Perimeter Protection

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Scanning-the-Schoolyard.aspxScanning the SchoolyardGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652018-06-01T04:00:00Zhttps://adminsm.asisonline.org/pages/holly-gilbert-stowell.aspx, Holly Gilbert Stowell<p>​Relationships between students and campus law enforcement have been key to establishing an environment of safety and security at Delaware Valley School District, which encompasses 200 square miles in northeastern Pennsylvania.</p><p>"Kids have come to the police officers…and told them about potential threats that we've been able to curtail before they've happened," says Christopher Lordi, director of administrative services for the district.</p><p>About eight years ago, the rural district decided to employ its own sworn police force and hired five officers, including a chief of police. It has since added a sixth.</p><p>"Having a police force not only gives us a presence of an armed person to counteract any issues that we may have, but it also allows us to create relationships with students," Lordi says.  </p><p>The officers are a presence on the three campuses that make up the district. They may be found teaching and conducting Internet safety classes and anti-drug programs. </p><p>"Not only are they our first line of defense, but they're also relationship builders, and they create positive environments where kids will feel comfortable to come and tell them things," Lordi says.​<img src="/ASIS%20SM%20Callout%20Images/0618%20Case%20Study%20Stats%20Box.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:246px;" /> </p><p>Still, the officers and faculty can't be everywhere at once when incidents do occur, which is why the district installed a camera and video management system (VMS) about 10 years ago. </p><p>"It doesn't matter how many administrators you have, how many teachers you have, how many officers you have," Lordi notes. "They can't be everywhere at once, so the cameras allow us to be in those places when somebody can't." </p><p>As the original cameras and VMS were becoming outdated, Delaware Valley's board was supportive of purchasing a new system. The district worked with integrator Guyette Communications of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, and chose the Vicon Valerus VMS system, as well as approximately 400 cameras, also from Vicon. Installation began in March 2017 and ended just before the new school year began in August. </p><p>The cameras, the majority of which are the 3 megapixel IQeye Alliance dome model, were installed inside and outside of the district's eight buildings. The Vicon Cruiser domes with 30x optical zoom were purchased for the parking lots to better read license plate numbers. Campus police have access to a license plate database, so no license plate recognition software is needed, but Vicon does integrate with such software should customers need that feature. </p><p>In addition to feeding into a central video server at a district-wide monitoring station, each building has its own local recording capability and stores video for a set number of days. </p><p>Delaware Valley is expanding a career and technical education wing, which includes 25,000 square feet of classrooms and workspace. The school plans to install more cameras there.  </p><p>The district police force is responsible for managing the VMS, and each officer has a hardwired PC monitoring station to view video feeds. Campus police also have access to footage via iPhones purchased by the district and use them to see what's going on at their campuses. </p><p>"When we need to view something quickly our officers can go right on their iPhones and view it right from there, which is handy if you don't have the ability to get back to your computer," Lordi says. </p><p>Giving all officers access to the entire district's camera feeds was also crucial. "We did that for backup purposes," he says. "If anything were to happen on one of the campuses, all of the officers—after they secure their buildings—can go on and be the eyes and ears for our officers on those other campuses."</p><p>Soon after the cameras were installed, the new system led to the capture of a thief. In the spring of 2017, when a laptop went missing, the video was reviewed in the general time frame that the incident occurred. It revealed an employee going into an administrative office with a garbage bag, then coming back out. </p><p>"We could zoom in, and you could see that the bag was significantly larger when the employee came out," Lordi notes, adding that the old camera system would not have been clear enough to identify the culprit. The footage was turned over to local police, who apprehended the employee. That person has since resigned. </p><p>The detail captured by the cameras also helped solve an incident in the parking lot. Lordi notes that the main campus is in a high-traffic area, which can attract unwanted activity. </p><p>"We were able to pull the license plate from one person that had an incident on campus...and track the person down," Lordi explains. "It just provides another layer of security, so we know who's on the campus and what time they leave the campus."</p><p>While the district currently hands footage over to law enforcement after the fact, it's working on a memorandum of understanding with local police and hopes to establish a network that allows police to view video from the campuses live. "We're currently working on a strategy to get them involved beforehand," Lordi says. </p><p>With the combination of its police force and the camera system, Delaware Valley has seen a significant reduction in incidents on campus. </p><p>"When our officers first started we had something like 200 to 250 incidents that our administrators were dealing with; I think last year we had 36," he says. </p><p>The Valerus VMS and cameras give campus police and administrators peace of mind about their ability to solve incidents, and ultimately keep students safe. </p><p>"It allows us to feel secure knowing that it's going to be on camera if someone doesn't view or witness it live," Lordi says. "We can always view it on the cameras later."  </p><p><em>For more information: Dee Wellisch, dwellisch@vicon-security.com, www.vicon-security.com, 631.952.2288.</em></p>

