The United States is in a period of intense societal, political, and economic turmoil. 2022 has already been a tumultuous year and we foresee the worst is yet to come. The fact that we are entering a period of primary elections and active campaigning for the 2022 midterm elections means only intensifying tensions and threats. The theme is escalation on all fronts.
Economic disruptions, inflation, supply chain disruptions, and an end to a booming bull stock market.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made only intensified a volatile international situation. China continues to engage in widespread economic warfare while aggressively asserting territorial claims to the resource-rich South China Sea. Iran has ramped up efforts to acquire and produce nuclear weapons.
We are watching an increase in highly partisan and sometimes even violent political rhetoric. A current candidate for a United States Senate seat recently released an ad seeming to call for violence against members of his own party for what he perceived to be disloyalty. This ad was roundly condemned on both sides of the political spectrum. This alarming and reckless rhetoric may serve to incite violence among those holding extreme political beliefs.
The results of the investigation surrounding the events of January 6, 2021, further escalate and divide Americans. This event will continue to dominate our political dialogue leading into what will surely be a divisive and contentious midterm election.
We have witnessed a sharp increase in targeted violence and mass shooting events. In May of this year, the FBI released a report on active shooter incidents in 2021. The FBI identified an alarming 50% increase in such attacks from the prior year. There have already been more than 250 mass shootings this year in the United States, according to a report in the Washington Post. Thirty-eight mass shootings have taken place since a rampage at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., left 19 children and two teachers dead on May 24. Mass shootings, where four or more people — not including the shooter — are injured or killed, have averaged more than one per day so far this year. Not a single week in 2022 has passed without at least four mass shootings.
The United States Supreme Court has also issued decisions on significant societal issues such as abortion and gun rights. Protests have already begun representing both sides of these issues. The potential for clashes between opposing groups increases the threat for all. Supreme Court Justices and other members of the judiciary at all levels have reported an increase in targeted threats. One potential attacker was arrested by police near the residence of Supreme Court Associate Justice Kavanaugh.
What does this mean for corporate security professionals?
We recommend that organizations take time to review critical operational plans and protocols. These include crisis management plans, business continuity plans, and workplace violence prevention plans.
If your organization does not have a threat assessment and management team, consider standing one up. Reach out to external experts in this field to help you establish select, train, and manage a team.
Review human resources policies regarding workplace conduct and behavior. While being mindful of First Amendment rights, do you have a policy or a code of conduct that discusses and outlines the parameters of political speech and activity at work?
Organizations should also review, update and strengthen physical security capabilities.
Questions to consider:
What will you do if a protest or other form of civil unrest occurs near one of your facilities? How will you safeguard your employees? How will you safeguard your facility? What will you do if your facility or organization becomes targeted by protesters? Do you have a crisis communications plan that will address how your organization responds if targeted by protesters?
Wondering how to get started? We can help. Our team of experts can help you select and train your own workplace violence prevention multidisciplinary team. We can even act as your multidisciplinary team through our and you will Virtual Threat Manager® retainer program. We can also conduct a comprehensive worksite gap analysis to include a comprehensive policy review to ensure you’re in compliance with industry standards and best practices.
Call us at 1-888-705-1007 for a free consultation.