Security Theater: A Dangerous Placation

tsa-security-theater-100625857-primary.idge

An Opinion Piece by Michael Mancino
http://www.tsr-associates.com

Security is both a feeling and a reality. The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders.

When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn’t truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn’t make any sense.

-Bruce Shneier

In light of two recent attacks in Florida in the last two weeks I feel it’s important to address a topic that is widely discussed in the security world that most people outside of it are woefully ignorant of.

Security Theater.

We’ve all seen security theater at work. Look no further than our own illustrious TSA. In fact, the quote at the beginning of this opinion piece was spoken in the context of that organization. When we go to a club, a sporting event, even a restaurant, we are often witnessing security theater. Too often our venues attempt to give the impression of safety and security by using flashy uniforms, big men in tight shirts, fancy titles and expensive machinery that most of the staff have no idea how to operate.

Unfortunately, our society is beginning to learn the hard way that such measures are largely ineffective against a determined attacker.

Part of the problem in the security industry stems from an overall lack of training and quality of the guards that are fielded. I challenge anyone to find more than a small handful of individuals working at these events or venues that are career security professionals. More often than not the front line people are chosen because of their looks or their associations with whoever happens to be hiring.

Those of us who make security and safety our lifestyle experience no end of frustration.

We understand that effective protection requires brains, training and forethought. Security theater lacks much of this. Going back to the two incidents in the last two weeks illustrates this well.

Christina Grimmie, the Voice singer who was gunned downed while signing autographs, was not a megastar. I’m not going to sit behind this keyboard and speculate to motives her agent, or manager, or whoever, had in not providing adequate personal protection. What I will do is stress that anyone in the public eye is prone to targeting.

Being that she was at a performance venue there was almost certainly some form of ‘security’ present however it was most likely for show. The assailant was able to walk up to Grimmie and fire on her from a very close distance. Properly trained security personnel could, and should, have identified this individual as a threat or at a minimum discovered the firearm on his person before he was able to enter the venue.

A trained executive protection professional may have identified pre-incident indicators leading up to the attack and avoided the incident altogether.

As far as the Orlando nightclub shooting goes, the only mention of security is two bouncers and an off duty police officer. One of the bouncers, former Marine Imran Yousef, is credited with saving multiple lives. His training and experience in the US Military undoubtedly aided in his reactions and decision making.

Generally, bouncers are not hired for their intensive training in the security industry, and that needs to change. Most clubs will hire bouncers based off of their appearance, whether or not they can handle themselves in a fight or because they know someone. Off duty police officers are often used in clubs, however they are not always the best choice. Police officers are extremely well trained when it comes to reacting to threats, engaging with disruptive persons, etc and are undoubtedly an excellent deterrent and an excellent resource if it hits the fan, however a properly trained security professional arguably receives more training in assessing threats, threat mitigation, and pre-incident indicators than does your average patrol officer.

Again, I have no desire to Monday-morning-quarterback these situations but I take this opportunity to stress that our society needs a change of perception. Dangerous people exist. Whether a lone crazed gunman obsessed with a celebrity, or a terrorist out for blood, violence can and will happen.

As a society we must understand that true safety requires professionals that are able to identify, mitigate, avoid and respond to threats properly. Security theater as it exists now is dangerous and it will certainly be paid for in blood.

I, and all of my associates, am more than happy to assist an organization in discussing their needs. More importantly, we are eager to illuminate those areas that are so often missed when mitigating a threat.

I Know My Rights!!! Or Do You? A Look at the Current Generation and Rights

54503437

By Deputy Gage Donnell

It seems like every day you turn on the news and all you see is someone, somewhere, getting their pants all bunched up over something. This article is to help shed some light on issues that have plagued us these past several months.

Now in order to understand what I’m about to outline (not challenging your intelligence) we must look at the progression of an incident. I recently spoke with a Dr. of political studies on the 5th Amendment and how it applies to John Q. citizen. I add that I am a cop….police man, the 5-0. I do not have an advanced degree in political underwater basket weaving. But I, unlike my counterpart, have applied this in several years worth of convictions through arrest and blah, blah, blah.

His interpretation of our rights within the 5th Amendment was that being a U. S. Citizen gives you the right to not, under any circumstance, give out your name, DOB or SSN to a requesting Law Enforcement Officer. I stated that this only applies when the encounter is consensual and you are not a suspect, witness or victim of a crime. He could not wrap his head around this so he threw out a scenario…..which by the way is the first sign of someone trying to justify something they can comprehend to themselves. Anyway, He opened with:

“So if you, the police, have a search warrant for a person….you’re telling me this means he/she has to identify themselves to you? Furthermore, if you stop me for a driving infraction, I have to identify myself even if I’m not pulled out of the car?”

