Working Safely with High Risk Populations - Part 2

By Suzanne Hoffman, Ph.D. on Sep 17, 2019 2:28:06 PM

A Conversation with Wayne Spees, WGI Executive Consultant

We are continuing with Part 2 of our blog series, Working with High Risk Populations: A Conversation with Wayne Spees, WGI Executive Consultant. To recap, this series was influenced by employers who need training for their employees who work with potentially angry, aggressive and difficult individuals within the scope of their jobs. In this portion of the interview, Wayne gives his insight and expertise about how to prepare for a potentially violent incident, such as an active shooter event, and what type of training he recommends for the workplace.

Blog #2 of 3: Active Shooter Events and Personal Safety

  1. While still statistically rare, active shooter events have been on the rise, and are now a cause for concern among many people. What thoughts do you have about being prepared for any type of violent event that may occur in public, at work or in a school environment?

For the average person, being involved in a violent event would be terrifying. Most people would rather not think about it. As a result, when something like this happens, people tend to go into denial. 

Continue Reading

“It’s never fireworks…”

By Wayne R. Spees on Jul 24, 2018 4:41:37 PM

“Pop, Pop, Pop”

Over the course of my law enforcement career I have interviewed hundreds of witnesses and victims of shootings. More often than not, I heard the phrase, “At first, I thought it was fireworks.” Why do you suppose people who are hearing gunfire assume it is fireworks? Well, when we are at work or some other place we presume to be safe, we often interpret our experience via what we want to hear – and what makes the most sense in terms of our context and life experiences. For many people, those experiences don’t regularly include the sound of gunfire. So when we hear a “pop, pop, pop” (or something similar), we default to the assumption that those sounds are fireworks. Fireworks means “no one is shooting”. Fireworks means “I’m not in danger”. Fireworks means “everything will be ok.”

Continue Reading

Some not so random thoughts post-Parkland FL

By Jaimee Pittman on Feb 15, 2018 1:22:17 PM

In the Wake of Another Mass Shooting: Is Your Workforce Prepared?

Whenever news about the latest workplace or school shooting breaks, as it did yesterday, my first thoughts are probably like yours – something along the lines of “Oh no, how awful,” or, “Not again!”

Then, as more and more details about the shooter and the situation are revealed, my thoughts often turn to “this sounds all too familiar.” While we are still learning about the details of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, I feel compelled to share some thoughts on threat assessment and violence prevention.

In my almost 20 years in the workplace violence prevention field, I have worked side by side with a team of expert threat assessment professionals. I’ve watched them safely shepherd our clients through some pretty scary situations, and I’ve been in the room when they have raised awareness through practical training about preventing workplace violence.

Continue Reading

Situational Awareness in a Post-Las Vegas World

By Wayne R. Spees on Oct 17, 2017 1:41:33 PM

Are You Ready?

As a retired cop of 31 years, I have been around violence most of my adult life. I have seen firsthand what man is capable of against his fellow man. I have witnessed how people react to violence. It is common for people to freeze. It’s as if the brain will not accept what is unfolding right in front of the eyes. Also, under extreme stress our problem-solving skills go right out of the window. I think most people would rather live in denial than to acknowledge violence, especially when it is happening to them

Continue Reading

Active Shooter Response: Preparing for the Unthinkable

By Wayne R. Spees on Sep 7, 2017 3:50:06 PM

The Unthinkable

So, you stroll into the office like any other workday. As you sit down at your desk you suddenly hear the sounds of loud bangs down the hall. Your first instinct is to think, “What was that? Were those gunshots?”  It doesn’t make sense to you. Then you hear several more shots, followed by screams. Suddenly you feel sick to your stomach and your heart starts pounding. You can’t believe this is happening, and a feeling of panic overwhelms you. 

Continue Reading