Threat Management:

The goal of threat assessment is to place a threat somewhere on a hierarchy of dangerousness and, on that basis, determine an appropriate intervention. If a threat is immediate, specific, and critical (“I’ve got a gun in my car and I’m going to wait for that S.O.B. and blow him away the

minute he steps on the parking lot”), the obvious response is to call the police right away. A threat that is veiled or less specific and does not appear to presage immediate violence

may call for less urgent measures: referral for psychological evaluation and counseling, for example. Many threats will turn out to be harmless blowing off steam and require nothing more than a formal admonition to the employee that his or her language or conduct was not appropriate and violated company policy.

A recurring problem in threat management is what to do when someone is evaluated as dangerous, but has not committed any serious crime. In those cases, managers will

need legal and often, law enforcement advice. Workplace violence plans should advise managers where they can get guidance, on an emergency basis, if necessary.