The answer folks: YES.

First off, in any state there is no such thing as a search warrant for you….only arrest warrants. Search warrants are for your property, place or curtilage. That’s why, when writing one, you outline in great detail what you are looking for, where it is you are searching and why.

An arrest warrant is used to search your person, hence ” Search incident to arrest”. The only warrant out there which includes something within you is a search warrant for your blood, such as those used in a DUI. But even then, it’s for your blood and the same search guidelines apply.

Next if you are wanted for a crime, a suspect in a crime, etc. you must identify yourself to L.E. or you risk an arrest warrant for impeding an investigation.

If you are stopped, you don’t have to be in handcuffs to be detained. Case law supports that merely clipping your driver’s license to my person could make a reasonable person believe that he/she is detained. When the lights come on, you are detained….Now, once your ID is returned and your stop is concluded, any conversation with the officer/Deputy is now consensual.

So on to rights, At the end of the day if you are being questioned by police, it’s not because of race, religion or sexual orientation. It may be because a crime has occurred involving one of those categories but that is all. Police do not wish to be talking to you…really….we prefer intercepting crimes before or during the incident, not standing at your house at 4am asking questions we really don’t want to know the answer to. We like being proactive….don’t you? that’s what you pay for right?.

So with some of those things in mind, a look at the current generation is something to consider. Kids today think Law and Order is something to waste their time or jam them up on a personal level. I had a 13yo tell me that that he hates cops because all we do is arrest people and make life hard. I politely said, how about my partner that did CPR on an infant while going to the hospital? Or the Cop that pulls the man dying from smoke inhalation out of the burning car before the fire department arrives? He freaked out and apologized, but it shows that the only way to fix this is through education of these young minds about their rights and how they came to be instead of using them as a tool to sue a police agency.

This topic is an open forum based and I would love some feed back….lets keep this conversation going!

10-8

Off Duty! Never: Thoughts, questions and tips on improving officer safety off duty

image

by deputy Gage Donnell

Going to the store, movies or a restaurant can become exhausting when you are the guy with the gear.

Its not bad to be the cop that leaves the house off duty with everything shy of a grappling hook, but  are there ways to improve our loadout without needing pockets for pockets or a go bag built into our shirt?

When I go out, I usually have, at minimum, a firearm, knife and the usual keys wallet and phone. However some days will dictate, if it’s nice out and I want to wear some cargo pants or the threat level at a location I’m going to is higher, I usually don a little more. Extra mag, small flashlight and some type of less lethal tool.

It’s good to think about gear and how to place it so that it’s somewhat inconspicuous but first we must look at a few things.

Let me side step and point out that putting Thin Blue Line stickers on your car and wearing nothing but the latest and greatest in 5.11 isn’t really inconspicuous. In the Army you could pick out a private by the clothing: jeans, affliction shirt and his summer tan boots. That is the equivalent to the boot cop, tan 5.11 pants and a badge related shirt. Oh and don’t forget the right or left hip bulge.

So, back on track, what can we do to offset the ever-changing world of threats? First we must look at ourselves and then look outward at our family and what we can control within a 6 to 8 foot bubble.

How about our loadout? If we are going to the 7-11 we probably don’t need more than a weapon and a spare mag. Yes some will say “be ready for anything” but its just not applicable when you want to remain a Dog in Sheep’s wool.

If something breaks bad, we the defender are not sticking around to duke it out. We stop the threat and seek cover. Family and self come first. We must remember that just because we are armed doesn’t mean it’s the end all fix all.

Whenever you bring a gun into a store, parking lot or place of commons you have just placed a gun in play. Just remember that and you will have an edge in the OODA loop.

Next comes emergency action plans. Does your wife/husband or kids know what to do if mommy or daddy need to go to work? Rehearsing plans is a good way to ensure your focus is on the threat and not the family. It could be a safe word that means “go the other way” or a gesture that means “act like you don’t know me”. Then go out and spot check them, walk though a store and randomly drop the word and see how the family reacts. Then if you wish to upgrade and the spouse can handle it, look at team movements. What can we do to react to the threat and also ensure the lives of those around us?

Psychological preparation.

