Bridging the Gap Between Workplace Security and Workplace Culture: The Engagement-Threat Connection

Bridging the Gap Between Workplace Security and Workplace Culture:
The Engagement-Threat Connection

Melissa Muir
Human Resources Director, Seattle Municipal Court

Multidisciplinary threat assessment teams create the opportunity to push prevention forward in our organizations. With security-informed HR practices and HR-informed security practices, we can learn from each other to make our workplaces safer and prevent workplace violence.

The gap between our security and our culture reflects the natural tension between security and HR. Building bridges between them can transform our people practices into powerful tools to prevent and mitigate workplace threats. Applying hard data to soft skills, Melissa Muir demonstrates measurable ways to align our workplace culture with our workplace security.

Integrating research in HR practices with core threat management principles, Melissa demonstrates ways to foster workplace practices that increase engagement and reduce threats at every stage of the employee life cycle:
• Hiring and welcoming new employees
o How Not to Hire a Psychopath
• Setting workplace expectations, coaching, managing and rewarding performance
o The engagement-threat connection
• Employee relations
o Building connections and trust – the best defense to threats
• Ending work relationships and creating alumni relationships
o How we say goodbye matters as much as how we say hello

You’ll come away with practical tips you can use today!


Melissa Muir has been an HR professional in the U.S. courts for 25 years. Informed by threat assessment and management principles, Melissa is passionate about applying positive HR practices to improve the safety and health of our organizations.

Melissa is the Past President of the Northwest Chapter of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), a non-profit dedicated to learning and sharing knowledge to prevent targeted violence and interpersonal violence. In addition to an active role expanding online training, she serves on the national sponsorship and strategic planning committees. Melissa has recently created an ATAP Community of Practice for Human Resources.

Melissa has developed and delivered communications training across the federal government, from grammar to crisis communications. She recently introduced a program on preventing workplace harassment through building trust. She has also developed a comprehensive video series focused on preventing workplace violence. Melissa holds an MBA from the University of Washington, and a law degree with a focus on employment law and mediation from Seattle University School of Law.

Animal Protectors under threat: How speaking up for animals and the environment has become increasingly dangerous.

Animal Protectors under threatHow speaking up for animals and the environment has become increasingly dangerous.

During this presentation we will look at three people who have to deal with threats on a regular basis because they speak up for animals and the environment.

While the problems of “climate change” reach a bigger audience every day, the fact that an increasingly high number of conservationists are getting killed each year is not attracting much attention. Some of those killings were “ordered”.

What are the specific threats these people face? Can we do something to counter the threats or to make the targets less vulnerable? Can we see similarities between the cases even when they are on different continents in a completely different culture?

We will look at the contribution of different factors that include (social) media, monetary gain, big companies, unemployment, government and the tourist industry


Alain De Preter is co-founder of ASMA vzw, a Belgian centre for violence prevention that advises victims of violence and stalking. For the past eight years he has been hired by the Belgian Justice Department to teach and advise about violence and threats towards judges and prosecutors.

He wrote two books about the prevention of violence and is a board member at AETAP.

Currently he spends a lot of time in South-East Asia and helps projects that protect wildlife and the environment.

The endurance of the Antarctic Treaty

Richard Rowe

Richard Rowe – a Tasmanian – is a former Senior Legal Adviser in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).  During his long career with DFAT he was heavily engaged in Antarctic matters and attended many Antarctic meetings including as Head of the Australian Delegation to Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. His latest meeting was  the most recent one held in the Czech Republic in July this year.  Richard was Chair of the Thirty-fifth ATCM which was held in Hobart in June 2012.  While in DFAT he also held senior positions overseas, including as Ambassador, in Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Missions to the United Nations. Although now retired, Richard continues to take an active interest in Polar issues, particular those relating to Antarctica.

Hawke’s Antarctic Legacy: The Madrid Protocol

Professor Donald R. Rothwell1

1ANU College of Law, Australian National University

In May 1989 Australia and France announced they would not sign the recently concluded 1988 Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities (CRAMRA) and would instead promote an alternate Antarctic regime based on the prohibition of mining and environmental protection. The Australian-French initiative ultimately resulted in the adoption in 1991 of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid Protocol) which changed the course of Antarctic environmental protection, management and governance. Australia’s 1989 policy change was actively promoted by then Prime Minister Bob Hawke (1983-1991), and following his death on 16 May 2019 there have been reflections on the role Hawke played in abandoning CRAMRA, halting mining in Antarctica, and promoting the Madrid Protocol. This paper reviews the events of 1989, the impact of the Protocol upon Antarctic governance, and the ongoing significance of the Protocol in 2019, 30 years after the Australian-French initiative.

