The old wanted posters of the Wild West showed everybody what a bandit looked like. Scared face, mean look, crooked hat. The things that made for great western movies! The reality is bad guys don't all look alike. In fact some bad guys don't look like bad guys at all. That is what makes them especially bad... because nobody suspects them.
In the world of threat assessment those of us who are called upon to make decisions about whether a threat is real or not or if someone should be suspected have long since learned that just about anybody, given the right circumstances can be compelled to do the unimaginable.
I think about my mother for example. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body. Yet I know with absolute confidence if someone had tried to hurt her children when we were small, defenseless and vulnerable she could have been moved to homicidal rage. Most parents could be taken to that same place under the right conditions.
This makes our job tough. Nobody is really out of bounds. That is why threat assessors don't spend to much time looking just at the person. When doing this type of work you have to not only look at the person but you must also look at the environment, circumstances and situation that people are facing. When you do that you get a much better idea as to what the potential is and how to mitigate the threat.
I have the privilege of writing this week's blog from the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center in mountains of California. I'm attending the Gavin DeBecker Threat Assessment Institute with safety and security leaders from across the country. I can't wait to get back home and share with our schools all that I've learned! This is John Baker with safetysolutions4schools.com . Image courtesy of www.zazzle.com.