Perimeter Protection

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Scanning-the-Schoolyard.aspx2018-06-01T04:00:00ZScanning the Schoolyard
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/A-Safety-Strategy-on-Campus.aspx2018-06-01T04:00:00ZA Safety Strategy on Campus
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/YouTube-HQ-Shooting-What-We-Know-So-Far.aspx2018-04-05T04:00:00ZASIS Physical Security Council Reacts to YouTube Shooting
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Four-Challenges-Facing-Aviation-Security.aspx2018-03-01T05:00:00ZFour Challenges Facing Aviation Security
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Weapons-in-the-Workplace.aspx2018-03-01T05:00:00ZWeapons in the Workplace
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Multiple-Fatalities-Reported-at-South-Florida-High-School-Shooting.aspx2018-02-14T05:00:00ZMultiple Fatalities Reported at South Florida High School Shooting
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Containment-Strategies.aspx2018-02-01T05:00:00ZContainment Strategies
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/An-Expert-Partnership.aspx2018-02-01T05:00:00ZAn Expert Partnership
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/EVACUACIONES-EN-EMBAJADAS.aspx2017-12-21T05:00:00ZEVACUACIONES EN EMBAJADAS
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/ENDURECE-BLANCOS-SUAVES-CON-PSIM.aspx2017-11-21T05:00:00ZENDURECE BLANCOS SUAVES CON PSIM
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Unseen-Threat.aspx2017-11-01T04:00:00ZThe Unseen Threat
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Harden-Soft-Targets-with-PSIM.aspx2017-10-23T04:00:00ZHarden Soft Targets with PSIM
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Schoolhouse-Guardians.aspx2017-10-01T04:00:00ZSchoolhouse Guardians
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Embassy-Evacuations.aspx2017-10-01T04:00:00ZEmbassy Evacuations
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Physical-Security.aspx2017-09-01T04:00:00ZPhysical Security
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Peer-2-Peer-Protection.aspx2017-09-01T04:00:00ZPeer 2 Peer Protection
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/How-to-Protect-Your-House-of-Worship.aspx2017-08-01T04:00:00ZHow to Protect Your House of Worship
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/In-the-Zone.aspx2017-08-01T04:00:00ZIn the Zone
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Javits-Embraces-High-Tech-Hospitality.aspx2017-08-01T04:00:00ZJavits Embraces High-Tech Hospitality
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Tech-and-the-Turnstile.aspx2017-06-01T04:00:00ZTech and the Turnstile

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Interviewing.aspxBook Review: Interviewing<p><em>​Advanced Interviewing Techniques, Third Edition. </em>​Charl​es C. Thomas; ccthomas.com; 216 pages; $39.95.<br></p><p>​An excellent reference for anyone who interviews people on a regular basis, the third edition of <em>Advanced Interviewing Techniques </em>offers varied methods for conducting interviews. Authors John R. Schafer and Joe Navarro acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all interviewing technique, so they explore many.</p><p>While the title implies that these are advanced techniques for interviewers, in fact, the techniques outlined in the book are fairly standard for the experienced interviewer. Nonetheless, the novice interviewer will find much to learn here.</p><p>The book is written in a concise and reasonable fashion. The table of contents flows in a logical sequence. The first chapter concisely and appropriately details the importance of planning the interview, and subsequent chapters contain short but substantive scenarios and interviewing tips. </p><p>The authors clearly have considerable experience. They cite and give credit to other authors to better illustrate key points of learning, including the interview setting, props, and other logistical considerations. They point out how critical these issues can be without dwelling on them.</p><p>While topics and techniques are discussed in a concise fashion, that brevity does not detract from the key ideas; rather, it engages the reader to understand the point without getting bogged down in unneces­­s­­ary verbiage. </p><p>Chapter 8, “Detecting Deception,” is exceptionally noteworthy. It neatly describes the techniques and observable behaviors that can help interviewers perceive deceptiveness on the part of the interviewee.</p><p>This book is an excellent resource for its intended audience, which is primarily military, law enforcement, and intelligence gathering personnel. Although HR personnel are also ad­dressed by the authors, the contents of this book will be of limited value to them.