Due Diligence in Antarctic Environmental Protection

Dr Caroline Foster

Due diligence is fast-becoming an established part of international environmental law.  But what might it mean in the Antarctic setting?  In 2010 Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (Judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea from 1996 to 2017) expressed the view that the environmental protection obligations requiring State control of private activity under the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty are not just obligations of due diligence but rather may be fuller obligations requiring assessment of the suitability and efficiency of the measures taken.  Almost 10 years later, it is time to revisit this question.  Is or should more than due diligence be required of States under the Environmental Protocol?  This paper addresses these questions in light of international legal developments since 2010, reviewing decisions in the International Court of Justice as well as under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.


Dr Caroline Foster is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Caroline’s most recent monograph on international environmental disputes, scheduled for publication by Oxford University Press in 2020, focusses on “interstitial rubrics” in the sense of concepts brought into play in international courts and tribunals to help define the balance of legal interests between the parties implicit in the applicable legal rules.  Her prior work  Science, Proof and Precaution in International Courts and Tribunals: Expert Evidence, Burden of Proof and Finality (Cambridge University Press, 2011) was cited by Judges Simma and Al-Khasawneh in the International Court of Justice in the Case Concerning Pulp Mills (Argentina v Uruguay).

Towards a New System of International Trusteeship? The Critical Legal Issues on the Regulation of Antarctic Protected Areas

Professor Xueping Li

The system of international trusteeship under the Charter of United Nations inherits in the mandate of the Covenant of League of Nations which can be traced back to the appointment of the Ionian Islands to British protection at Vienna Conference in 1815. Under such a system, some independent and sovereign states can conclude agreements of management on the mandatory territories under the supervision of the United Nations and they are responsible for protecting those territories, because there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization. For the sake of protecting Antarctica, the ATCM seems to have essentially borrowed the paradigm of international trusteeship and made it to be a new system with Antarctic characteristics. Annex V of the Antarctic Environmental Protocol and the Guidelines for Implementation of the Framework for Protected Areas provide state parties of the Antarctic Treaty for the designation and delimitation of Antarctic specially protected areas (ASPA), Antarctic specially managed areas (ASMA) and historic sites and monuments (HSMs), legitimately accompanied with their management plans for those protected areas. The contents of protection have been expanded from the sole ecological value to a comprehensive value system. However, this new system of international trusteeship must settle a series of legal problems for regulating the protected areas: What is the intrinsic nature of the ATCM decisions on the establishment of protected areas? Do these decisions have legally binding force between the ATCM and the state parties of the protected areas? Can state parties extend their rights beyond that of scientific research in managing the protected areas? What is the duration and destination of protecting these protected areas in the case of lacking a clear legal status for the common heritage of mankind in Antarctica? Can the management of these protected areas be developed over time into preemption under international law for the purpose of independence?

A collaborative response to assessing and managing the risk of grievance fuelled violence in workplace settings

Emma Robertson1
1Victorian Fixated Threat Assessment Centre

Established in 2018, the Victorian Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (VFTAC) is a joint Victoria Police and Forensicare (Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health) initiative. VFTAC aims to provide early assessment and intervention for individuals who pose a threat to themselves and others through their concerning behaviours who may have a mental illness or other mental health needs. This presentation will first provide an overview of VFTAC. It will then, through the use of case studies, highlight how VFTAC’s collaborative, preventative model can be applied to the assessment and management of persons at risk of engaging in grievance fuelled violence within the workplace. In particular, the role of, and input from intelligence analysts, police investigators and mental health clinicians in such cases will be discussed.


Emma Robertson is a senior mental health clinician employed by Forensciare and is currently working within the Victorian Fixated Threat Assessment Centre.

Workplace violence in Asia – Managing the unmanageable

Totti Karpela1
1Peace Of Mind, Hong Kong

Many global corporations are strongly present around Asia. However, global policies might be difficult to implement in Asian culture, due to regional differences and different workplace culture. The presentation covers a cross-section of the challenges and solutions to conducting threat assessment and management throughout Asia. We will also look at the status of threat assessment and management in 30+ Asian countries
as well as some of the latest incidents of targeted violence. What about the status of mental health problems in and around Asia? How to work with local law enforcement? What about stalking laws, restraining orders and the courts? Problems with regional country managers and global workplace violence policies. Issues related to Asian collective culture vs. Western individualism. Solving problems by stepping outside of the box


Mr. Karpela, a graduate of Finland’s Police University College, has a 20-year career in the National Police of Finland where he worked as a unit supervisor and subject matter expert. During his career, Mr. Karpela was part of a team that specialized in managing threats that were directed towards law enforcement and judicial officials. He also spent nine years as a member of the hostage negotiator team in the National SWAT team. For the majority of his career, Mr. Karpela also worked at the National Police University, teaching management of aggressive behavior and conflict resolution skills.

