It is difficult to not feel helpless by the tragic events we have experienced in our country over the last few months. Debates regarding gun control, mental health, and policy change will continue in the wake of these events. We may feel far removed from the solution, when in fact, each one of us can become more aware of what to look for and when to report.
As private investigators, we are often called upon to assist in domestic or workplace violence cases and as a part of our investigations, we inform our clients of the areas to monitor to ascertain whether or not someone is on the path of escalation which would warrant reporting. These areas include: Grievance-Expressing anger over an injustice. Ideation-Fixation showing increased preoccupation with “cause”: “Not my fault” attitude. Planning-Probing for a reaction to justify movements towards acting out which justifies it not being their fault. Leakage- Communicating through a third party their intent or plans. This can often be through social media or text messaging. Preparation-Taking steps to carry out action plan. Acquiring weapons, “costuming” or portraying a warrior. Benchmark dates are often set at this time. Threats-Direct or indirect and may be communicated through a third party. Probing- Determine if they can access targets of their grievance. Randomly driving by residence/business. Obtain access to targets. Breach- Actually physically entering residence or business to gain access to the person(s) with whom they have a grievance. Attack- The final act.
Depending on the severity, these individual areas may or may not be cause for further monitoring and sometimes action, but an escalation in several of these areas is certainly cause to pay attention and seek further assistance in evaluation the potential for violence to occur. By contacting your local authorities or professionals who specialize in threat assessment, you are making a responsible decision to assist in the solution which could potentially save lives.