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When Workplace Violence Erupts, ‘You Run, You Hide Or You Fight': Expert

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Pam Zekman Pam Zekman
Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Pam Zekman serves on CBS 2 Chicago’s...
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(CBS) – Could a better security system have prevented Thursday’s shooting in the financial district?

CBS 2’s Pam Zekman asks experts.

They say no, unless every building has a metal detector.

The security system at the Bank of America Building is typical of many Loop office high-rises.

Visitors and guests must check in at the security desk. Employees swipe in with an ID card that gets them past the gates just as the alleged shooter was able to do Thursday.

“There’s plenty of security in the building. He’s apparently a long-time employee who comes in with a backpack like an employee normally does, so I can’t see how this could have been a security issue,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy told reporters.

Without metal detectors at the entrance of buildings open to the public, there’s no way to keep a gun out, security experts say.

“Even buildings that have magnetometers are only putting guests through the screening process. They oftentimes will have employees that can go through a different entrance,” security expert Arnette Heintze says.

CBS 2 Security Consultant Ross Rice, a former FBI agent, agrees that security is not water-tight, given that not everyone is screened.

“Unless they’re going to institute metal searches on everyone coming into the building, including employees, you can’t prevent something like this,” he tells CBS 2’s Rob Johnson and Kate Sullivan.

“This is really not an issue of security being breached as much as it’s behavior that was not identified,” Heintze adds. “Did the employee exhibit aggressive, unusual behavior, threatening behavior, concerning behavior?”

Such behavior should be reported to superiors before something happens, he says.

In the event of an incident, “You either run, you hide or you fight,” Heintze says.

The Bank of America Building has a safety plan on file with the city.

The city wasn’t immediately able to say how many buildings have metal detectors.

 

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