Perimeter Protection

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Shooing-off-Copper-Crime-Waves.aspxShooing off Copper Crime WavesGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652018-11-01T04:00:00Zhttps://adminsm.asisonline.org/pages/holly-gilbert-stowell.aspx, Holly Gilbert Stowell<p>​Copper theft can be dangerous—even deadly. The metal is attractive for thieves, who often find the cover of night and the remoteness of a construction or utilities site the perfect scene for their crimes.  </p><p>The value of copper is driven by the classic supply-and-demand scenario—the world's copper mining industry can't produce enough to keep up with the demand, says Ross Johnson, CPP, senior manager, security and contingency planning at Capital Power in Alberta, Canada.</p><p>"Since you cannot mine copper fast enough to keep up with the demand, the shortfall is made up from the recycling industry, and that's what drives up the value of copper," he notes. "Generally, when the price per pound on the scrap market goes up, what happens is the theft goes up as well."  </p><p>In Canada, where there is little regulation in the recycling industry, thieves can more easily trade stolen materials for cash. "There's always a level of background theft around construction, especially in the electricity sector because there's so much copper that's used," Johnson explains. </p><p>There have been at least 15 deaths in the last five years related to metal theft in Canada, according to data from the Canadian Electricity Association. Thieves are often either unaware or unconcerned about the high-powered voltage running through copper and can be badly burned, or worse. </p><p>"Copper is used to ground electrical equipment," Johnson explains. "When people break into our facilities to steal copper, it renders the equipment unsafe because it isn't grounded anymore, and it could kill the thieves or utility workers that are going in to work on it."</p><p>Even when the bad actors manage to escape unscathed, there is a ripple effect in the surrounding community. For example, in October 2013 in Surrey, British Columbia, thieves cut through a utility pole in the province and waited for the BC Hydro and Power authority to respond by shutting off the power. </p><p>Once the power was cut off, the thieves removed five meters of braided copper wire. A nearby clinic was left without power for two days, affecting its ability to treat more than 200 patients. ​</p><h4>PEPS Alberta</h4><p>There has been a concerted effort by the sectors most affected by copper and other metal theft to fight back. </p><p>One such coalition is Provincial Electricity Physical Security (PEPS) Alberta, a working group made up of stakeholders from the electricity, metal, and telecommunications industries. </p><p>PEPS was formed about a decade ago to fight industrial crime in rural areas through legislative and educational efforts. The group works alongside the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and other law enforcement entities to reduce and prevent crime. </p><p><strong>Scrap metal theft.</strong> PEPS is working with the recycling industry and the provincial government to find ways to reduce metal theft. These methods include developing training material for the construction industry on safeguarding assets and for law enforcement to help identify stolen material, sharing of information related to incidents to help police resolve crime, and studying potential legislation to make it more difficult to sell stolen material.   </p><p>"When thieves steal metal from us, they can take it to a recycler, and then the recycler buys it—that's where the trail goes cold," Johnson notes. "And the police can't investigate it because they need to be able to identify who sold that material to the recycler."</p><p>"We've been working with Alberta Justice, and a senior-level official and her staff," Johnson says. "The Alberta Justice officials we work with are actually members of PEPS, too, so they attend the meetings and communicate regularly with members." </p><p><strong>Calgary bylaw. </strong>There is a precedent for such regulat­ion in the Alberta recycling industry. Calgary, a city within the Province of Alberta, passed a bylaw making it more difficult for thieves to trade in scrap metal without being traced. </p><p>"The Calgary Police Service initiated an investigative strategy named Operation Metallica, and it involved a team of police officers who focused on metal theft using the Calgary bylaw," Johnson notes. </p><p>One recycler he spoke to in the city said that she noticed an improvement in customers when the bylaw was passed; crooks were no longer coming to trade in stolen scrap metal. </p><p>"They were so successful in stomping out metal theft in Calgary that after a two-year period, Operation Metallica was terminated because the officers had accomplished their objectives," Johnson adds. "Calgary was a great example that this could work."​</p><h4>Worksites​</h4><p>While metal and other valuable materials make substations and other utilities sites attractive to thieves, Johnson says sites are weakest during the construction phase. </p><p>"It's usually because fences aren't permanent—if there are any—and there are often excavations and other things exposing wire and conduit," he adds. </p><p>As the potential for theft goes up, so does the potential for danger, Johnson says, explaining that stealing copper is literally playing with fire. </p><p>"Most people's experience with electricity is the wall outlets in your home in the wall where you get 115 volts," he says. "When you're dealing with electricity at the transmission and distribution levels, it is phen­omenally dangerous."