Threat Assessment Essay

Pages: 5 (2120 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Law

Threat Assessment

The objective of this work is to prepare a report that plans threat assessment in the scenario of an event in which attending at the courthouse will be new organizations, fundamentalist groups, white supremist groups and civil rights groups, all picketing what promises to be a very emotional trial.

Courthouse security has become more of a focus in recent years and this is because of events that have occurred in these locations and the potentiality that exists particularly during public gatherings for disruption and violence between various groups. It is important for disaster planning to begin "before calamity strikes, not after it is experienced because often it is too late." (Bachler and Somerlet, 2005) Weiner et al. (2000) reports that it is threats made upon the safety of "judges, judicial personnel and other participants in our judicial system" have emphasized the need for security implementation in the judicial system through heightened measures of security in the courthouse. These measures are stated to have been centered primarily on the physical environment of the courthouse as well as on other targets, weapon confiscation focused toward the deterrence of violent incidents.

I. Threat AssessmentBuy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Threat Assessment Assignment

The first step in a risk management program is a threat assessment. The threat assessment considers the full range of potential threats for a given facility or location and should conduct an examination of "supporting information to evaluate the likelihood of occurrence for each threat." (Renfroe and Smith, 2008) the crime rates in the surrounding area are stated to make provision of a good indication of the type of criminal activity that might pose a threat to the facility. In such an event as this or a planned event in which potential adverse events can be anticipated it is then possible to mitigate many of the potentialities that might otherwise present a challenge. Threat assessment is a process in which the possible security needs in a given situation are identified and then a plan formulated for negotiating successfully of that given situation. This process is also known as risk management.

The work of Casey (2006) entitled: "A National Strategic Plan for Judicial Branch Security" states that there are two primary components to effective protection of any public or judicial official: (1) the first consists of a range of physical measures that may be employed to deter an attack. Armored limousines, metal detectors, and armed law enforcement officers are some examples. Such physical measures are often widely employed but inherently limited; and (2) Less visible but equally important are efforts to identify persons and groups who may have the intent and capacity to attack before they come within lethal range of the target. The process of identifying those who may pose threats comprises a sequence of activities involving investigation, assessment, and management. In order to be effective, such a program must be built upon an operationally relevant knowledge base of actual attacks and near attacks, and instances where persons have communicated threats or other expressions of inappropriate interest. (Casey, 2006)

II. Risk Management: Identification of Security Requirements

Risk management is stated to ask three primary questions including: (1) What can go wrong? (2) What will be done to prevent it? (3) What will be done if it happens? (City of Geraldton-Greenough: Climate of Opportunity, 2009) in this present study the scenario stated is somewhat similar to the event that occurred in March 2005 at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia. On that date it is reported that Brian Nichols was on retrial for rape overpowered a sheriff's deputy and stole her gun, and used the weapon to kill four people including the Superior Court judge and court reporter." This incident not only impacted the Fulton County Superior Courthouse but this incident impacted courthouses across the entire United States.

III. Various Aspects of Security Necessary to Consider

There are a variety of issues that must be considered in making provision of a safe courthouse environment during a high profile trial such as is addressed in this specific scenario. Technical issues include scanning for weapons at entrances to the courthouse and the courtroom alike and communication optimization to ensure that should an incident occur that it is mitigated and handle effectively and efficiently. Communication methods should be pinpointed as to which will be utilized for communication within and without the courtroom and courthouse. Also necessary for consideration are the items that are the responsibility of the Sheriff's Department and which varies from one courthouse to the other. However, generally included in this physical security checklist are items relating to the perimeter of the courthouse, lighting and specifically the control of lighting. In the event of a high-profile trial such as in this present scenario it is necessary to have a guard in the parking areas and for specification of the guard servicing shifts to be readily available to law enforcement officials the Sheriff's Office is responsible for ensuring that landscape features that would enable potential intruders to conceal themselves are removed or checked regularly during a high-profile trial and furthermore, that the landscape be checked to ensure that there are no bricks, rocks, or other items that could be used as weapons. Doors, windows and emergency exits are included in the items on the checklist as well as are openings to the roof as well as skylights. (Form for 1.2.1 National Sheriffs' Association Physical Security Checklist, nd)

The work of Vossekuil, Borum, Fein, and Reddy (2008) entitled: "Preventing Targeted Violence Against Judicial Officials and Courts" states that assassinations and attacks on federal and states judges, "like attacks on political leaders and other public figures, are rare but troubling events. Since 1949 in the United States there have been three known assassinations of federal judges and one attack." (Vossekuil, Borum, Fein, and Reddy, 2008) There are stated to be three beliefs about assassination that have been held on a wide basis and which have been perpetuated in the popular culture of the United States including the following three beliefs: (1) there is a profile of 'the assassin'; (2) assassinations are the result of mental illness or derangement; and (3) those who make threats pose the greatest risk. (Vossekuil, Borum, Fein, and Reddy, 2008)

These beliefs are stated however to be "unsupported by data from the ECSP and do not withstand critical thinking about assassination behaviors." (Vossekuil, Borum, Fein, and Reddy, 2008) Two key observations are stated in the work of Vossekuil, Boru, Fein and Reddy (2008) include those of: (1) a number of key observations about assassins and their behaviors have emerged from the ECSP. The first is that targeted violence is the end result of an understandable, and often discernible, process of thinking and behavior. Assassinations, attacks, and near-attacks, almost without exception, were neither impulsive nor spontaneous acts. The notion of attacking a public official or public figure did not leap into the mind of a person standing, for example, at a political rally attended by the president. Assassins were not impelled into immediate violent action by sudden new thoughts that popped into their heads. Rather, ideas of assassination developed over weeks and months, even years. For some would-be attackers, such thinking organizes their lives, providing a sense of meaning and purpose or an ending point when they believe their emotional pain will cease; (2) the second key observation is that few assassins in the United States - even those whose targets were major political leaders-have had purely political motives. Examination of the thinking and behaviors of the 83 American attackers and near-lethal approaches suggests that they held combinations of eight major motives, most of which were personal. These motives included the following: to achieve notoriety or fame; to bring attention to a personal or public problem; to avenge a perceived wrong; to retaliate for a perceived injury; to end personal pain; to be removed from society; to be killed; to save the country or the world; to fix world problems; to develop a special relationship with the target; to make money; and to bring about political change; and (3) the third key observation is that targets of assassinations and near-assassinations were selected on the basis of the subject's motives, not primarily because of a subject's hostility toward a particular target or office. Whether a subject likes or hates a particular judicial official or other public official may be irrelevant if the subject's motive is to achieve notoriety. "I would have voted for him," said one would-be attacker, "if I hadn't been in jail charged with trying to kill him." For many attackers and would-be attackers, their targets were instrumental, a means to an end. Consistent with their motives, many attackers and would-be attackers considered more than one target before moving to attack. Assailants often made final decisions about which target to attack because an opportunity for attack presented itself or because they perceived a specific target as unapproachable, not because of personal animosity toward a target (Fein and Vossekuil 1998, 1999 as cited in: Vossekuil, Borum, Fein, and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Threat Assessment" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Threat Assessment.  (2009, October 13).  Retrieved October 20, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Threat Assessment."  13 October 2009.  Web.  20 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Threat Assessment."  October 13, 2009.  Accessed October 20, 2020.