Those of you not local to the DFW area may not be aware of three recent homicides that have significantly shaken a community, town, and county (and profession, for that matter.)

Kaufman County DA Mike McClelland and his wife were shot and killed in their home just two months after Kaufman County Assistant DA Mark Hasse was executed in broad daylight in an organized shooting in front of the county court house.

There are scores of professional journalists and law enforcement officials involved in the reporting and investigation of these tragic and brutal killings. I can’t add anything that hasn’t been reported, only my sympathy for the friends and loved ones of those who were killed.

It did, however, remind me of a time in my own career where a death threat was levied at me in response to an especially intense employee investigation. It’s an unsettling experience to think that someone would so strongly object to your role in their accountability that they would wish you harm. Stuff happens, you move on. I know many Human Resources professionals who have been similarly threatened. Managers and “Bosses” are often targeted with the same kind of violence…thankfully, most threats ring hollow.

It’s not uncommon to read about death threats aimed at athletes, celebrities, and politicians. Law enforcement obviously accepts this as an occupational hazard. Again, thankfully, most threats ring hollow.

Until they don’t.

Statistics don’t always describe the situation in full. In 2011 there were almost 500 homicides attributed to workplace violence. If, however, you have ever worked at a place where an incident like this has occurred, you can attest to the fact that the impact weighs heavy on the entire employee population.

No message, no moral. Be careful out there.