday while doing something most of us did yesterday; they were at work. I'm sure each person came into the office expecting business as usual. Unfortunately we must all reconsider what our new "normal" consist of not only at work, but at church, in the mall, at the theater and so on.
At this time multiple law enforcement agencies will be looking into, asking questions and putting pieces of this tragic puzzle together in an attempt to understand the why of it all. The answer to the why is never justifiable! There is no excuse for violence of any kind. In my opinion more important than the "why" is what was going on leading up to this nightmare.
At its core this incident is a case of workplace violence. What many people do not realize is that there are far more cases of workplace violence than the school shootings that always grab our attention. According to statistics from Alert Find "Workplace violence is one of the major causes of death in the corporate world, second only to transportation." As a proprietary security officer, preventing violence in the workplace is extremely important to me. I hope that it's not just my concern but I hope I have empowered the staff in my building to embrace the mindset that safety is everyone's responsibility!
Because I don't believe the investigations taking place will reveal a connection to some foreign or domestic terror group; it is more likely the shooter was reacting to his perception of being wronged in some fashion. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workplace violence falls into four categories: Criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship, which overwhelmingly targets women.
What we do know about the shooter in this evil incident is that he was a city employee of the Virginia Beach City building where the shooting took place. This target was not picked at random. There was no political agenda. There was a disturbed individual who made a decision to take innocent lives. Lives that mattered to the family members, friends and loved ones who now must mourn, then learn to live with the void that lingers in their hearts.
It is important to know and recognize the signs of a co-worker who may bring violence to the workplace. Some people commit violence because of revenge, robbery or ideology – with or without a component of mental illness. While there is no way to predict an attack, you can be aware of behaviors in coworkers that might signal future violence:
*Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
*Unexplained absenteeism, change in behavior or decline in job performance
*Depression, withdrawal or suicidal comments
*Resistance to changes at work or persistent complaining about unfair treatment
*Violation of company policies
*Emotional responses to criticism, mood swings
Most every "place" is somebody's workplace. So whether you are a patron or an employee, it's important to be alert.
Because more employers are taking a no tolerance position to acts of violence at work, many have made it easier to go to HR or some designated office to report these types of concerns. If you see something you must say something. The life you save may very well be your own. #MassShooting #WorkplaceViolence #WarningSigns #VirginiaBeach