</p><p><em><strong>Reviewer: James E. Whitaker, </strong>CPP, PCI, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), has more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement and private sector investigations. He served on the ASIS Investigations and Insurance Fraud Councils and serves on the Healthcare Council and the PCI Review Course Faculty. Whitaker has also been active with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.</em></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Training-Your-Team.aspxTraining Your Team<p>​</p><p>Whether the action is on the battlefield or the basketball court, you can be certain that the winning team owes its success in large measure to extensive training. Recognizing the importance of training to any team’s performance, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center set out to makes its own training program better. </p><p>The existing training program, which the director of protective services felt lacked specificity, consisted of one of the shifts’ veteran officers sitting with the new security employees and covering several department and hospital-specific policies along with administrative topics. Additionally, the new officers would be given several commercially produced security training videotapes to view, after which they were required to complete the associated tests. Following the completion of the tapes and review of the policies and administrative procedures, officers would go through brief hands-on training for certain subjects such as the use of force and pepper spray.</p><p>Once they completed these tests and training sessions, the officers would then begin their on-the-job training. Officers have historically stayed in the on-the-job phase of training between three and five weeks, depending on how quickly the officers learned and were comfortable with command center operations. When the officers completed their training program, they had to pass the protective services cadet training test as well as a test on command center procedures.</p><p>Training council. To help devise a better training program, the security director chose several members of the staff to sit on a training council. The group, which included the director, three shift managers, and the shift sergeants, met to discuss the current training program and what could be done to enhance it.</p><p><br>Through discussions with new employees, the council learned that the existing program was boring. The council wanted to revitalize the training to make it more interesting and more operationally oriented. The intent was to emphasize hands-on, performance-oriented training. The council also wanted to improve the testing phase so that the program results could be captured quantitatively to show the extent to which officers had increased their knowledge and acquired skills. <br> <br>Phases. The council reorganized training into four phases: orientation, site-specific (including on-the-job), ongoing, and advanced. Under the new program, the officers now take a test both before training, to show their baseline knowledge, and after the training, to verify that they have acquired the subject matter knowledge; they must also successfully demonstrate the proper techniques to the instructors.</p><p>Orientation training. The orientation training phase begins with the new employees attending the hospital’s orientation during their first day at the facility. The security department’s training officer then sits down with the new officers beginning on their second day of employment. This training covers all of the basic administrative issues, including what the proper clock-in and clock-out procedures are, when shift-change briefings occur, and how the shift schedules and mandatory overtime procedures function.   </p><p>The training officer also administers a preliminary test to the new officers that covers 12 basic security subjects including legal issues, human and public relations, patrolling, report writing, fire prevention, and emergency situations. New employees who have prior security experience normally score well on the test and do not need to view security training tapes on the subjects. The officers must receive a minimum score of 80 percent to receive credit for this portion of the training. If an officer receives an 80 percent in most topics but is weak in one or two subjects, that officer is required to view just the relevant tapes, followed by associated tests.</p><p>All officers, regardless of the amount of experience, review the healthcare-specific tapes and take the related tests for the specific subjects including use of force and restraint, workplace violence, disaster response, bloodborne pathogens, assertiveness without being rude, and hazardous materials. Also included in the orientation training phase are classes covering subjects such as pepper spray, patient restraint, defensive driving, and the hospital’s protective services policies.</p><p>Site-specific training. During site-specific training, officers learn what is entailed in handling specific security reports. The shift manager, shift officer-in-charge, or the training officer explains each of the reports and has the new employee fill out an example of each. Examples of reports covered in site-specific training include incident reports, accident reports, field interrogation reports, fire reports, motorist-assist forms, ticket books, safety-violation books, broken-key reports, work orders, bomb-threat reports, and evidence reports.