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Armed Protection Services2022-07-29T05:45:59+00:00

Armed protection services are very different than unarmed guards and unarmed private security patrols.

Threats in the workplace must always be taken seriously. Whether it’s a customer directly threatening to attack an employee or an employee making veiled threats toward a coworker, supervisor, or executive.  Company leadership and HR need to document these threats, investigate them, conduct a professional threat risk assessment, and then create a plan that fully addresses the threat and defuses it. 

Unfortunately, some companies fail to take threats seriously or may not even have a procedure for employees to bring these threats directly to management or HR. Some HR teams fail to address the threats correctly or act too slowly. Wherever the breakdown in the process is, the end result is that someone could be hurt. Infortal is here to help you deal with these types of situations correctly, allowing you to protect your employees while providing threatening individuals with the help they need. 

Note that Infortal does not deal with Active Shooter situations. Our protective services are aimed at preventing dangerous situations by de-escalating threats before anyone is harmed. In the case of an Active Shooter or any individual who is brandishing a weapon, whether it’s a gun, a knife, or anything else, you should always contact 911 as a tactical police response is needed.  Our armed protection services are not intended to deal with Active Shooters which require a SWAT response. 

If an employee or customer has reported feeling threatened, you may not know how to fully assess and address the situation. The first step in the process is to perform a threat risk assessment. Without completely understanding the threat, you or your company cannot prepare a response that fully addresses that threat.

Also do not try to deal with threat situations using unarmed patrol guards. Building security guards (also called private security or patrol guards) are typically unarmed and are not permitted to intervene by law in most states. This is an entirely different situation than they are trained to  deal with; they are only permitted to “Observe and Report” to local police about potential situations. Your company would not want the insurance risk of having untrained people attempting to respond to dangerous situations. If there is no crime in progress most police departments are typically too busy to respond. It is best to work with highly trained security professionals who are capable to identify threats and to diffuse threats wherever possible. This requires experience, training and the ability to de-escalate the person making threats. It can be dangerous to attempt this with inadequate experience.   

Deployment of armed security specialists is extremely important based on specific known conditions at the facility/ work site and based upon the facility layout and information known about the person (subject) who is making threats and identified potential victims (if known).

Every situation is unique and must be assessed individually to create an effective response.

Armed protection services are often provided for high public profile executives when attending special events, large conferences, and sometimes shareholder meetings where unfavorable topics may need to be discussed, or where disgruntled individuals are expected to attend. Executives often receive threats which must be taken seriously in order to assure the protection of the executive or executive team.

In particular, executives at pharmaceutical companies tend to receive more physical threats, including pipe bomb threats, from animal activists and other groups who may have extremist elements. Executive protection companies that provide these executive protection services typically include retired and off-duty law enforcement officers who have extensive experience in responding to such threats, are licensed to carry concealed weapons and, of particular importance, also have training in how to diffuse threats of violence.  A selection of armed protection service providers is critical to the successful outcome of protecting executives and their families.  The caliber and experience of armed executive protection

Infortal has provided armed specialist teams for workplace violence threat cases for over 30 years.

For more information see our guide: 25 Warning Signs of Workplace Violence and other workplace violence resources below.

If you would like a free consultation regarding workplace violence or a specific threat situation you are facing, please contact us. 

  Threat Risk Assessment

  Learn More Below

What can employers do to help their employees or customers who are being threatened? While many may assume the first step is to call the police or hire security, the process should actually start with a threat risk assessment. Again, if you see a person brandishing a weapon this is an Active Shooter situation which must be handled by law enforcement. 

This threat risk assessment will help you determine what kind of threat you’re dealing with and how serious it is. Some individuals who appear to be behaving inappropriately may have no intent to act with violence. Instead, these threats are a call for help, and with the proper psychiatric counseling, they may be able to process the emotions they are dealing with in a healthier way. However, some individuals do plan on carrying out the threats they make. A threat risk assessment will help you categorize the current situation.

The first step in a threat risk assessment is to interview the employee (or employees) who are being threatened. The threat assessment team will ask for specific details, including the exact language used, the date and time of the threats, the frequency of the threats, and any other details the employee can provide. They may speak to additional witnesses to get further information.

