In the normal course of our consulting, we stopped a potential school shooting three times in the last year alone. This is not because we have set out to look for these things. We have learned that certain threats are not found because people are looking for them. This is why we believe routine threat management is the key to doing your part in stopping threats that will not otherwise be detected. We work for private companies and handle routine threat management. There is an interesting side benefit from our work that we have discovered. The lesson we learned is that, no matter who you are, and what your purpose, you can make a difference. It’s just a matter of keeping your eyes open and caring.
It all began with an anti-stalking case we handled several years ago. In gathering the threat data for our high profile client, we decided to take a look at the other threats they may be receiving as well. Our strategy was that the sole stalker could be using multiple identities so we decided to identify all current threats and work inward from there. That case worked out and we were able to manage the situation. As a byproduct, we uncovered threats that were not part of the case. In fact, one of them was what appeared to be a student who was threatening to kill his classmates. Even though our specific case was closed, the chatter was on a blog controlled by our client and we thought it important to report.
We told our client about this and asked if they would authorize us to follow the lead. They agreed and we identified the individual and had our local investigator knock on their door. What resulted was a living room confession with his parents present. The subject brought out a notebook with his plans and cried his eyes out. He said he was bullied for years and had enough. Turns out, he had the weapons and was only waiting to acquire the ammunition and extra magazines before following through. Our investigator was able to deescalate the situation and assist his parents in helping their child. No one went to jail and the police were not involved. A school shooting that was stopped by a private company that cared.
Private Sector Chipping In
The police won’t follow every lead, nor can they. Our government officials are inundated with threats, tips and reports in torrents only rivaled by the tides of our vast oceans. We cannot expect our Law Enforcement professionals to find all of these threats. Of course, they identify and stop many of them. But, as we’ve seen in the news in recent years, our government officials can only do so much. So how can the private sector become more involved and, potentially stop the next school shooting? I’m glad you asked!
The secret is having a routine threat management plan with a team that is on the lookout for the unexpected. The more you monitor and curtail threats that target your high value individuals and companies, the more data will cross your investigators’ desks. Compile this data and put your people on notice to look for things that may not be specific to your assets in particular, but could be of social value as well. I guarantee you that putting this type of plan in place with benefit your company and the world around you.