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WARSAW, Poland -When Richard Woldt, a 30-year veteran of CUNA Mutual Group, spoke at a breakout session at the World Council of Credit Unions’ Sixth International Leadership Institute, about how to handle terrorism in credit unions, he was aware that someone in the audience had been in a credit union across the street from Ground Zero on 9/11. That time the terrorist attack involved international terrorists. But the perpetrators, said Woldt, can also be a disgruntled member, or a robber who threatens a credit union. Although CUs are not usually considered targets of terrorist attacks, they should still be mindful of steps they should take to protect their facility, staff and members. Woldt suggested a few such as proper lighting, safe places, defendable zones and training. These methods aren’t only for protection against terrorism but are also for protection against robbery or the potential taking of hostages. Woldt also addressed the issue of effective ways to handle traumatized staff. “Stay with the victim,” he said, “and don’t give them a hanky. They need to cry.” Telling someone they should have done something that might have affected the outcome of the attack is not helpful. Non-judgmental listening is the most important thing in helping a victim recover, Woldt said. Victims, he said, go through the many stages – shock, denial, anger, recurrent flashback, and finally acceptance and recovery. It all takes time. Woldt is certified by the American Society of Industrial Security. – [email protected]

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