It’s important that you always take these interviews seriously. Even if it seems like a minor dispute between co-workers, the threatened individual feels unsafe at work. That makes it a potentially serious situation, especially if the threatening individual is acting irrationally or behaving out of character or in some cases bizarrely. If someone has made the decision to report the situation, they feel it warrants attention. Many employees don’t report threats or try to downplay it because they don’t want to be the first to say that they’re uncomfortable. When someone does feel that they are being threatened, your company must investigate.

You will also need to be aware of unintentional bias. Anyone can feel threatened at work. It shouldn’t matter if the person is a receptionist or the CFO, you still need to handle the situation in the same way. Likewise, be certain you’re not unconsciously dismissing a report made by a male employee. Men can be threatened at work, too, and often feel more embarrassment and hesitation about reporting it. Take all threats seriously, regardless of who they are made to or made by.

Next, take steps to protect the employee. This may include temporarily reassigning them to another department or having them work from a different office or remotely for a short period of time. If the person threatening them knows where they live or has threatened them outside of the office, suggest that the employee take a different route to work or change up their habits for the time being. In some cases, the company may even need to pay for temporary lodging until the situation is dealt with. You should never confront the threatening individual yourself. 

Once the employee has been temporarily removed from the threatening situation, it’s time to bring in a company like Infortal to provide a threat risk assessment. We have the tools, resources, and experience needed to fully assess the situation. These assessments require a specialized skillset because you need to see a full, clear picture of the individual making the threats, in addition to understanding their background, social media activities, and evaluate their propensity for violence.. 

Our threat risk assessment team will compile a threat profile of the individual that contains information such as whether they have a prior history of crimes, especially involving physical abuse or domestic abuse, their experience with weapons, what groups they are members of (for example extremist or survivalist groups), who they associate themselves with, and any patterns of activity that could indicate a threat. This information comes from public records, court documents, social media, and information on the dark web. We may find things such as photos of the individual with guns, restraining orders, indicators of financial pressure or elevated stress, drug and alcohol abuse, and more. We will also look for signs of suicidal tendencies and other mental health conditions that may be involved. 

Once we have compiled the profile, we will sit down with your company’s HR team or executives and review the situation. We will make recommendations and work with you to determine the best solution. The right solution may be to provide the threatening individual with support and therapy so they can control any psychiatric disorder that may be impacting their ability to cope. It may involve moving them to another part of the company or, in some cases, terminating their employment. If that is the best solution, we will assist you in notifying the employee in the best and safest way possible. In some instances it may be necessary to have the person escorted off company premises by armed specialists.

Types of Threats

One key part of threat risk assessment is understanding the type of threat made. Until you do, it can be difficult to formulate the correct response. Typically, threats are either direct or veiled.

In either case, always take threats seriously. Threatening behavior can change suddenly and with no obvious cause.  

Direct Threats

A direct threat occurs when an individual directly and clearly makes a threat against another. “I’m going to hurt you” is a direct threat. Other direct threats may include directions such as “If you do not give me a promotion, I will make things difficult and you know I can.” A direct threat may also direct the threatened individual to keep quiet. These threats may be enforced by the presence of a weapon such as a small gun, a knife, a bomb, or even a common item such as glass bottles that could be broken and used to stab someone. In some cases the person will exhibit suicidal tendancies and be looking at ways to take other people with them.

Veiled or Indirect Threats

A veiled threat doesn’t include a direct threat or action. Instead, it insinuates that the threatening individual could cause harm to the person they’re threatening. A veiled threat may be made against the person’s loved ones or possessions. For example, a veiled threat could be something like “I know where you live” or “I know what school your kids go to.” There’s no specific direct threat being made, but the threatened individual understands that something bad could happen if they fail to do what the person wants and is designed to intimidate the person to deliver what the threatener is asking.  These threats are equally serious and should never be ignored.

Stalking

Stalking behavior is another form of threat that needs to be taken seriously and addressed as soon as possible. Some people make the mistake of assuming a stalker is not interested in harming the person they are stalking, but this may not be the case. As the stalker begins to degenerate mentally, the way they stalk can change over time. While they may not have seemed harmful before, they may later fall into a more violent mindset. They may determine that if they cannot have the person they are stalking, no one should. 

