Friday, February 26, 2016

Profiling The Right Way

Do you profile? As you walk down the street and you notice a guy in a hoody, hood on his head, sunglasses, hands in pockets. If the temperature is 80 degrees rather than 45 degrees, there may be a problem. Is this profiling? You bet it is. Is it racial profiling? No it is not. We all must make many judgements both serious and mundane. We all profile. We must to function and to be prepared. As long as we don’t stereotype due to looks or culture. Here are a few bad examples.
A woman called police to report her neighbor as a possible terrorist. It seems that the man (a Russian immigrant) who lived in the apartment next to the caller for more than two years without incident, had purchased a new vehicle. The man bought a flat bed truck and had a large tank full of water mounted in the back. It seems that he had just started a commercial landscape irrigation company.
The caller told police that she feared that her Russian neighbor was covertly developing a system to spray aerosol bioweapons through the neighborhood. When officers asked if she had seen the neighbor spraying anything, ordering or mixing strange chemicals, or doing anything at all that would support her theory, the woman said:
“No. But he’s Russian and I’ve heard that Russians are terrorists. He barely speaks English. He fits all the profiles of a terrorist. “
The elderly male caller reported a suspicious person moving through several neighbors’ back yards. The only description he provided was that the suspicious person was a black male. Officers arrived and found the man. He was wearing a neon green sweatshirt with the words “METER READER” written on both the front and rear. He had a tablet computer in his hand and was moving from one external gas meter to another through the yards. The caller didn’t bother telling the cops that part of the description.
When police officers told the caller that he had reported the meter reader, the caller said: “He still doesn’t belong here. They say that you should always call the police whenever you see someone who doesn’t belong.”
If you can’t articulate to the police dispatcher exactly why you think a person is “suspicious,” perhaps they really aren’t “suspicious” and don’t require police attention.
Here are some tips that may help in actually profiling a criminal or someone up to what could be said as suspicious or of a terrorist nature.
1. You’re being followed. Humans have an ancient and well-tuned ability to sense when they’re being stalked. If you are on foot and sense someone is following you, look for a well-lit area, an open place of business or a gathering of people. A criminal is far less likely to attack if there are witnesses nearby.
2. A male under 30. The highest percentage of violent crimes are committed by males under 30. The older a man becomes, the less likely he is to engage in criminal behavior. There are female criminals, too, but most are involved in either non-violent crimes (theft, fraud, etc.) or violent attacks on people they already know. Women rarely attack strangers.
3. Loitering. A young person who is standing against a building or a lamp post with no obvious objective should be regarded with suspicion. Most cities have laws against loitering to prevent would-be criminals from staking out locations or lying in wait for vulnerable targets to appear.
4. Loose, baggy clothes. There’s a reason loose clothes, especially shirts that hang over the beltline, became “gangsta” fashion statements. Loose-fitting shirts and pants make it easy to conceal guns, knives and other weapons.
5. Secretive behavior. Someone who is glancing around nervously as if concerned about being spotted may have an honest -- or should we say, dishonest -- reason for doing so. A man preparing to commit a criminal act is likely to be nervous, jumpy and even paranoid. If you see a man behaving like this, it’s best to steer clear and alert an authority figure (if you are not already one yourself).
6. Face and neck tattoos. Tattoos are far more common than they were in decades past, especially among young people. Even so, tattoos on the face and neck tend to be worn primarily by men who want to look tough and menacing. Such people who openly broadcast their intentions should be reason enough to be wary.
7. Concealing headgear. Hats, beanies and hoodies that hide a person’s face can be a sign of criminal intent. Identity-concealing headgear is an essential criminal accessory in this age of ever-present security cameras.
8. Angry/hungry eyes. It’s often said that the eyes are the window to the soul. When a person’s eyes look angry, haunted or aggressive, it’s likely because the soul behind them is equally dark. Facial expression is an ancient form of communication that pre-dates even spoken language, and we all have an innate ability to sense most people’s intentions by simply reading the look in their eyes. Take such messages seriously.
9. Sunglasses at night. One way criminals attempt to conceal their identities -- and their intentions -- is by wearing sunglasses. Of course, if it’s daylight, sunglasses are perfectly appropriate. But after sunset? They become a legitimate cause for concern.
10. Individuals who seem nervous and out of place. In an ordinary situation, someone who is sweating, looking around anxiously, or otherwise acting panicked may have violent intent. Be especially suspicious of anyone who seems out of place: wearing a uniform that does not match, doesn't seem to known anyone in a social space.
11. Attire and posture of a suicide bomber. An imminent suicide bomber might exhibit signs the US government refers to as ALERT.
• A – Alone and nervous. Report someone who is alone and seems nervous, sweating, eyes darting around, muttering.
• L – Loose and bulky clothing not compatible with weather conditions. If you see someone strangely overdressed, or who looks like they have something hidden under their clothes, report them.
• E – Exposed wires. Wires sticking out of clothing could indicate a bomb.
• R – Rigid mid-section. Wearing an explosives belt or harness makes some terrorists sit very upright. If you see someone with unnatural posture who exhibits other signs of ALERT, alert the authorities.
• T – Tightened hands. Someone with tightened hands may be holding a detonation device in place. Report someone in this posture immediately.
12. Notice chemical odor or burns. People missing fingers, or who smell like chemicals, may be experimenting with explosives. Notice if someone is making frequent trips to remote places and returning with chemical burns or chemical odor. Three common chemical odor smells are a sweet burning smell, an acrid smell (like bleach), or a motor-oil smell.
None of these signs — alone or in combination — is a 100-percent accurate predictor of criminal intent. Far from it. We all have to be careful not to fall victim to stereotypes. However, these signs raise the odds that criminal or terrorist activity is at hand. Anyone who has worked in public/private security or law enforcement enough time tends to develop a “sixth sense” for spotting criminal personalities. These 12 signs are simply the most common and obvious indicators that someone may not have your best interests in mind, and that you should be on alert and ready to respond appropriately in the event of an attack.
The color code, as originally introduced by Jeff Cooper, had nothing to do with tactical situations or alertness levels, but rather with one’s state of mind. As taught by Cooper, it relates to the degree of peril you are willing to do something about and which allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to enable you to properly handle a given situation.
Simplified Color Code
In White you are unprepared and unready to take any action. If you are attacked in White you will probably die unless your adversary is totally inept.
In Yellow you bring yourself to the understanding that your life may be in danger and that you may have to do something about it.
In Orange you have focused upon a specific adversary and are prepared to take action which may result in his death, but you are not in a lethal mode.
In Red you are in a lethal mode and will act if circumstances warrant.
Your attitude and your mindset are important to what level you want you and your family to be secure.
There is a quote from General James N. Mattis, USMC, Commander US CENTCOMM
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
He didn’t say to kill indiscriminately, but to have a plan.

Semper Paratus
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