</p><p><strong>Safety concerns. </strong>Johnson used to work as security director at EPCOR Utilities Inc., formerly the Edmonton Power Corporation, a distribution and transmission company. "We had a construction arm as well that did a lot of work, and we were constantly getting hit by copper thieves," he says. </p><p>On one occasion, a thief trespassed on one of EPCOR's properties to steal copper. He entered an area of the substation that was fenced off from the rest of the substation and touched a piece of equipment.  </p><p>The resulting arc flash flowed around him—not through him—and his clothing from the waist up caught fire. The substation engineers later said that there were about 7,000 amps of electricity in that plasma cloud (one-tenth of an amp can kill a person), and it would have been hotter than the surface of the sun.  </p><p>EPCOR officials were greatly concerned after the incident about safety—not just of their workers, but of any potential bad actors who could be killed or injured. An executive of the company asked if an extra layer of fencing around all substations in the city would help, but Johnson said that would merely push the security concerns out further—not eliminate them. </p><p><strong>Construction guideline.</strong> "After a copper theft at a construction site or substation, the workers would tell us that they weren't concerned with the value of the copper stolen—they were only worried that someone would get hurt," Johnson says. </p><p>In one incident, someone used a pair of pruning shears to cut an energized 14.4-kilovolt line at a construction site. </p><p>"The damaged shears were found the next morning, and the worried electrical workers searched the area to see if the would-be thief was dead or injured," Johnson says. Not finding him, they even called local hospitals to see if they had a recent admission with severe burns.  </p><p>With more than three years of experience as a safety and security supervisor in Houston's offshore oil industry, Johnson says he understood that metal theft was not primarily a security concern, but a safety issue that would best be addressed through safety management planning.</p><p>Few construction workers have security plans, but they all have safe work plans. The plan was simple: no copper left above ground after they cease work at the end of the day, and nothing—no scrap, no bulk wire, etc.—left in containers or anywhere else on site overnight. It was all removed and returned to the service center each evening. This new approach to combating metal theft paid immediate dividends—metal theft from construction sites almost disappeared.</p><p>The lessons learned at EPCOR eventually became part of a document from PEPS, the Construction Security Practices Guideline, which iterates that taking simple precautions throughout and at the end of the work day can help prevent crime and increase worker safety.</p><p>And one of the best ways to deter thieves mentioned in the guide? Don't use copper at all. </p><p>"One of the most effective crime-reducing measures is to not use attractive metals in the first place," according to the guideline. "Avoid using solid copper grounding straps and components wherever possible: use copper-clad steel (such as Copperweld) instead, because it has no commercial value." </p><p>Copperweld works similarly to copper, though it must be installed differently and doesn't have the same resistance as copper. </p><p>"It's steel or zinc coated with copper and it has no commercial value. You can take it to a recycler and they just don't want it," Johnson explains. "We tell people, 'If you have copper stolen, do not replace it with copper—because then they'll just come back and steal the replacement stuff, and you've become an automated teller machine,'" he says. </p><p><strong>Wind farms. </strong>As a wave of new construction is being planned for wind farms in Alberta, PEPS is aiming to introduce physical security measures to help reduce crime.</p><p>Pick any point in central Alberta, and there is a good chance a thick seam of coal lies deep beneath the ground. Traditionally, a majority of the province's energy was generated by coal plants. But Canada, a member of the Paris Agreement on climate change, is making strides as a nation to be less dependent on nonrenewable energy sources. </p><p>The New Democratic Party, which won the election in 2015, launched a billion dollar initiative last year to have renewable power make up 30 percent of the province's energy demands by 2030. With an aggressive timeline of constructing 5,000 megawatts of wind and solar farms, the government began taking bids from the private sector. </p><p>Johnson's company, Capital Power, had one of the first winning bids. </p><p>"There are all these wind farms being built in southern Alberta—and we do not want to feed crime," he says. </p><p>PEPS Alberta is working on several physical security measures that can be employed at the wind farms that will help deter and detect bad actors who, as previously discussed, tend to be attracted to construction sites. </p><p>Thankfully, Johnson says there are several simple ways that the private companies constructing the wind and solar farms can cut down on crime, as noted in the Construction Safety Guideline. One tool of choice for thieves is a disc grinder, which can cut through metal locks. </p><p>However, Johnson says heavy-duty locks that are immune to the disc grinder are available. Johnson is also working with Capital Power employee Ian Sustrik to create a small Internet of Things sensor that would be able to pick up any vibrations caused by a disc grinder being operated at a wind turbine—a thief has already tried his hand at cutting through one, Johnson says.</p><p>"The sensor sits on the inside of the door, and it's tuned for the vibration that you would get from a disc grinder," he notes. "If the sensor picks up that vibration, it sends a signal out and informs security."  </p><p>The solution is low-cost due to the way the sensor communicates back to the security operations center. Rather than using cellular communication, which would require a more intricate network to be built, the sensor passes on the message to the sensor closest to it, then that sensor sends it to its neighbor, and so on—like a game of telephone. </p><p>"The message is passed down until it's got the one that has the cellular system on it, and that's the sensor that sends it to security," Johnson says. </p><p>As Capital Power works to develop similar security solutions, the company will disseminate them with the help of PEPS Alberta so other companies can take advantage. </p><p>"What we're doing here at Capital Power is trying to solve problems, and then sharing the solutions as widely as we can," Johnson says. "Ian will create sensors and then send out the instructions on how to build them, for whoever is interested."  ​</p><h4>Awareness</h4><p>While PEPS Alberta is working with private sector and government officials to reduce crime, it is also focused on one of its primary audiences it says can help prevent theft—the public.</p><p>As part of this effort, Dan Blacklock, a former communications advisor to energy company AltaLink and former public relations lead for PEPS Alberta, says the group has developed several materials targeted at rural communities where crime is highest. </p><p>"These thieves come from rural communities, so it's about inspiring those communities to take action and work with local law enforcement, or to report suspicious activity that they see in their communities at rural substations," Blacklock says. "That's our number one lead to arrests, information that's brought to [Canada] Crime Stoppers and law enforcement from these rural communities of seeing suspicious activity knowing someone who has done something."</p><p><strong>Ad campaign. </strong>PEPS Alberta plans to launch a public awareness campaign soon that includes a series of advertisements with statistics about the number of people affected by metal theft, and case study examples of how the crime impacts the community. </p><p>Each ad contains the tagline, "When equipment theft happens, we all get left in the dark," along with a number to call to report suspicious activity. </p><p>Besides warnings about the danger of trying one's hand at metal theft, the ads also describe the increased physical security measures and law enforcement activity at substations to further deter thieves. </p><p>"Part of this awareness campaign is spreading the message that substations aren't easy targets, and that industries, law enforcement, and the government have come together to prevent it," Blacklock says.</p><p>The RCMP provided PEPS with a map of hotspot communities that have experienced the most substation crime in the past five years, and the ads are running in local newspapers in those communities. Facebook ads were also purchased to target specific communities, and posters will be placed in recreational centers and hockey arenas. </p><p>"Information and education around the impacts of crimes like this, it's really a preemptive crime prevention tool," Blacklock says of the campaign. "So, it shouldn't be overlooked for its impact." </p><p>Construction materials guide. While the ad campaign primarily targets the public, PEPS Alberta has also come up with a guide for law enforcement to help them better identify types of metal and materials stolen from construction sites. </p><p>Johnson recalls at an ASIS Seminar and Exhibits in Houston, members from Texas had produced similar materials for law enforcement. </p><p>"At an ASIS Houston lunch, there was a guy there saying a state trooper didn't know what oil field equipment looked like," he says. "Consequently, when they pulled over a pickup truck that had a bed full of stolen oilfield equipment, they didn't recognize it immediately as stolen—they just thought it was scrap." </p><p>PEPS solicited photographs and descriptions of items most stolen from the different sectors, resulting in the Critical Infrastructure Stolen Materials Recognition Guide, which acts as a look-book for law enforcement should they come across suspicious looking goods.</p><p>"It doesn't cost anything to share," Johnson says. "I can create a PDF document on my computer and I can send it out to the world, and it doesn't cost anything." </p><p><strong>Outlook. </strong>PEPS Alberta is continuing to work with its partners in critical infrastructure, law enforcement, the recycling industry, and the provincial and federal governments to find ways to reduce crime, increase reliability, and keep communities safe. </p><p>In the meantime, PEPS believes that through its Construction Safety Guideline, the advertising campaign targeted at the public, and other awareness materials, crime can be reduced or even eliminated at construction and substation sites throughout the province. </p><p>"Someone can look at those crimes and think, 'It's just an industrial crime and there aren't any victims,'" Blacklock says. "But when you actually take a step back, you can see how serious and impactful those crimes are—people's lives are at risk."</p><p>Johnson reiterates that by stopping crime at a rural substation or a remote construction site, the ripple effects that devastate communities can be eliminated.  </p><p>"The aim here is to stop people from stealing our stuff because it brings in thieves. If thieves are successful, they'll come back. If they come back, they're stealing not only our stuff, but they're stealing from the local farmers, the local communities," he says. "And that's bad for everybody."  </p><p><br></p><h4>Sidebar: Metal Theft Impacts Communities</h4><p>Copper isn't the only type of metal that thieves are after, says Ross Johnson, CPP, senior manager, security and contingency planning at Capital Power.  </p><p>Any type of nonferrous metal—not containing iron—is potentially valuable to crim-­inals, including lead, zinc, brass, and aluminum. For example, cell phone tower batteries are often targeted for the lead they contain.</p><p>And the value the criminals get for the stolen material versus the cost to replace and repair the damage is virtually nothing. "You have a $400 battery that is stolen and destroyed for $3 worth of lead," he notes. </p><p>Brass theft has also been a major problem in Alberta and has had a devastating effect on the history of local communities. Not only do thieves steal brass urns from cemeteries—in some cases, brass plaques memorializing war veterans have been destroyed. </p><p>"Thieves are removing the brass plaques and destroying them, and then taking them in for the brass metal value," Johnson says. "The problem with that is that nobody knows what the plaque said, unless you have a photograph of it." </p><p>In 2018, an Edmonton man was arrested for stealing 18 memorial plaques, receiving $525 for the scrap metal, reported Radio Canada International. </p><p>"Literally the history of small towns is disappearing, especially around war memorials," Johnson says. "To me, that's a compelling reason to try to stop this."​</p><h4>What is PEPS Alberta?</h4><p>PEPS (Provincial Electricity Physical Security) Alberta is a team of men and women from the electricity, oil and gas, telecommunications, energy pipelines, and water industries; the National Energy Security Professionals (NESP) group; trade associations; recyclers; law enforcement; the metal forging industry; the National Energy Board; and governments at the Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal levels. </p><p>The PEPS coalition promotes public safety, the resilience of critical infrastructure, and crime prevention.​</p>

Perimeter Protection

 

 

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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. 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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. For example, some topics include departmental policies, radio communication procedures, command center refresher sessions, self-defense subjects, confronting hostile people, proper report writing, and temporary restraint training. By implementing the shift-change training sessions on a weekly basis, the department created an additional five hours of training per year for each officer.</p><p>One of the security supervisors created a six-minute training binder to house all of the lesson plans. Each shift supervisor uses the same lesson plan so that the training is consistent across the shifts. As with all other training, the before-and-after tests are given to quantitatively document changes in subject knowledge or skills.</p><p>Results. After implementing the training program, the training council wanted to check the initial results to see whether the training was effective. There were numerous quantifiable measurements that the council could use to evaluate the new training program, such as tracking the rate of disciplinary actions from the previous year to the current year. However, since the council desired to have a quick assessment of the training program changes, it decided to compare the after-training test scores to the before-training test scores for the computer-based training modules as well as the scores of the six-minute training tests. </p><p>To the council’s surprise, the initial tabulated scores resulted in an average before-training test score of 93 percent and an after-training test score of 95 percent. The council also found in many of the officers’ tests that they missed the same questions on both the before and after tests.</p><p>Based on these results, the council decided to make several changes. First, the test questions were reviewed and tougher questions were added. Based on the preliminary test score, the council felt that the questions were not challenging enough and might not indicate how competent the officers were with the subject matter. </p><p>The training council assigned each shift the task of revising the tests for their computer-based training modules as well as the six-minute training tests. The goal was to make the tests more challenging and to obtain more accurate assessments of the effectiveness of the training program. </p><p>The training council also reviewed how the different shifts were conducting the six-minute lessons. Managers noted that the shifts initially followed the schedule of the six-minute subjects from week to week, but then they began to conduct their own lessons without an accepted lesson plan or to forgo training altogether. </p><p>To avoid this problem, the training council determined that the training program needed to be more structured. 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. Colleen McGuire, CPS (crime prevention specialist), is sergeant of protective services. Both Morris and Yaross are members of ASIS International.</p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
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