</p><p>On-the-job training is also part of the site-specific training phase. The new employee works with a qualified security officer for a period of two to three weeks following the first week of orientation training with the departmental training officer. The new employee works through all of the various posts during this time. At least one week is spent in the command center. The site-specific phase of training culminates with both the security officer cadet training exam and the command center exam, which were also given in the original program.</p><p>Ongoing training. The ongoing training includes refresher training in which shift managers have their officers review selected films covering healthcare security and safety subjects. The training occurs during shift hours. The officers also receive annual refresher training covering topics such as using pepper spray and employing patient-restraint methods.</p><p>Another type of ongoing training, shift training, is conducted at least weekly. Managers conduct five-to ten-minute meetings during duty hours to refresh the security staff on certain subjects, such as customer service. These sessions are not designed to deal with complex topics. Managers can tie these sessions to issues that have come up on the shift.</p><p>Advanced training. Advanced training includes seminars, management courses, and sessions leading to professional designations and certifications. Qualified personnel are urged to attend seminars sponsored by several professional societies and groups such as ASIS International, the International Healthcare Association for Security and Safety, and Crime Prevention Specialists. Staff members are also encouraged to attain the Crime Prevention Specialist (CPS) certification, the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) designation, and the Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator (CHPA) certification.</p><p>Staff members are urged to pursue special interests by obtaining instructor certification such as in the use of pepper spray or the use of force. This encouragement has already paid off for the hospital. For example, the department’s security systems administrator has trained officers on each shift in how to exchange door lock cylinders, a task that would previously have required a contractor. Officers are currently being trained to troubleshoot and repair CCTV, access control systems, and fire alarm equipment problems.</p><p>Training methods. A special computer-based training program was developed to help quantify and track the success in each of the training modules. Additionally, a program was developed to present training subjects during shift changes.</p><p>Computer training. Security used off-the-shelf software to create computer-based training modules and included them in the site-specific training and ongoing training phases, both of which occur during shift hours. The training council tasked each shift with creating computer-based training modules for the various security officer assignments on the hospital’s main campus and off-campus sites. These training modules cover life safety, the research desk, the emergency department, exterior patrols, foot and vehicle patrols, and the command center.</p><p>The training council asked officers to participate in the creation of the computer-based training modules. The officers produced the training modules during their respective shifts when it did not interfere with other responsibilities.  </p><p>The group participation paid off. For example, the officers who created the command center and the emergency-department training modules not only spent several hours discussing what information should be included in the modules, but then allowed their creativity to flow by using the software to make these modules interactive. These particular modules include test questions of the material, and the program will respond appropriately to the employees as they answer the questions correctly or incorrectly. The volunteers also created tests for before and after an officer goes through each of the computer modules to track the effectiveness of the training.</p><p>Shift-change training. A major question with ongoing training is how to fit it into the officer’s routine. For most industries using shift work, difficulties arise when trying to carve out enough training time without creating overtime. The training council decided to take advantage of downtime that occurs as officers come to work ready for their shift to begin. They are required to show up six minutes before the shift. This time is now used for training.</p><p>The shift-change training is used to cover specific topics—already covered in some of the training phases—that can be easily encapsulated into a six-minute program. 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The group created a schedule to indicate which class would be covered each week. One of the shift supervisors volunteered to take over the six-minute training program and formally structure it so that each shift would conduct training in a consistent manner.</p><p>The training council has plans to further hone the training program in the near future. The council plans to analyze the program us­ing other quantitative evaluative instruments such as an employee survey and a comparison of disciplinary action data from previous years. </p><p>In battle, it is said that an army fights as it has trained. Thus, commanders know the value of training. In the businessworld, though the stakes are different, training is no less critical to the success of the mission.</p><p>Ronald J. Morris, CPP, is senior director of protective services at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dan Yaross, CPP, is manager of protective services. 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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Surveillance-and-Stereotypes.aspxSurveillance and Stereotypes<p>​Juveniles make up 40 percent of the shoplifters in the United States. Shoplifters, in total, contribute to billions of dollars of loss each year, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention’s 2014 report <em>Shop­lifting Statistics.</em></p><p>To combat adolescent shoplifting, according to the report, retailers depend on private security officers combined with other security measures, including security cameras, observation mirrors, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. </p><p>The key to apprehending juveniles during or after shoplifting, however, is to correctly determine whom to surveil. Security personnel often rely on a combination of common underlying physical characteristics—race, gender, and age—and behavioral indices—glancing at clerks nervously, assessing security measures, and loitering—to distinguish shoppers from potential shoplifters. </p><p>Are these surveillance decisions a result of bias? To find out, the authors conducted original academic research funded by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York on how stereotypes play into who is suspected of shoplifting, how that suspect is dealt with, and what private security can do to limit discriminatory practices.​</p><h4>Existing Data</h4><p>A 2003 Journal of Experimental Psychology article, “The Influence of Schemas, Stimulus Ambiguity, and Interview Schedule on Eyewitness Memory Over Time,” which discussed research findings and lawsuits against retailers, concluded that stereotypes of juvenile shoplifters may unduly influence security officers to target juveniles on the basis of their physical characteristics, rather than their behaviors.</p><p>Over the past 20 years, the media has reported on cases in which the retail industry engaged in discriminatory practices. This is known as consumer racial profiling (CRP), “the use of race and or ethnicity to profile customers.” According to a 2011 study in the Criminal Justice Review, “Public Opinion on the Use of Consumer Racial Profiling to Identify Shoplifters: An Exploratory Study,” officers sometimes use CRP to determine which juvenile shoppers are potential or actual thieves. </p><p>Most people develop negative stereotypes about juvenile thieves through exposure to various types of media, particularly when they reside in areas that contain few minorities. The media has the unique ability to both shape and perpetuate society’s beliefs about which juveniles typically commit offenses through its selective coverage of crimes. </p><p>It is also common for the media to portray adolescents—particularly boys—as criminals. Biases are then used, whether consciously or unconsciously, in the private sector by retailers and security officers to target shoppers, and in the public sector by those in the legal system, including law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and even legislators, to arrest and prosecute thieves.</p><p>The consequences of applying discriminatory practices can be seen in the private sector through lawsuits against retailers. Ethnic minority shoppers purport that they were targeted through excessive surveillance—and even through false arrests. </p><p>Researchers have shown that this automated bias occurs even when observers were trained to focus on behavioral cues, and it persists despite findings that shoplifting occurs across racial and ethnic groups, according to the 2004 Justice Quarterly article “Who Actually Steals? A Study of Covertly Observed Shoplifters.”</p><p>Stereotypes also affect retailers’ decisions on how to handle shoplifters, either formally by involving the police, or informally. The results of accumulated discrimination, accrued during each step in the legal process—initial involvement of police, decision to prosecute, conviction, and sentencing—continue in the legal system. This is evidenced by the disproportionate number of African- and Latin-American boys shown in the apprehension and arrest statistics of juvenile thieves, compared to their representation in the population, according to Our Children, Their Children: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Differences in American Juvenile Justice, a book published by the Chicago University Press. ​</p><h4>Current Research</h4><p>To test the premise that there is a widespread stereotype of the typical juvenile thief and shoplifter, our research team obtained information from young adults in two diverse areas:  97 psychology-major college students in a small city in the U.S. state of Kansas, and 156 security and emergency management majors at a college in a large city in New York state. </p><p><strong>Shoplifter profile. </strong>The psychology-major students were 83 percent European American. The rest of the students were represented as follows: 5 percent African American, 2 percent Asian American, 1 percent Latin American, and 9 percent of mixed or unknown descent.</p><p>The security and emergency management major students—72 percent of whom were male—came from a variety of backgrounds: 31 percent European American, 37 percent Latin American, 19 percent African American, 9 percent Asian American, and 2 percent Middle Eastern American.