If an employee is being stalked, the first step is to encourage them to cease all communication with the stalker. The company should take any and all steps necessary to ensure that the stalker has no direct access to the employee, and no information should be shared with the stalker. The employee may need to stay with a friend or at a hotel until the situation can be dealt with. Never assume a stalker will react rationally or normally, even if they have in the past. You cannot use a stalker’s past actions to predict their future ones because their ability to perceive reality may diminish over time. 

Threats Against the Company Require Assessment as Well

Not all threats are made against individuals. Some threats, such as bomb threats, may be made against the company as a whole. These threats must always be taken seriously. Pipe bombs are a common threat, but they’re not the only type of bomb someone could use. A disgruntled employee who was fired may place a bomb in their computer or company phone before returning it. If someone has made bomb threats, we strongly urge the company to refuse any equipment they may return. 

Extremist groups may also make bomb threats towards a company. This is actually more common than you may assume based on the media. That’s because many companies keep these threats out of the news. However, regardless of who made the threat or how likely you think the group will follow through with their threat, always take it seriously. If you fail to react and a bomb is placed in your office, mailbox, or other space, it can result in injury or death to your employees, customers, and others.

When are Armed Protection Services Necessary?

When should you reach out to a company like Infortal for armed protection services? You should bring in protection for your employees and customers as soon as you know someone is making threats. 

You need to immediately schedule a threat risk assessment and discuss the need for armed protection. To do otherwise is to potentially put people in danger. Even if you have already terminated the employee in question, that doesn’t mean the threat is gone. They could return to threaten or attack employees or customers. They could leave a bomb or crash an event you’re hosting. If you’re having any major event following the termination of an employee who made threats, it’s also best to have additional armed security on hand.

If you ever have an employee who has made threats, don’t be afraid to reach out to Infortal to discuss armed protection or a threat risk assessment. Remember, you have a responsibility to protect your customers and employees. You need to take action. If you do not, it not only may affect your company’s reputation and employee morale, but it can also lead to legal action being taken against you for negligence should the situation become violent. 

Any company, no matter the size, that has an employee who has made any type of threat needs to take that threat seriously. 

You will need to immediately alert your local police department and file a report when necessary. It is important to take steps to have a full threat risk assessment completed. You may need additional armed security or in some serious cases a tactical police presence at your company. Remember that unarmed guards are often not able to intervene in active shooter situations due to their lack of training and the limitation to “Observe and Report” and not to intervene. If there is a threat to anyone’s safety on company property, you need to have fully trained, armed specialists there to address it.

Why Work with Infortal

Infortal has over 25 years of experience in performing threat risk assessments and providing armed protective services for clients. We have handled hundreds of workplace violence cases of a wide variety of types of complexities. We’ve worked with numerous corporate clients over the years and understand your needs and concerns. 

Our team knows how to approach these situations in such a way that they de-escalate and no one is harmed. We will advise you on the best steps to take to keep everyone safe. Those who try to handle these situations on their own often do not have the right experience. They may also allow their emotions or preconceived notions of their employees affect their judgment. Infortal, as a neutral third party, can provide a neutral evaluation of the overall situation and we focus on diffusing violence. We can provide the calm, impartial voice you need during these high-stress situations.

In addition to our threat risk assessment, we can also provide you with armed protection services. These professionals have been highly trained in how to respond to threats. They are licensed to carry concealed weapons and have equipment such as bulletproof vests and a concealed weapon. All of our protection specialists have extensive training and experience dealing with tense violent situations. They are all handpicked by Infortal and have ten years or more of experience in the industry. These seasoned individuals will do everything possible to diffuse potentially violent situations. Those who do not have this training or experience may inadvertently provoke violence.

