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Responsive Tactics: Police Methods Used To Prevent Non-stranger Violence in the Workplace

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 16 Issue: 3 Dated: 2003 Pages: 19-35
Guy Bomar Jr.
Date Published
17 pages
This study identified and analyzed the methods used by crime prevention officers (CPO's) in a southeastern U.S. State for assisting client organizations in the development of non-stranger violence prevention programs (NSVPP) in workplaces; a secondary purpose of the study was to examine the factors that CPO's perceived as facilitators and barriers to their participation in organizations' development of NSVPP.
An 11-item interview guide was developed and piloted for use with a purposive sample of 15 senior CPO's. The CPO's served in police departments of varying sizes. The CPO's identified environmental and work practices as the primary risk factors in non-stranger workplace violence. Environmental factors cited included aggressive behaviors by subculture groups, domestic violence "spill-over," and personal stress. In order to counter these risk factors, the CPO's suggested the setting, publication, and dissemination of rules for workplace behavior, accompanied by disciplinary action for infractions. Also, mediation, interviews, and the provision of employee assistance programs for troubled employees were recommended. The majority of the CPO's failed to perceive authoritarian management, bullying, or internecine behavior as risk factors. Only a few subjects identified poor work practices and conditions as contributors to job-related stress and non-stranger violence. Since CPO's cannot become involved in crime prevention in a private business without a request from the business, the main impediment to addressing workplace violence by CPO's is the lack of awareness among businesses that such a risk exists. The author advises that the CPO's generally failed to promote strategies of prevention that involved problem solving based in an analysis of factors that contribute to the risk of workplace violence. The concepts of community policing might well be applied to the problem of non-stranger workplace violence. 81 notes