Yes, we just had another tragic shooting death in the Roanoke area of Virginia. However, what is the first thing, the Governor jumps on; that would be gun control. (In my opinion the vast majority of politicians are clueless when it comes to threat assessment and threat management; therefore they go after the TOOL (in this case a handgun) that was used in the crime. I understand why Alison Parker’s father is pushing for greater gun control instead of actually developing legislation and extensive training generated towards thwarting these horrific crimes at their root base, which is definitely not gun ownership, because he probably has never heard of threat management or threat assessment. (As a father of four and grandfather of five and can well-understand his frustration and need to try and get something done to better impact this growing problem.) Law enforcement as well as mental health need to develop training and teams designed to evaluate potential elements in our society prior to these powder kegs from going of. This would be to uncover the threat (via threat assessment) and once identified develop a threat manage program to eliminate the potential threat.
Besides being a stalking and threat assessment expert, I was also a homicide detective for over thirteen of the 33 years I was in law enforcement. I saw people killed by knives, machete’s, cars, ice picks, hammers, baseball bats, pieces of road asphalt, someones bare hands, as well as guns. (By the way I have seen more than one person killed by other tools than a firearm at a single crime scene.)Funny, I never heard of a politician coming out and proclaiming that we should outlaw butcher knives, or Louisville Sluggers. I know I have said this before, but feel it is extremely important to reiterate it again and again until those who produce our countries laws open their eyes and stop immediately pushing for additional gun control. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the US that purchase firearms, enjoy them, and don’t kill their neighbors, co-workers or random individuals within their communities.
Another huge problem we have in this country is mental health, which we all too often leave up to law enforcement to handle. Again, I will say, cops should not handle those in communities suffering from mental health. They don’t have the requisite training, skills, nor facilities to work with these people.
In Chapter 5 of my latest book, Antidote For A Stalker, on Amazon, I discuss how threat assessment teams can be set up and how well they forestall potential violent crime when they do. LAPD has the TMU (Threat Management Unit) which utilizes threat assessment and threat management as a core set-up in how the case manage stalkers, and other potentially violent offenders. I came from the FPU (Family Protection Unit) which was designed to do primarily the same thing. I am not going to go through all the steps that can be utilized to develop these units protocols. (A blog post on May 14, 2014, Threat Assessment is crucial when dealing with stalkers will have information on how and why we count on these tools to assist our investigators with eliminating the threat. Even though the title has stalking in it, it can pertain to any type of potentially violent crime.) I will say, that not matter how small the agency, threat management can become a vital part of that law enforcement’s community footprint. In short cops have to start becoming a great deal more proactive as well as reactive.
Lastly, It is unknown if Alison Parker and Adam Ward’s television station had a Workplace Violence Team as part of their HR protocol because of what I heard and read concerning the shooter, they definitely knew about his mental health issues, and how it moved him to violence. They also knew he had had a problem with another station he worked with prior. Again, in Chapter 3 of my book Antidote For A Stalker, the issues of Workplace Violence and how to handle it within the confines of the business platform are extensively discussed.
Just like any other law abiding citizen, I want these types of killings to stop. My heart goes out to the relatives and friends of the victims, but until we take on a more pro-active approach that we know has and will continue to work, this type of violence will continue.