Last week was the International Association of Commercial Collectors’ (IACC) annual convention in Miami, FL. Having spoken at this conference in the past, I’ve always enjoyed my participation with this organization. When I reviewed the agenda for this year’s event, their keynote speaker jumped off the page at me. Retired Tuscon Police Department Captain and veteran SWAT leader, David Azuelo, will cover how best to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the impact of a violent intruder in the workplace or at home.
We typically hear from economists, motivational speakers, or industry experts. This is very different and a true sign of the times that all ARM companies – and the rest of the world – are operating and living in.
If you’re in business long enough, you’ve undoubtedly had an instance of workplace violence. I remember one night when I was working late with a few associates. Suddenly, the front door swung open. A young man stormed into our office, very angrily looking for his girlfriend. He was certain she was cheating on him when she told him she was working late, and he was furious when he found out she wasn’t there. I tried to defuse the situation since I knew him from holiday parties, and fortunately he stormed back out.
This was more than a decade ago, but I still remember it vividly. What if he had brought a gun with him? What would I have done? Could I have done anything other than become another violence statistic?
We’re living in a different world today. It seems like every week we’re hearing about another episode of violence in the workplace, at school, or in places of social activity like a movie theater. I don’t intend for this blog to have a political agenda about gun violence. Instead, I ask you how you’re protecting your staff in your own workplace. I have been to large operations that have armed security guards patrolling the premises. Everyone has door locks and most clients require sign-in procedures. What’s your strategy if a violent intruder enters your operation?