I am delighted to welcome you to the Ontic Center of Excellence, a new endeavor in the field of threat assessment and threat management. As the Center’s Executive Director, I wanted to use this first blog post to introduce myself and share with you my vision for the Center’s inaugural activities. First, a little background on how this all started:
My connection to Ontic dates back to 2019 when Cynthia Marble attended Ontic’s Protective Intelligence Summit. Cindy was my colleague at the Secret Service before becoming my second-in-command at SIGMA and has extensive expertise in protective intelligence, executive protection, and protective operations. During the Summit, she sent me several texts saying she was impressed with the Ontic team and intrigued by the Ontic Protective Intelligence Platform. She encouraged me to consider having SIGMA partner with Ontic if there was an opportunity to do so.
That opportunity came a little over a year ago when the Ontic team asked me to integrate SIGMA’s Workplace Threat Assessment procedures into the Ontic Platform as a module that would guide users through the behavioral threat assessment process. Doing so gave the SIGMA team the chance to take our threat assessment expertise and transform it into something more. Now, behavioral threat assessment and threat management could be combined with the art of protective intelligence in a way the industry had never seen before.
The Ontic Platform already provides users with a mechanism to “collect the dots” – that is, a way to gather information for a threat assessment investigation. Adding in SIGMA’s workplace threat assessment procedures, alongside other respected threat assessment procedures like the WAVR-21, would give users a chance to “connect the dots” as well – that is, to follow a workflow that would allow them to analyze the information, make an assessment, and develop a plan to reduce risk.
When Luke and Tom approached me about further solidifying our relationship, this time through the acquisition of SIGMA Threat Management Associates, I knew it would give us the opportunity to help more people use threat assessment to manage threatening behaviors and situations and enhance their organization’s safety and well-being. Now that SIGMA is part of the Ontic family, let me give you a brief overview of what I envision for the new Ontic Center of Excellence, with more details to come in future blog posts.
In my 27 years in the threat assessment and protective intelligence, I have seen firsthand that the more people who understand threat assessment – even at an introductory level – the better job we can all do at preventing acts of violence wherever they may occur.
The inaugural activities of the Ontic Center of Excellence will focus on ways to make threat assessment and threat management widely understood and easy to use, through technology, training, and thought leadership. The threat assessment experts from SIGMA, now part of the Center of Excellence, will offer threat assessment program development guidance, training and tabletop exercises, program needs and assessments, and expert guidance on using threat assessment procedures in complex cases. Our goal is to help organizations address threatening behaviors, manage fear, enhance safety and prevent violence.
I am thrilled to be able to collaborate closely with The Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence led by Fred Burton who, as many of you know, is considered to be the world’s foremost authority on protective intelligence. Fred and his team have already done so much incredible work in providing strategic consulting, multidimensional services, education and thought leadership for safety and security professionals at some of the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies and emerging enterprises.
If you’re interested in learning more about our efforts in the Center of Excellence, please feel free to contact us.