Security Consultants Cited in Article on Workplace Anger

The Boston Herald recently published an article on workplace anger. The Herald’s story came in the wake of the tragic murder of two members of a news crew in Roanoke, Virginia. Although the investigation is still ongoing, it appears that the perpetrator had a history of emotional problems that caused him to be terminated from at least two jobs. As a result IMG workplace violence experts comment on gun violenceof this tragedy, many managers and employers are asking themselves how they can prevent violence in the workplace, mitigate workplace anger, and conduct terminations with as little hostility as possible.

The following article was published in the Boston Herald on August 27th, 2015 and features comments from the security consultants at IMG Group. The full piece and related content can be found at the Herald’s website at:

The best way to part ways with dangerous, disgruntled employees like the fired reporter who executed two former colleagues on live TV yesterday is to defuse them before they walk out the door, workplace violence experts say.

“We are not interested in making someone go away,” said Harley Stock, a forensic psychologist with Florida security firm Incident Management Group. “We are interested in making them go away and never come back.”

Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, of Roanoke, Va., was fired from at least two jobs and had a history of problems with co-workers before he gunned down 24-year-old Alison Parker and 27-year-old cameraman Adam Ward.

Flanagan’s workplace behavior and his own words suggest he was a 
“human powder keg … just waiting to go BOOM!!!!” The general manager at the Roanoke station sent him packing escorted by police.

Marc McElhaney, a forensic psychologist with Incident Management Group, said some companies hope they can avoid violent episodes by just getting the fired employee out the door — but that’s often not the case.

“You have to make sure that before it happens, you’ve done everything you can to assess and understand the risk and manage it down if possible, and also prepare for any consequences,” McElhaney said. “This is not about just walking someone out the door.”

Said Stock: “If (managers) are concerned about a high-risk termination, they should not have a knee-jerk reaction, not fire the person immediately and instead try to understand the situation.” Companies concerned about workers responding with violence should send them to counseling, Stock said, or put them on paid leave until they work through their anger.

Steven Bowman, a managing partner of Virginia human resources firm Management Consultants, agreed. “It’s good if you can make that separation occur without a whole lot of animosity,” Bowman said. “But it’s easier said than done.”

By Brian Dowling of the Boston Herald

Learn More About IMG’s Experience in Workplace Safety and Dealing with Workplace Anger

IMG security consultants have extensive experience in resolving strikes, conducting employment terminations, and handling workplace anger. To learn more about the solutions offered by IMG, please visit:

About Incident Management Group (IMG)

The IMG Group is a top security consulting firm that understands how to prevent workplace violence and mitigate workplace anger. Organizations concerned about their need for detailed security management planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as employee travel security, VIP and executive protection, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, protective services, crisis management planning, and more.

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