Workplace Violence: Active Shooter Threat Awareness/Explosive Threat Awareness Training
By Suzanne Lazar, student, SUNY Empire State College; editor, The Student Connection
September 8, 2016
A training session was recently offered for employees of SUNY Empire discussing violence in the workplace. The session was hosted by Mark Jankowski, Director of Campus Safety, Security, and Emergency Management/Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Clery Act Coordinator. Jankowski has been with SUNY Empire since January 2015 and has a total of 16.5 years in law enforcement - 7.5 on a college campus and 7.5 in a supervisory/command level role.
Jankowski began the class by explaining the true definition of an active shooter, introducing what an active shooter is and the different types of actions to take if workplace violence occurs such as running using time, distance and shielding, hiding to stay out of view and taking cover to find protection from gunshots. While the topic is not a typical conversation piece and may be uncomfortable to think about and talk about, it’s a reality that people must be prepared for.
A harmful situation can happen at any time with little warning and being aware of how to handle a violent situation could be life-saving. Those in attendance all concurred that if something happened inside the workplace, they wouldn’t know what to do and developing a plan of action whether throughout the entire office or by floor, was an important first step.
The training session continued with a presentation about workplace violence that covered: what it is - any physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting; what it includes - beatings, stabbings, shootings, threats (to name a few) and examples that could be something like a verbal threat to inflict bodily harm or an attempt to cause physical harm against another person or persons.
Warning signs were discussed and what to do if threatening behavior is perceived including procedures of how to report what could be a potentially harmful situation in the workplace.
Not only is preparation and awareness about workplace violence a necessity, but knowing how to conduct ourselves with people and recognizing inappropriate behavior to potentially minimize violence is an important factor. Part of the training session covered that category with steps on what “to do” and what “not to do” as well as general safety rules and information on how to receive emergency alert notifications.
SUNY Empire State College makes great efforts to provide safety to their students, faculty and staff. Jankowski and Mary Morton, affirmative action officer combine their knowledge and expertise to provide excellent resources and a safe environment to people in all locations throughout SUNY Empire.
For more information about workplace violence or how to attend a training session, contact Mark.Jankowski@esc.edu.
To sign up for SUNY Empire State College’s Emergency Alert Notification System
(RAVE) or to update your information, please visit: https://alert.esc.edu