PART III - Section 5
Know in advance which Federal or local law enforcement agency or agencies have jurisdiction over your worksite. Involve them early in the planning process.
During the planning phase, law enforcement/security officers can:
When potentially violent situations arise, law enforcement/security officers can work with the incident response team to:
Many Federal agencies have numerous security measures in place that can reduce the risk of workplace violence. These include closed circuit cameras, silent alarms, metal detectors, two-way mirrors, electronic access systems, barriers to prevent cars from driving too close to the building, emergency internal code words, extra lighting in the parking lots, and escorts to and from parking lots after dark. Planning groups should review security measures and procedures and make recommendations for modifications and improvements as necessary.
The U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Marshals Service, has issued a publication containing recommendations for increasing security in Federal facilities. Entitled Vulnerability Assessment of Federal Facilities, it can be obtained by contacting the U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328 (Publication # 027-000-01362-7).
The information in the following section regarding physical security has been provided by the General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Protective Service.
There are more than 900,000 employees working in approximately 6,800 GSA owned or leased Federal buildings. GSA is the agency responsible for ensuring the safety and security of people while on Federal property that is owned or leased by GSA. This section contains recommendations and requirements for agencies in GSA controlled or leased space.
Federal Property Management Regulations 41 CFR Part 101-20 and Executive Order 12656 specifically require GSA to provide standard protection services by coordinating a comprehensive Occupant Emergency Program, which is a short-term emergency response program establishing procedures for safeguarding lives and property during emergencies.
Each GSA owned or leased facility has a designated official, who is the highest ranking official of the primary occupant agency of a Federal facility, or alternatively, a designee selected by mutual agreement of occupant agency officials. The designated official is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining an Occupant Emergency Plan, which consists of procedures developed to protect life and property in a specific Federally occupied space under stipulated emergency conditions. The designated official's responsibilities include establishing, staffing, and training an Occupant Emergency Organization, comprised of agency employees who have been designated to perform the requirements established by the Occupant Emergency Plan.
According to the regulations, the GSA must assist in the establishment and maintenance of such plans and organizations. All agencies occupying a facility must fully cooperate with the designated official in the implementation of the emergency plans and the staffing of the emergency organization. GSA must provide emergency program policy guidance, review plans and organizations annually, assist in training of personnel, and otherwise ensure proper administration of Occupant Emergency Programs. In leased space, GSA will solicit the assistance of the lessor in the establishment and implementation of plans.
According to the regulations, decisions to activate the Occupant Emergency Organization shall be made by the designated official, or by the designated alternate official. Decisions to activate shall be based upon the best available information, including an understanding of local tensions, the sensitivity of target agencies, and previous experience with similar situations. Advice shall be solicited, when possible, from the GSA buildings manager, from the appropriate Federal Protective Service official, and from Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.
A major goal of the GSA's Federal Protective Service is to provide better protection for Federal employees and visitors by pinpointing high-risk areas in Federal buildings where potential problems or emergency situations might occur. This is accomplished through a "Physical Security Survey" conducted by a certified GSA physical security specialist. The survey is a comprehensive, detailed, technical on-site inspection and analysis of the current security and physical protection conditions.
If your agency does not have up-to-date security procedures in place, the head of your agency may want to ask a regional GSA Federal Protective Service office or your agency's security office to conduct a physical security survey to ensure that employees are working in a safe and secure environment. There is a listing of Federal Protective Service offices at the end of this section.
The following are some examples provided by the FPS of ways to improve security in your office and/or building.
The following are some examples provided by the FPS of ways to improve security in "front-line" offices that serve the public.
More examples of measures agencies can take to improve security for its employees can be found in the publications by the Federal Protective Service, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration that are listed in Part IV.
Agency planning groups should address ways to safeguard computer systems. There have been cases where employees have sabotaged computer equipment, computer systems, and computer records. Therefore, whenever a threat of sabotage is suspected, procedures should be initiated to prevent the person from having access to the facility's computer system.
It is important to act quickly whenever there is reason to believe that an employee or ex-employee may commit such an act. It is standard practice to collect IDs, building passes, keys, and parking passes when employees leave their jobs. Often, however, no one thinks to block access to computer systems or networks.
Some agencies, when terminating employees, bar them from the premises and eradicate their passwords to computer systems that are accessible from outside the premises.
"The agency planning group, as part of the response plan, should talk to the information/computer security officer or computer system administrators to determine the vulnerability of the computer networks and the procedures that need to be implemented to lock individuals out of these systems."
This type of access information is sometimes difficult to determine; often, it is not readily available in one central place. For example, information technology administrators may know who has access to various computer systems, and the facilities manager may know who has access to the computer systems that control the building's heating, air-conditioning, and other support functions for the facility. The agency planning group, as part of the response plan, should talk to the information/computer security officer or computer system administrators to determine the vulnerability of the computer networks and the procedures that need to be implemented to lock individuals out of these systems.
The following pages contain examples of handouts developed by the Federal Protective Service (FPS) that can be used by or adapted for your agency. FPS regional offices, listed at the end of this section, may be contacted for additional brochures and literature on office safety and security.
(If you want to print these handouts, a printer-friendly version is available.)
The desk card summarizes the actions you should (or should not) take in a hostile or threatening situation. Print out and detach the card, tear or cut along the dotted lines, fold the card into a "tent," and tape the ends together underneath so that the card will stand up on your desk with the text facing you. Review the card often. That way, if you are confronted by an angry, hostile, or threatening customer or coworker, you will know what you should do. Everyone in your office, including supervisors and managers, should follow these same procedures. You can make copies of this card so that everyone has his or her own card.
Coping With Threats and Violence
For an angry or hostile customer or coworker
For a person shouting, swearing, and threatening
For someone threatening you with a gun, knife, or other weapon
Federal Protective Service
U. S. General Services Administration
Everyone in your office, including supervisors and managers, should follow these same procedures. Make copies of the card if you need to so everyone will have his or her own card.
Federal Protective Service
Emergency Phone Numbers
Carefully tear out the "Emergency Phone Numbers" card at the dotted lines. Write in all the emergency numbers for your building. Tape this card on your desk by your phone or somewhere else close to your phone for handy reference. (Copies of this card also can be made.)
Federal Protective Service_____________________________
Federal Protective Service
For more information on coping with threats and violence in Federal Offices, other crime prevention, security surveys, and protection assistance, write or call your nearest Federal Protective Service, Public Buildings Service, U. S. General Services Administration at one of these regional addresses.
Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: Southeast Federal Center, 3rd & M Streets S. E., Washington, DC 20407-0001, (202) 690-9632
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island: 10 Causeway Street, Room 108, Boston, MA 02222-1098, (617) 565-5776
New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, U. S. Virgin Islands: 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278-0013, (212) 264-4255
Delaware, Maryland and Virginia (except Washington DC Metropolitan area), Pennsylvania, West Virginia: 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3396, (215) 656-6043
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee: 401 West Peachtree Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30365-2550, (404) 331-5132
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin: 230 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60604-1503, (312) 353-1496
Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska: 1500 Bannister Road, Kansas City, MO 64131-3088, (816) 926-7025
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas: 819 Taylor Street, Fort Worth, TX, 76102-6105, (817) 334-3559
Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming: Building 41, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225-0546, (303) 236-5869
Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam, U. S. Trust Territory of the Pacific: 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102-3400, (415) 522-3440
Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington: 400 15th Street, SW, Auburn, WA 98001-6599, (206) 931-7529
Crime Prevention Program: 18th & F St. NW, Washington, DC 20405-0002, (202) 501-0907
|Case Studies 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 13 provide practical examples of some of the issues discussed in this section.|