This is key. You might be prepared ’cause it’s your job but your wife or kids are not. We must explain that if something breaks bad, we must all be prepared for what is ahead. Explain that if you’re not in your jurisdiction, you all may be detained and questioned. This, and how to deal with the sight of death, is something hard to talk about but is a topic that should be discussed.

Gear.

Remember: the equipment you carry is something that could save your life or the life of your family. So yes, aim somewhat expensive. The quality may be better and thus last longer. Its not everyday you get into a incident, thus the equipment you use will sit and usually only be used in training and with a family can be little.

– Surefire makes some 6P series lights that are compact and durable. usually around $85.00 to $100.00

– Vexor MK3 from Zarc professionals makes a extremely strong OC spray at around 17.5 SHU and if you know what SHU means, you know that’s no joke $15.00

– Hornady Hollowpoint Critical Duty ammo, great for not over penetrating but has stopping power. usually around $25.99 – $32.99

– My new favorite for a carry knife is the Spyderco Roadie. Its a sheepfoot-style blade ground from Böhler-Uddeholm N690Co steel, a high-performance stainless steel alloyed with cobalt, molybdenum, and vanadium. Its not fixed blade but has a closed profile of 2.99″ and opens up to an aggressive 2.09″ blade making it ideal for quick deployment cuts. $79.95 MSRP

These are just some of my favorite carry tools and I hope this is a conversation that may shed some light. I plan on doing more reviews of the equipment on this list and if you have anything you need research for, please contact the admin.

 

Thanks for the time

10-8 in service

 

 

Beware The Honey Trap

man-woman-at-bar

As security practitioners, we are trained to be aware of our surroundings at all times while on the job. Well trained individuals should always be on guard for threats against our clients or our protected properties, but what happens when we, ourselves, become the target?

At the beginning of April it was discovered that the head of Disney’s regional security for Europe the Middle East and Africa fell victim to a “honey trap” scam. For those unfamiliar with a honey trap, it is essentially a scam in which a con artist will entice a subject with something that is desirable, gain their trust and either convince them to forfeit their valuables or obtain them by force or coercion.

Everyone has weaknesses, and, unfortunately, for Disney Security Chief Paul Kelly, that weakness appears to be women. Sources report that Mr. Kelly, while out at a bar, was approached by a female, slipped a drug and led back up to his room. After arriving at the room the drugs took effect and Mr. Kelly was rendered unconscious for several hours and later treated in hospital with potentially life threatening effects.

Read more here

As security practitioners, law enforcement officers or government employees, we may be entrusted with very sensitive information. It is crucial that we remain aware at all times; not just during our formal working hours. Be ever cognizant for something that may seem too good to be true.

As banal as it may seem, make an effort to truly understand yourself and know your weaknesses. The better we understand what might entice us, the more difficult it will be for someone to employ a honey trap against us.

There are general precautions and multiple considerations when preparing for such an eventuality:

  • Don’t follow that girl. As much of this piece is dedicated to the seduction honey trap, women who may seem especially interested in you or your profession should be treated with extreme caution.
  • Take Favors From No One. Someone who seems overly eager to help you could have an ulterior motive. By seemingly ‘hooking you up’ they may pressure you to reciprocate, often times using guilt or fear as a motivator.
  • Do your Due Diligence: Whenever possible, attempt to find information about someone who is trying to entice you. A conspicuous absence from the cybersphere, or reluctance to give information about themselves, might indicate a false identity or someone who does not wish to be identified.

These are but a few considerations. In the case of social settings such as Mr. Kelly found himself in, consider why an attractive woman might seem randomly interested in you. All of us men like to believe it’s because of our devastating good looks and overabundance of charisma, but step back from yourself and look around.

Observe the room with a critical eye and consider:

  • Are there many unattached men or women present?
  • Out of the apparently eligible men, why might this woman be interested in me?
  • Is her demeanor and dress appropriate for the setting?
  • Is there anyone present in the room that is taking an interest in our conversation/interaction?

Take special note of her behavior and demeanor during the exchange and consider:

  • Does she seem overly interested in your work or professional life?
  • Is she suggesting isolation? I.E. going up to her room, your room, or somewhere else private?
  • Does she seem nervous?
  • Is she attempting to make suggestive physical contact such as touching the knee, playing with your hair etc?
  • Be especially cognizant of someone manipulating your drinks. Do not leave a drink unattended and be aware of anyone attempting to slip some type of drug.

There are a myriad of different techniques women might employ to seduce someone and gain their trust. The ultimate goal is usually isolation. Once isolated, it will be that much easier to spring whatever trap they have planned.

