Mesa officials are wrapping up a two-year effort to create a zero-tolerance policy for violence in the workplace.
The policy, which is expected to be approved within two months, spells out what workplace violence is and establishes procedures for employees to follow if they witness or are victims of violence.
The policy goal is to provide a safer working environment for the city’s 3,592 full-time and 937 parttime employees, said Charro Gaulden, Mesa’s safety and wo rkers compensation administrator.
Gaulden on Thursday refused to release a draft of the policy because it still needs approval from city management, he said.
Officials crafted the policy after similar ones in Phoenix, Glendale and other places, Gaulden said.
The effort is being driven by a 1992 shooting in Phoenix’s city personnel office. LeRoy Johnson, 36, clad in a trench coat and body armor, killed his ex-wife and wounded two other city employees before police shot him.
"It’s not an easy issue to talk about, even 11 years later," said Andrea Esquer, a Mesa City Council assistant who was employed by Phoenix when the shooting occurred. "We were all affected by it because it was something that had never happened in Arizona before."
Earlier this year, Mesa officials began holding voluntary four-hour training sessions to educate employees on workplace violence. The sessions include workplace violence stats, the average perpetrator’s profile, warning signs and the effect on employees.
Meanwhile, an employee group headed by John Pombier, a city prosecutor, is compiling a list of resources available to employees who are victims of domestic violence.
Pombier said he intends to distribute the list to the private sector.
Mesa’s Domestic Violence Council also is weighing the benefit of creating a policy aimed at helping employees who are victims of domestic violence.
"One of the things I think is critical for Mesa is we can provide resources to employees when it comes to domestic violence," Pombier said.