In his current role in the private sector, Mr. Karpela has worked with presidential candidates, celebrities, media companies, banks and insurance companies, aviation industry, educational facilities as well as multi-national corporations specializing in threat assessment and case management. He provides behavioral and security consultation in numerous global corporations on a weekly basis.

Mr. Karpela has worked as a subject matter expert since 1986, consulting and coaching government organizations and corporations on five continents in the prevention of violent crime, security issues, conflict resolution, and risk mitigation. Mr. Karpela is the only person outside of the United States to hold a CTM-accreditation, professional accreditation for security professionals related to the assessment and management of violent behavior. Mr. Karpela is also accredited to provide consultation and training related to the European equivalent, CETAP. He holds numerous professional certifications related to violence risk assessment. Mr. Karpela’s vast experience with threat management is clearly demonstrated in cases where analysis is put into practice, how multi-disciplinary teams of professionals are coached and how to manage low to median and high-risk cases related to violent behavior.

Mr. Karpela is a graduate of U.S. Secret Service Threat Management Program, Gavin De Becker threat management academy and he has done numerous other professional training programs with the FBI Behavior Analysis Unit.

Other relevant NGO responsibilities: Subject matter expert for the European Council and O.S.C.E. in crime prevention projects. Totti is also a member of the Merrick & Company’s Global Biosafety & Biosecurity Consulting Advisory Board since 2017. President for the Association of European Threat Assessment Professionals (AETAP). He is also a senior research fellow at the Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals – Centre for Security Studies.

Mr. Karpela has done numerous security audits specifically related to the prevention of violence in educational facilities, health care service providers and manufacturing and production facilities. The audits have covered regions in Europe, South- and Central America as well as the Middle East and Africa.

Mr. Karpela has also authored three books on police operations with organized crime, personal security and case management guide for stalking cases. He has also authored a chapter on the use of social psychology in counter-terrorism operations as well as management guide on persistent and vexatious complainants.

Lessons from a Singapore Campus Sexual Harassment Case: Escalation of Incidents and Implications for Organisational Risk Management

Dr Majeed Khader, MS  Tan Mingyi Eunice1, MS  Charmaine  Lee Siew Ling1
1Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore, Singapore

Lessons from a Singapore Campus Sexual Harassment Case: Escalation of Incidents and Implications for Organisational Risk Management  Risk  management  is  key  to  complement  the  day-to-day  operations  in  any organisation  in  order  to  ensure  the  sustainability  of  the  operations  and strategic relevance of the organisation. Aside from the immediate impact to the  organisation  post-incident,  at  times,  the  larger  risk  and  subsequent damage to the organisation lies in the potential of an incident to escalate past the triggering event.  As such, it becomes key for organisations to accurately assess the potential of an event from escalating and posing further risks to the organisation.   This  presentation  centres  on  a  recent  case  of  sexual  harassment  of  a  local university  student  that  had  gained  both  local  and  international  media attention.  It  considers  the  risks  faced  by,  and  negative  impact  on,  the institution  due  to  the  escalation  of  the  incident  (e.g.,  negative  publicity following from the perceived failure of the institution in meeting the needs of stakeholders). What were the organisational ‘blind spots’ that had warranted more  attention  and  which  may  have  prevented  or  minimised  the  incident’s escalation?  How  can  organisational  structures  and  response  approaches  be enhanced to better manage risks in similar contexts? The presentation seeks to examine and address these.   The research  adopts a case study approach in combination with a review of relevant  academic  literature  and  organisational  best  practices  on  risk management, as well as the gathering and analysis of case-relevant qualitative data.  Following  from  an  analysis  of  the  case  incident,  implications  for organisations in assessing and mitigating the risk of incident escalation will be highlighted and discussed from a systems perspective (e.g., signal detection, cultural factors).