How We Help

Infortal will work closely with every client in each situation to conduct a rush threat risk assessment, describe the top level concerns that address the threats being made to your executive team. Here are a few of the things we will assist you with during the threat risk assessment:

  • Threat Risk Assessment Background (a special rush background which includes both public records, criminal history, financial pressures, social media and deep web assessment of unusual behaviors and affiliations with special groups).
  • How to exit an individual in a way that allows them to keep their dignity and will not trigger a violent response.
  • When and where to conduct such exit interviews. We typically recommend doing so towards the weekend and in an area with security. Any potential weapons should be removed, and the interview should never be done after hours.
  • Determine whether an involuntary 5150 psychiatric assessment at a hospital is appropriate.
  • How to further help the terminated employee. In some cases, providing job counseling or continuing their medical benefits for a brief period can help them address the condition behind their instability and move away from focusing their thoughts on your company.
  • Suggestions on what type of severance to offer.
  • We will help you write a custom script to use when interacting with the individual, especially important for exiting employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions our clients and potential clients typically ask us:

Is this situation serious?2022-07-29T05:36:46+00:00

Any situation where someone is threatening another person needs to be taken seriously. Because inaction could result in someone being harmed or even killed, every threat situation must be taken seriously.

Should we call the police?2022-07-29T05:37:20+00:00

Yes. Always make the police aware of the threat and file a police report. This will let the police know that there is a potentially violent situation and how to respond in the event of an emergency. For example, without a prior warning, they may only send a squad car, but if they know there’s a potentially violent situation brewing, they may send more personnel or a tactical team. 

Should we be worried? What should we do?2022-07-29T05:37:38+00:00

When an employee reports that they’re being threatened, it is a cause for concern. You should immediately take steps to protect that employee and reach out to Infortal to discuss a threat risk assessment.

How can we protect our staff?2022-07-29T05:38:10+00:00

The best way to protect your staff is to take every reported threat seriously and have a professional threat risk assessment done. Dismissing a report or failing to fully address it can result in employees being hurt.

Is the person just blowing off steam? Do you think this is just bizarre behavior?2022-07-29T05:38:37+00:00

Without a threat risk assessment, it can be very hard to tell if someone is just having a bad day and blowing off steam or if they are making serious threats. Sometimes behavior that is out of the ordinary is caused by a lack of mental health assessment, or lack of medication or other medical condition. Always assume the threat is serious until the situation can be assessed. 

How likely are they to harm someone?2022-07-29T05:38:57+00:00

Without a threat risk assessment, this is a difficult question to answer. If the threat is genuine, it’s very likely someone could get hurt. However, if it’s more of an indirect call for help, it may  or may not become serious. Without an assessment of the situation, though, it’s impossible to tell.

Are we at risk?2022-07-29T05:39:18+00:00

Any time a threat is made, your employees and customers are potentially at risk. The company as a whole is also at risk. If you fail to respond to the threat and someone is harmed or killed, it leaves you with serious reputation damage, and very likely open to legal action.

Should we close for the day? If so, when can we have our employees come back to work?2022-07-29T05:39:38+00:00

Again, this is a question that is difficult to answer because it can vary from situation to situation. In some cases, closing the office is the correct thing to do. In cases where a bomb threat has been called in, the building would need to be evacuated immediately and the police called.

Do we need counseling for the employees?2022-07-29T05:39:58+00:00

Counseling is often very helpful for those who have been threatened, stalked, or harmed during a violent episode. Even those who were not directly impacted by the threats may be affected in some way. 

What are our responsibilities as an employer to their family members? Should we get their parents/partner involved?2022-07-29T05:40:40+00:00

This is another question that has no definite answer because it depends on the person and the situation. A threat risk assessment will help determine if the person’s family or spouse should be contacted.

Why not use security guards/patrol guards vs armed protective specialists?2022-07-29T05:41:20+00:00

Security guards are typically not trained in dealing with threats of violence. They may not have the correct equipment or skillset needed to diffuse the situation. In most states unarmed patrol guards may only be permitted to “Observe and Report” to the local police.  Armed protective specialists do have the training and ability to intervene, and they can often deescalate the situation so no one is injured. 

Call Infortal Today to Learn More

If an employee has reported being threatened, whether it’s directly or via a veiled threat, take it seriously. Reach out to Infortal today to plan a threat risk assessment and for answers to any questions you may have. You can reach us at 1-408-298-9700.

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