Some honey traps are not a simple one night trick but may span considerable time. Foreign intelligence services have long employed the honey trap in order to develop extensive relationships and cultivate valuable intelligence. There have been multiple incidents of foreign operatives using honey traps. Much of the time, these types are cultivated slowly and the victim believes the motives of the other person are genuine. These types of traps are very difficult to counter. Read more about that here.

Honey traps are an effective means of manipulation and fraud. The fraudster need only determine one’s weakness and exploit it. As security, law enforcement or government employees we are especially vulnerable to this type of exploitation. It is incumbent upon all of us to know ourselves, our weaknesses and what someone may have to gain by seducing us. Falling prey will not only compromise us as an individual, but will negatively impact our clients, our organizations and our businesses.

The American Condition

tattered flag

By Deputy Gage Donnell    

All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the opinions or policies of any organization                   

America, the ­former heavyweight champion of the world. We had once been a country founded on principle, hard work and even a little known word today known as independence. The country, in the past decade, has quickly changed into a modern dark age. We have seen in the past a generation have its proverbial “ups” and “downs”. This is a different kind of “down” and we aren’t ready for it.

Today the U.S of A is made up of double standards, lies, CRIPPLING emotional coddling and a dash of severe incompetence. So what drove us to wallow in utter stupidity?

Was it technology?

How did a decade pass and we manage to drive generations of hard work down the toilet.

I would start by addressing the things wrong with us at least by my opinion. To preach this as fact would definitely put me on someone’s watch list.

So, we live in a country that:

  • has educational institutions that bans a symbol of their county that stands for independence and labels it as a racist symbol and a source of governmental oppression.
  • has a citizenry that will tell you to start living a certain way which benefits the lazy and maximizes funding for welfare via taxes but if you don’t agree, well then you are “un-American”.
  • The police are subject to such ignorant and out of touch scrutiny that they can’t protect their communities, let alone themselves. If they do however go against the grain they are burned at the metaphorical stake and the people rally in chants against the officer’s life. Damned if you do but then damned if you don’t.
  • The military standards are diluted to such a degree that make the militaries of third world countries cry in laughter. They take which once was the most feared fighting force in the world and cut it, de-fund it and stomp regulations into its face until we have a better chance of going to war with Canada. No offense. Yes we are still striving for the highest tech advancements in war but that is due to the lingering leadership that won’t stand down against a child fighting wars from an arm chair.

Which brings us to politics.

We have had political icons in the past that have squashed communism, fought off nuclear annihilation and even held a country together as it was killing its self in the fields of Virginia. No, they weren’t always perfect, but now we have leaders whose only legacy is plausible deniability. Which, my friends, is a topic for another time.

Our citizens run on a fat, lazy, impulsive instinct with no forethought to the future. We are raising a generation of blind losers turned bitchy whiners.

Working with your hands is taboo and working the system is almost customary. So I guess I can only ask, where do we go from here?

Before you prepare your statements to call me an “Un-‘Merican” Judas. Let me explain myself.

We are far past repair and damage control. We need to look at a re-birth. We can’t live like this and be successful. What would you do in your house if a pipe broke and a flood created a slew of issues in your basement? Would you leave it there and wait for the magical obamawizard to tell someone about your problems?

No? Why?

Aside from the fact that he would just tell you that he didn’t know about it until he heard it from the plumber, I presume you would go and fix it yourself. You would cut your losses and move forward with a remodeled, better-than-before basement.

That is what needs to happen here. Shock factor. Leave all the people who don’t want to better themselves to their own devices. At this rate, I will never even taste social security so why make it harder than hard for my children.

So I wonder, could we become more strict and severe with punishment, guidelines on taxes, and political power and stop baiting each other into arguments instead of problem solving conversations? Now the first question proposed is going to be, “who gets the say”?

Well let’s look back on our forefathers for that.

Instead of telling everyone they’re winners, why don’t we start looking out for our country instead of ourselves? After all, without the country I fought for, I wouldn’t have a home.

So I implore you to stop looking for ways to undercut, chastise, criticize and blame. Start working with each other and start pulling your weight.

Use common sense to accomplish the task. Even if it involves working. If we continue, we will fall and all of our pillars of life will have been built for nothing.

We have rules, amendments and bills that still work. we are just too busy trying to find ways around it.

be thinking about it…..

‘Till next time

10-8 I’ll be back in service.

Deputy Michael G. Donnell #578
Patrol

Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office