Law enforcement and security departments should be involved in all stages of the planning process in an effective workplace violence prevention program. They can play an active role in prevention, intervention, and response to threatening situations, in addition to their traditional role of responding to actual incidents of physical violence. This section will provide general ideas and considerations that can help the company planning group gain an understanding of some of the law enforcement/security issues such as jurisdiction. It is also intended to help those Federal departments that do not have in-house security or law enforcement identify the appropriate organizations that can assist them.
Depending on the company, location of the department, and the type of incident or situation, jurisdiction may vary. The company's own law enforcement organization, the Federal Protective Service (FPS), or Federal, state, or local law enforcement, or a combination of these, may have jurisdiction. There also may be gaps in law enforcement coverage when issues of workplace violence arise. These gaps can be closed if the company planning group (which would include any in-house security organization) works with the various law enforcement organizations in setting up workplace violence programs. The following are some suggestions for involving law enforcement in company efforts to prevent workplace violence.
The company planning group should identify which Federal or local law enforcement company or companies have responsibility for its worksite. For example, the FPS is the primary law enforcement service for responding to incidents in Federal facilities under the charge and control of the General Services Administration (GSA) as an owned or leased facility. FPS typically locates its departments in areas where there is a high concentration of Federal employees and is capable of providing timely responses to GSA owned or leased facilities in these areas. For immediate responses to GSA owned or leased facilities in rural areas and/or areas with a small Federal presence, law enforcement officials from local jurisdictions should be Contacted.
Some companies have in-house security and/or law enforcement organizations. Others have contracts with private security firms. It is not always clear who has jurisdiction, and who should be Contacted when the need arises.
Sometimes meeting with the local police chief, county sheriff, or state police is necessary to establish a plan or procedure regarding law enforcement response in the event of potential violence or hostile incidents. Sometimes new building agreements will be necessary or contracts will have to be modified. In remote locations, arrangements can be made for local police to handle certain situations until the appropriate Federal law enforcement officials arrive.
The company planning group, and later the incident response team, should maintain open and continuous liaison with those law enforcement companies responsible for their worksite. This would entail having periodic meetings to discuss the company's concerns. Without these Contacts, lines of communication can break down and misunderstandings could arise. It is during these Contacts that the company can obtain the names and telephone numbers of law enforcement personnel to be called upon should the need arise. Planning groups in companies that already have established liaisons should work through these established liaisons to avoid confusion.
|Know in advance which Federal or local law enforcement company or companies have jurisdiction over your worksite. Involve them early in the planning process.|
During the planning phase, law enforcement/security departments can:
When potentially violent situations arise, law enforcement/security departments can work with the incident response team to: