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Training in Hostile Surveillance Detection
I, along with an A & I Security staffer, recently attended a three-day training titled “Hostile Surveillance Detection,” offered through the Department of Homeland Security - FEMA. As part of the course the PowerPoint followed a practical in which we teamed up with a group of ultimate professionals (ranging from backgrounds in Military Intelligence, JTTF, County Prosecutors, Local PD, NJ transit and DEA, just to name of few) to put into play what we learned in the classroom. The practical was truly successful and more than anything gave us each a true sense of how much a typical individual takes his liberty for granted. A “hostile,” i.e., a potential terrorist, can be conducting surveillance on a facility to plan for an attack and because most people walk with their heads buried in a cell phone, will go unnoticed. How do we as a security company ensure that our security personnel do not miss the signs/behavior of a hostile?
When a security manager sets out to post his security personnel at a new facility he/she most often will post guards at typical egress and ingress locations. The most important takeaway from the FEMA course was that those typical locations, in today’s safety driven world, become more than just an access control point. Training your security personnel to look for unusual behavior is also a key point driven home by most security companies. What this course will demonstrate is that you can train your security personnel to be more proactive in the detection of “hostiles” who are often looking for soft targets like a church, mall or shore pier. The first indicator should be easy, is that hostile loitering for long periods in the red zone either taking pictures or video? These and other more important strategies can be learned by attending courses with FEMA.
As an individual who has an expertise in surveillance I can truly say that the instructors of this course were excellent and extremely knowledgeable individuals. The beauty of the course is that its application, specifically a facility vulnerability assessment (FVA), is easily transferrable to any location whether a shore boardwalk, mall or other facility. If you are in the law enforcement field or security I strongly recommend taking courses through the Department of Homeland Security - FEMA. You can go to https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid/register to register for a FEMA SID (ID), once approved you can browse for courses that best suits your security company needs.
A big thank you to Michael A. Urbanski, MS, AEM, EMT-T | Training and Exercise Bureau – who organized the training!
Raymond Alvarez, CEO