Dr. Majeed Khader is a forensic psychologist in Singapore and the Director of the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre. He is the Chief Psychologist of the  Ministry  of  Home  Affairs  and  also  the  Asian  Director  of  the  US  based Society  of  Police  and  Criminal  Psychology.  A  graduate  from  the  National University of Singapore, Majeed also holds a Masters degree (with Distinction) in Forensic Psychology from Leicester University (U.K) and a PhD in Psychology, (specialising in crisis and personality) from Aberdeen University, Scotland. The first formally trained forensic psychologist in Singapore, Majeed has overseen the development of psychological services in the areas of stress, counselling, resilience,  personnel  selection,  leadership  development,  crisis  negotiations, crime profiling, and crisis psychology in law enforcement settings. For his work in  the  psychology  of  terrorism,  he  was  awarded  two  National  Day  Public Administration Medals (in 2006 and 2014). Dr Majeed is Associate Professor (Adjunct)  and  teaches  forensic  and  criminal  psychology  at  the  Nanyang Technological University.  He is a Registered Psychologist with the Singapore Psychological  Society,  and  a  member  of  the  British  Psychological  Society, American Psychological Association and Australian Psychological Society.   Ms. Eunice Tan is a Principal Psychologist and Senior Assistant Director of the Operations  and  Leadership  Psychology  Branch,  Home  Team  Behavioural Sciences  Centre  (HTBSC),  Ministry  of  Home  Affairs,  Singapore.  She  holds  a Masters  degree  (with  distinction)  in  Investigative  and  Forensic  Psychology from  the  University  of  Liverpool  (United  Kingdom)  and  is  a  member  of  the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology (SPCP), USA. Eunice has twice served as  Head  Scientific  Committee  in  the  Asian  Conference  of  Criminal  and Operations  Psychology  (ACCOP).  Her  research  interests  include  talent assessment and development, crisis leadership, organisational deviance, and more recently, organisational health, change management and employee well- being.   Ms. Charmaine Lee graduated from the National University of Singapore with a  Bachelor  of  Social  Sciences  (Major  in  Psychology),  highest  distinction.  Her thesis research was presented at the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies  Annual  Convention  and  National  Psychology  Graduate  Student Conference  in  2017,  and  published  in  Psychiatry  Research  in  2019.  She  has since worked as a psychologist with the Operations and Leadership Psychology Branch  of  the  Home  Team  Behavioural  Sciences  Centre,  where  she  has undertaken  research  in  the  areas  of  organisational  deviance,  wellbeing  and crisis  leadership.  Beyond  work,  she  has  been  and  continues  to  be  an  active volunteer  with  the  Victim  Care  Cadre  of  the  Police  Psychological  Services Department.

The Psychology of Ragging: A Multi-level Conceptualisation of Ragging in Institutions.

Dr Majeed Khader, Ms  Charmaine Lee Siew Ling

The Psychology of Ragging: A Multi-level Conceptualisation of Ragging in Institutions  In the context of safety and security where officers operate under high stakes and time pressure, strong trust between team members is often considered requisite for optimal coordination and performance. It is hence unsurprising that the incidence of ragging – activities aimed at fostering unique group identity and assimilation without legitimate operational function – are high in such institutions (Finkel, 2002). Due to the risk of physical and psychological harm, and even death, it is crucial to understand ragging so that it can be detected and replaced with safer alternatives. Hence, a review of the academic literature on ragging and hazing, and anti-ragging best practices from international military agencies was conducted. Additionally, past and incumbent Home Team officers and organisational anti-ragging materials were analysed.  Following from the research, the closely-related concepts of hazing, ragging and bullying are distinguished. The presentation then expands on ten key psychological processes that underpin ragging, some operating at the level of the organisation and others at the level of the people – i.e., the ragger(s), victim(s) and bystander(s). The psychological processes include: (i) social processes, (e.g., power dynamics), (ii) cognitive processes (e.g., biased risk perception), (iii) motivational processes – (e.g., need for affiliation), and (iv) emotional processes (e.g., fear of ridicule).  Linking the various psychological processes implicated in ragging across domains and levels of analysis, this presentation hence narrows a gap in the literature. For institutions, a comprehensive conceptualisation of ragging also informs anti-ragging measures so that cohesive, high-performing teams can be forged without compromising on the institution’s safety culture.  Finkel, M. A. (2002). Traumatic injuries caused by hazing practices. The American journal of emergency medicine, 20(3), 228-233.


Ms. Charmaine graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Major in Psychology), highest distinction. Her thesis research was presented at the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies Annual Convention and National Psychology Graduate Student Conference in 2017, and published in Psychiatry Research in 2019.  She has since worked as a psychologist with the Operations and Leadership Psychology Branch of the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre, where she has undertaken research in the areas of organisational deviance, wellbeing and crisis leadership. Beyond work, she has been and continues to be an active volunteer with the Victim Care Cadre of the Police Psychological Services Department.


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