Threat Assessment and Management Strategies: Identifying the Howlers and Hunters. By Frederick S. Calhoun and Stephen W. Weston; published by CRC Press,
www.crcpress.com (Web); 211 pages; $69.95.
Since their peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s, workplace violence incidents, including homicides, have dropped considerably, but addressing them remains a primary concern.
This book helps security professionals do just that. The key is understanding the importance of assessing threats. The U.S. Secret Service, one of the world’s best threat assessors, says it best: “Many people make threats; few people carry them out. We have more to be concerned with from those who don’t make threats than from those who do, especially if they make threats not directly to the target, but to a third party.”
Few people understand this point better than Fred Calhoun and Steve Weston. In their book
Threat Assessment and Management Strategies: Identifying the Howlers and Hunters, Calhoun and Weston redefine a threat management concept that Calhoun has espoused for many years: “howlers howl and hunters hunt.” That is, while we must manage the behavior of extroverted, aggressive, bothersome ‘howlers,” we are less likely to see them erupt into workplace violence. It is the hunters, who move on what Calhoun and Weston call “the path to intended violence,” who pose a greater threat. They do so by engaging in stealth behaviors, designed not to call attention to themselves which makes it more likely that they can attack without warning. The authors make clear that the differences between howlers and hunters cannot be easily determined solely by a list of characteristics; these descriptors are not cut-and-dry.
The specter of workplace violence will likely grow as the economy continues to decline. Indeed, in recent corporate polling data, many security directors and managers have voiced their concerns that the problem will only get worse.
Thus, this book should be a part of every security professional’s library, in particular those responsible for workplace safety and security. It provides tools, resources, and most importantly, well-crafted strategies and response plans from two men who know the problem of threat assessment and management as few do.
Reviewer: Steve Albrecht, DBA, CPP, is a San Diego-based author and security consultant on workplace violence prevention issues. His books are Ticking Bombs, Tough Training Topics and Tactical Perfection for Street Cops. He is a member of ASIS International.