For Immediate Release
Friday, June 19, 2015
Contact: Jessica Sacco
NEMLEC Foundation Business Safety Summit A Success
STONEHAM — The NEMLEC Police Foundation Inc. reports that its first Business Safety Summit brought hundreds of public safety officials and local business leaders together yesterday to foster relationships and engage in a discussion about recognizing, responding to, and minimizing incidents of concern and violence in the workplace.
“This event was a huge success and we are so pleased we were able to facilitate an opportunity for police and fire officials to meet with local business representatives from their community,” said NEMLEC Foundation Director Sharon Crowley. “We hope to continue and expand the summit in the future.”
The Foundation hosted the event at the Montvale Plaza Stoneham from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It was sponsored in part by Lahey Health and Shooter Detection Systems.
More than two dozen police, fire and other public safety officials from communities throughout Middlesex and Essex counties attended the summit. They joined approximately 250 business owners, corporate security officials, and human resources professionals.
Businesses represented included:
- Masy Bio Systems
- Fidelity Investments
- Cambridge Trust Company
- Hudson Bay Company
- ViaSat Inc.
- Mount Auburn Hospital
- East Cambridge Savings Bank
- MIT Lincoln Laboratory
- Lord & Taylor
- Quantech Services Inc.
- National Grid
- Middlesex Community College
- Gurukul Learning Center
- MITRE Corporation
- UTC Aerospace Systems
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Saks Off Fifth
“The summit was a great first step in connecting business owners with their public safety officials to strengthen relationships within their community,” said NEMLEC Foundation Chairman Richard Raymond. “We hope businesses always feel comfortable contacting their police department at the first sign of workplace violence to prevent tragedies.”
A talented group of speakers spoke about best practices and training methods for effective prevention, response and intervention of potential crises. They also shared their experiences in establishing a crisis management plan, and provided attendees with a self assessment for their own company. Keynote presenters included:
- Marian Ryan: Middlesex District Attorney
- Shirley Singleton, CEO: Edgewater Technology. This was the site of the Dec. 26, 2000 mass shooting by an employee that left seven coworkers dead.
- David Selden: Lahey Health Behavioral Services
- Christian Connors, CEO: Shooter Detection Systems
- John Guilfoil: Principal, John Guilfoil Public Relations LLC
- Keith Jones, Director of Corporate Security: Draper Labs
“I appreciate NEMLEC for putting together such a comprehensive program to provide training on best practices for intervention, prevention, and response,” said District Attorney Ryan. “It is vital for stakeholders to come together to better identify at-risk situations. Clearly, one lesson learned from recent violent tragedies in Massachusetts and elsewhere is the importance of having policies and plans in place to identify and address issues before they intensify, and to make security and infrastructure improvements should a response to an episode be necessary.”
Guilfoil, whose company provides communications services to police and fire departments, government agencies, non-profits and businesses, gave a presentation on crisis management and media relations during an emergency, and the importance of developing relationships between business leaders and municipal police departments before an emergency strikes.
“A crisis is an opportunity for a business owner or manager to show true leadership, and proper crisis management and media relations during an emergency situation can have a dramatic impact on messaging and contribute to overall calm and order during a disaster,” Guilfoil said. “I was proud to have the chance to address so many prominent business leaders and to help connect them with their public safety leaders.”
Jones concluded the program by sharing a variety of situations he’s encountered over his 30-year career in the private security arena. To avoid workplace violence, he advised attendees to keep communication open with all employees, always take issues — even those that may seem minor — seriously, and secure help for a troubled employee even if your company itself cannot provide it.
“It’s not particularly difficult to predict violence in the workplace,” Jones said. “It becomes difficult when you ignore the clues. If you don’t break down the barriers internally, bad stuff is going to happen. I guarantee it.”
About the NEMLEC Police Foundation:
The NEMLEC Police Foundation, Inc. exists to promote and pursue training, education, research, projects, and programs that benefit municipal police agencies and their communities in Northeastern Massachusetts. The foundation promotes the public’s understanding of their police departments. It receives gifts, contributions, and grants from individual benefactors or private organizations and distributes those gifts to benefit The North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council and its cities and towns. Follow the Foundation on Twitter @NEMLECInc or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NEMLEC-Police-Foundation-Inc.