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Public Safety | Workplace Violence FAQ’s

Workplace Violence FAQ’s

Do people just snap?

No, what appears to be a spontaneous violent outburst can be better characterized as the result of a “slow burn”, which is part of a long process of dealing with, or failing to deal with an accumulation of unresolved problems or multiple stressors.

Are there warning signs?

Yes, most of the cases that resulted in fatal outcomes had clear warning signs.  Beware of sudden changes in personal behavior, decrease in productivity, attendance problems, over-reaction to stimuli, actual or veiled threats to coworkers, sabotage or theft of property belonging to the employer or coworkers, and sudden withdrawal from current circle of friends or acquaintances.

Is workplace violence random?

No, In most cases, people are targeted merely because the perpetrator knows or perceives that they had something to do with his/her current plight.


Contact the Department of Public Safety at 202-884-9111.

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