Following the senseless live on-air shooting of the reporter, her cameraman, and the interviewee by a disgruntled and troubled ex-employee of the television station, attention is being directed at how to stop these types of attacks.
Retired Senior F.B.I. profiler with unique expertise in workplace violence and threat assessment, Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD., stated in an interview on CNN, that while at the F.B.I. they would recommend that employers monitor ex-employees perceived as volatile for a period of time.
Dr. O’Toole suggested that employers hire off-duty police or hire private investigators to monitor employees they terminate for five years because, as she pointed out, this particular shooter waited two years to exact his revenge.
“Most people you fire, they’re upset, they’re sad, and they leave. When you have someone as volatile as this one,” she said, “they have to be monitored. And until we can fix the mental health system, and do something with the guns, those are the recommendations we made in the FBI to employers, to government, to schools, you have to monitor this person. And that just means going by and checking on them.”
When asked by the news anchor how that was even possible, given the expense involved, Dr. Toole replied “Well, people do it, though. It’s not a full-time job. But clearly you’re very sensitive to this. We don’t have a mental health system where you can take somebody and put them away. And that will probably never happen anyway. So, what we’ve found works the best is to just stay in touch with the person, see if they’re getting worse, if their hatred, if their attitudes are deteriorating and if they’re talking about buying guns and in fact they are buying guns, because from the information right now, he was legal in buying that — purchasing that gun. So, short of everything that else that’s not working, we can’t just sit and not do anything.”
The mental health system needs to be fixed so that those in need receive the necessary treatment and prevent them from possessing firearms. Until that happens, do you think it is a good idea for employers to implement such a monitoring program as recommended by the F.B.I.?
You can read the transcript of her interview here.