The latest mass shooting – this one at a veterans’ home in California – touches on the usual concerns around workplace violence and violence in medical facilities.
This incident, however, raises a new concern: are veterans a risk for committing violence?
The shooter in the incident in Yountville, California was a veteran who had been part of the home’s program for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While his motives are currently unknown, he had recently been dismissed from the program. He returned to the facility armed, and took the lives of three staff members before taking his own.
While people with ties to the military have been involved in recent high-profile shootings, including the perpetrator in the mass shooting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport last January, and the shooter in the Sutherland Springs church shooting last September, statistics do not show an increased risk for veterans.
According to this report in the San Diego Union Tribune, several studies and data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics show no evidence that military veterans are more prone to lethal violence than others.
Even so, in the search for answers in the wake of traumatic events like mass shootings, some might seize on link together common factors such as military service to construct a narrative. In the case of veterans with PTSD, data doesn’t support the narrative that they are more likely to act out violently toward others.
How can facilities managers protect themselves, their employees and the people they serve? Some tips:
• Take any and all threats seriously. Communicate threats from former staff members, customers, clients and any others to the proper authorities.
• Develop policies and procedures that guide staff members on the steps to take in the event of an active shooter. Drill regularly.
• Design facilities with security in mind. Whether designing for initial construction or retrofitting an existing facility, ECT Services can help create spaces that are safer, more energy efficient and seamlessly connected.
Contact us at (800) 567-1180 today for a consultation.