March 7, 2018 – It is an unfortunate fact that legal professionals can become the focus of violence – at any place, and at any time.
Wisconsin legal professionals should not discount the reality that work-related threats and violence can come from any side of a given case, regardless of one’s area of practice.
Violence and aggression can take many different forms, including physical attacks, assaults, threats, vandalism, and sabotage. And some of those will involve a gun.
How can you keep yourself, your employees, and your clients safe from a workplace intruder? Should you shelter in place or run?
In this video, "Avoid. Deny. Defend: What To Do During a Workplace Attack,” Sgt. Shawn Engel with the City of Madison Police Department shares the core tenets of CRASE – Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events – a proven, nationally recognized model for when the unthinkable occurs.
A key to your response, Engel says, is preplanning – taking time to really look through your environment. What doors do you have access through, where do you need a key? What room is the best place to barricade yourself? (Hint: one without many windows.)
If you think through it before it happens, “your response is going to be better,” Engel said.
A lot of it is situational awareness. “It’s unfortunate that we have to think that way now,” Engel said.
The Avoid, Deny, Defend tactic is a good guide for your response – and is one that is relevant anywhere you are. “Doing something is better than doing nothing, and time is really a key factor in these events.”
Avoid. Deny. Defend.
Avoid: Best, safest option is to get out of there. But you need to do it in a way that keeps you safe.
Deny: Do you best to prevent the shooter from getting to you. Barricade the door with heavy furniture, lock the door.
Defend: If you can’t get out and they are able to get in, “you have to take them out,” Engel said.
Sgt. Engel presented at the 2017 Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference.
Tips on Workplace Safety from Family and Criminal Law Attorneys
<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MnIDcSxyfwc" width="525" height="295" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Legal cases can put lawyers in harm’s way if a client or someone involved in the case decides violence is the answer. Here's how law offices and lawyers can create a more secure and safe workplace environment.
More on Workplace Safety