</p><p>Participants in both locations were asked to guess the common physical characteristics of a typical juvenile shoplifter—age, gender, ethnicity or race, and socioeconomic status. </p><p>The stereotypical juvenile shoplifters described by both the Kansas and New York respondents were remarkably similar: male, aged 14 to 17, and from lower- to middle-class families of African-American, Latin-American, or European-American descent. The two samples also indicated that the stereotypical thief was likely to have short or medium length brown or black hair and an identifying mark—such as a piercing. </p><p>These findings show commonality in the prevalence of certain physical characteristics, despite the diversity of the two groups of respondents, and demonstrate that American society has a well-developed juvenile shoplifter stereotype.</p><p><strong>Decision processes. </strong>After determining the stereotype, the research team considered whether juvenile shoplifter stereotypes affected respondents’ decisions. The goal was to determine the degree to which the respondents believed that physical characteristics influenced the security guards’ decisions regarding whom to surveil, and what consequences to apply when a youth was caught stealing.</p><p>The New York respondents read a brief scenario describing a juvenile shoplifter as either male or female and from one of five backgrounds: European American, African American, Asian American, Latin American, or Middle Eastern American. However, the description of the overt behaviors by the juvenile was the same for every scenario—selecting and returning shirts in a rack, glancing around the store, and stuffing a shirt into a backpack.</p><p>Respondents provided their opinions about the degree to which the security officer in the scenario relied on physical characteristics in surveilling a juvenile, and whether the retail manager and security officer should impose informal or formal sanctions on the shoplifter. Researchers reasoned that respondents should draw identical conclusions for surveillance and sanctions if they were simply evaluating the juvenile shoplifters’ behaviors, but that students would have different recommendations for these choices if their racial or ethnic stereotypes were activated.</p><p>Respondents who indicated a preference for applying informal sanctions did so more frequently for girls of African-American and Middle Eastern-American descent. These respondents also assessed that the officer described in the scenario based his or her surveillance decisions on physical characteristics. No other gender differences for race or ethnicity were notable when considering reliance on physical characteristics.</p><p>Stereotypes also affected decisions on how to sanction the shoplifter. Respondents were given the option of implementing one of four informal sanctions: speak to the juvenile, call parents to pick up the juvenile, get restitution, or ban the youth from the store. Their selection of the least severe sanction—talk to the juvenile—was doled out at a higher rate for boys than for girls of each ethnicity except European Americans, which did not differ.</p><p>The moderate level sanction—call the youth’s parents—was selected more for girls than for boys of African and Latin descent. The most severe level sanction—ban the youth from the store—was selected more for boys than for girls of African descent. However, it was selected more for girls than for boys of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern descent.<img src="/ASIS%20SM%20Callout%20Images/0417%20Feature%202%20Chart%201.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:510px;" /></p><p>Respondents who indicated a preference for applying formal sanctions attributed physical characteristics to the guards’ surveillance decision for girls more than for boys of Latin descent; gender differences were not apparent for the other ethnicities. </p><p>Respondents were also given five formal sanctions for the youths: involve the police, prosecute the theft as larceny, impose a fine, give the youth diversion or community service, or put the incident on the youth’s criminal record. Their selection of the least severe sanction—involve the police—was endorsed more for boys than for girls of Asian, European, and Latin descent, but more for girls than for boys of African descent. No gender difference was apparent for youths of Middle Eastern descent.</p><p>The most severe sanction—diversion or community service—was preferred more for boys than for girls of African descent. A small percentage of respondents endorsed a criminal record for the theft of a shirt, but only for girls of African and European descent and for boys of Middle Eastern descent.</p><p>Finally, a comparison of our data revealed that respondents believed informal—rather than formal—consequences should be imposed for girls rather than for boys of Asian and European descent, and for boys rather than for girls of Latin descent. ​<img src="/ASIS%20SM%20Callout%20Images/0417%20Feature%202%20Chart%202.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:519px;" /></p><h4>Lessons Learned</h4><p>Our findings clearly demonstrate that people have stereotypes about juvenile shoplifters. They also showed that people unconsciously use the typical physical characteristics of gender and race or ethnicity associated with their criminal stereotypes to make decisions and recommendations, such as whom to surveil and how to handle a shoplifting incident. Otherwise, there would not have been a difference in how the juvenile shoplifter was processed or punished, because the behaviors exhibited by all of the juveniles were identical across scenarios.