Sunday, June 18, 2017

Security: Philosophy and Prevention of Crime

Life is a Security Detail
(notes taken at a church security half day 
seminar and fleshed out a little)

     Everyone reading this lives and works in or around buildings of some sort which is adjacent to other buildings, structures and infrastructure. Not necessarily restricted to ‘city dwellers’, many live in small towns and rural settings in which you might see more airliners flying over in a day than cars coming down your road. Anywhere there are people there can be people who do not have the best interests of others like you would hope they would. I am fond of the photo circulating social sites that show a herd of sheep and the caption is “find the wolf”. Soon your eyes settle on the one photo-shopped sheep that has a long nose, narrow predator eyes and pointy ears; although roughly the same color.

     We all should have had a reality check by now and are responsible for ourselves and others. So of all our daily duties, and sometimes rather unconsciously, we are engaged in safety and security. But not always.  “Is that car going to wait or pull out in front of me?” “Does that child have a parent or is the parent behind the SUV taking care of things?” “Who in the world has sprayed graffiti on the side of this Taco Bell restaurant?” “Why has someone parked in my spot?” “The closest parking to the grocery store is next to this contractor van. I wish I wasn’t in a hurry I would park farther away.” “Why did that rider want to get out way down here by the Garden Center when its closed and he could have been dropped off in front of the store.”

Let us get something out of the way real fast and clear up the matter of profiling. Profiling is not about being suspicious of someone in the mall because their pants are hanging down around their butt showing their colorful boxers. All they needed was a better daddy. It isn’t about a white man with tattoos covering his arms and face to the point he looks like a fire survivor. It isn’t about someone with a beard that looks Mediterranean but could be from Mexico. And it isn’t about a person with a boxy old car with a $4,000 stereo system setting on top of wheels that look like they were taken from a Roman chariot.

This is what profiling is- “Profiling is a quick study of human behavior while at the same time having situational awareness and pro-actively identifying threats.” - Ray Johnson, Security Instructor, Tarpon Springs, FL

There are 6 domains in profiling. They are mentioned below in a subsequent section.


The Limbic System of the brain is the center of the OODA Loop.  As it is said what goes into the mind comes out in life.  Next time you are in a public place, say a restaurant, shut your eyes and try to remember what the people look like around you. Their approximate age, what they are wearing and how many are in a group. Then repeat the info to someone at your table.

Observation is sensing yourself and the world around you.

Orientation is the complex set of filters of genetic heritage, cultural predispositions, personal experience, and knowledge.

Decision- A review of alternative courses of action and the
selection of the preferred course as a hypothesis to be tested. This is a simple heuristic where not all information is available for a certain solution but enough to make a guesstimate maybe even based on intuition or instinct.  The amygdala portion of the brain is responsible for this.

Action- Testing of the decision selected by implementation.

"The notion of the loop, the constant repetition of the OODA cycle, is the essential connection that is repeated again and again. Put simply, Boyd advances the idea that success in war, conflict, competition even survival (self-defense) hinges upon the quality and tempo of the cognitive processes of leaders and their organizations. War can be construed of as a collision of organizations going their respective OODA loops. "
-Frans Osinga from the book Science, Strategy and War- The Strategic Theory of John Boyd   (this is a 300+ page PDF book)

Below are the 6 possible domains that make up security profiling.  Other important terms used in professional security implementation and training include:
"Kinesics is the interpretation of body motion communication such as facial expressions and gestures, non-verbal behavior related to movement of any part of the body or the body as a whole. The equivalent popular culture term is body language, a term Ray Birdwhistell, considered the founder of this area of study, neither used nor liked (on the grounds that what can be conveyed with the body does not meet the linguist's definition of language). Even so, many people use the term."

"...metrics related to human characteristics. Biometrics authentication (or realistic authentication)[note 1] is used in computer science as a form of identification and access control.[1] It is also used to identify individuals in groups that are under surveillance. This product by Hewlett-Packard is just one example.

Biometric identifiers are then distinctive, measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals.[2] Biometric identifiers are often categorized as physiological versus behavioral characteristics.[3] Physiological characteristics are related to the shape of the body. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina and odour/scent. Behavioral characteristics are related to the pattern of behavior of a person, including but not limited to typing rhythm, gait,[4] and voice."

"study of human use of space and the effects that population density has on behaviour, communication, and social interaction.[1] Proxemics is one among several subcategories in the study of nonverbal communication, including haptics (touch), kinesics (body movement), vocalics (paralanguage), and chronemics (structure of time)."

"the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images: the subjects depicted, the particular compositions and details used to do so, and other elements that are distinct from artistic style. " Colors, shapes, art and non-art feeding the observation portion of the OODA loop as it pertains to security.

The area around you and what you are limited in doing or free to do and also how the area might enable threats.

“The collective attitudes, moods, and behaviors present in a given situation or place.” is it celebrational, competitive, recreational, or public activity such as a listening event like a concert or public speaker? What are the normative behaviors of people in these situations; what they should be that would cause someone else to stand out if even for a moment?

In situational awareness we employ a simple formula of reasoning. Combining learning and understanding to cultivate knowledge about a given situation.

There is one more color beyond RED and that is BLACK .. Black is active combat or panic. You have lost all fine motor skills and have only coarse motor skills. Your heartbeat can be 175BPM or higher. 

     This is a decent place to stop as an introduction to Security whether personal, business or a setting like church gatherings or shopping. In an emergency where a threat is immediate, like an active shooter, a personal encounter like robbery or other violent settings, you have just 3 choices to make in your decision – Run – Hide – Fight.

Given that scenario- “We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our highest level of preparation.” is a 2+ minute video of a home invasion. is a bank robber in daylight. Suppose you are a customer? What do you do? Situational awareness! She is in Condition White.

To learn more browse the web and also take a course in Security. Be aware of your role in the security of yourself, your family and your business.

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