</p><p>Consumer racial profiling is a defective filtering system that may direct private security officers’ attention to characteristics that are not reflective of actual shoplifting conduct. Our data suggests that CRP not only hurts retail businesses by discouraging minority consumers from shopping in their stores, but also simultaneously prevents security officers from apprehending shoplifters.</p><p>Other research, such as from “Juvenile Shoplifting Delinquency: Findings from an Austrian Study” published in the 2014 Journal for Police Science and Practice, shows that only 10 percent of juveniles are caught shoplifting. Even more disconcerting, the typical shoplifter steals on average 48 to 150 times before being apprehended. Clearly, retailers need a better strategy if they are to reduce loss due to shoplifting.</p><p>Another issue that was addressed was the decision to involve the legal system. Many businesses, despite having posted prosecution warnings, reported only about half of the adolescent shoplifters they caught to the police. </p><p>Retailers instead focus on minimizing loss and negative publicity, and may rationalize against reporting the offense to the police because they do not want to stigmatize the adolescent or because they consider it a one-time incident, particularly when the juvenile admits to the theft and then pays for or returns the items, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Community Oriented Policing Services.</p><p>These beliefs, however, may be misguided. Though current research is scarce, a 1992 study—The Sociology of Shoplifting: Boosters and Snitches Today—indicated that 40 to 50 percent of apprehended adolescent shoplifters reported that they continued shoplifting. </p><p>There are benefits for retailers who involve the legal system, especially for informal police sanctions. </p><p>First, criminal justice diversion programs and psychological treatment and educational programs treatment may reduce recidivism. For example, shoplifters who attended and completed a diversion program had significantly fewer re-arrests compared to those who failed to complete or did not attend, a DOJ study found.</p><p>Second, the private sector needs the support of the public sector to reduce shoplifting. Shoplifters can be given an opportunity to participate in first offender programs and, upon completion of classes on the effects of shoplifting, have their charges dismissed or even erased. ​</p><h4>Recommendations</h4><p>Retailers and private security officers need training to make them aware of their own biases and how their stereotypes affect their choices. They also need training to learn which behavioral indices are most effective in distinguishing shoppers from shoplifters. </p><p>If retailers do not make significant changes in guiding their employees—particularly security officers—towards objective measures of vigilance to prevent shoplifting, their financial loss will continue to be in the billions of dollars. </p><p>Private security officers must be taught how to treat all potential shoplifters, regardless of their gender, in the same way to prevent making mistakes and subjecting retailers to lawsuits for discriminatory security practices.</p><p>Overcoming unconscious biases is difficult. Prior to specialized training in bias identification and behavioral profiling, it is important to determine the biases of security officers. Self-assessment measures similar to the ones the researchers used in their study can be administered. </p><p>The officers should also keep records that specify each incident of shoplifting, what behaviors drew their attention to warrant surveillance, what act occurred to provoke them to approach the juvenile shoplifter, the items that were taken, the method used, the shoplifter’s demographics, how the situation was handled, who made the decision, and reasons for the decision. The officers should then review these records with their retail managers.</p><p>Retailers should also implement a mandatory training program to provide private security officers with the tools needed to identify shoplifting behaviors to increase detection and reduce shrink. </p><p>The incident records could be introduced and used to help identify the impact biases have on private security professionals’ decisionmaking about juvenile shoplifters. It would also help security guards learn the various types of suspicious behaviors that shoplifters exhibit, such as juveniles who make quick glances at staff, examine items in remote aisles, monitor security cameras and mirrors, and purposefully draw employees’ attention away from others.</p><p>Additionally, a practical component would be to show surveillance videos of the behaviors exhibited by juvenile shoplifters of different gender and race or ethnicity. In this way, the findings of past studies showing the insignificance of race, ethnicity, or gender can be learned through real-world examples.  </p><p>--<br></p><p><em><strong>Dr. Lauren R. Shapiro </strong>is an associate professor in the Department of Security, Fire, and Emergency Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has published several journal articles and chapters on the role of stereotypes in perception and memory for crime and criminals. <strong>Dr. Marie-Helen (Maria) Maras</strong> is an associate professor at the Department of Security, Fire, and Emergency Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is the author of several books, including Cybercriminology; Computer Forensics: Cybercriminals, Laws, and Evidence; Counterterrorism; and Transnational Security.   ​</em></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465