This past week, the Associated Press reported that a federal judge in New York City ordered the NYPD to halt its stop and frisk policy, saying that it isn’t enough for an officer to have a hunch or non-specific suspicion about a person to perform a stop and frisk. As police officers around the country ponder this ruling and how it could impact future Terry Stops, we don’t think that this should be considered a bad thing. It doesn’t limit an officer’s ability to search people suspected of committing a crime; it simply demands that officers can communicate what gave them the initial hunch.
Behavioral analysis doesn’t replace that hunch, it informs it. Behavioral analysis provides a terminology and language to officers so they can communicate what initially drew their attention to the individual and what cues the officer observed leading up to the search. This vocabulary ensures that the observations are backed by science and are valid indicators of a person’s true emotions, intentions, and capabilities. Behavioral analysis helps officers get beyond any personal biases that exist in their judgment and decision-making, regardless of whether those biases are intended or not. The Tactical Analysis program that we provide is designed to empower the officers who want to do the right thing with the information and training they need to succeed and identify more criminals.
There will always be detractors that say behavioral analysis is a cover for racial or religious profiling, but that is absolutely false. For one, elements such as race, religion, gender, age, or beliefs are not pre-event indicators of violence by themselves. Without the terminology provided by a behavioral program, an officer will struggle to explain his justification and is open to claims of less than honorable intent without the ability to defend himself. Terry vs. Ohio allows an officer to protect himself by frisking people suspected of committing a crime or about to commit a crime, but requires that they can justify their actions.
Of course, there are bad apples in any organization, and society will never be completely rid of the corrupt or criminals, but that is outside of our control. By providing a language, we can also help supervisors distinguish between legitimate arrests and finding any corrupt action occurring within their ranks.
The point? If society demands a higher standard, than it is on the security industry as protectors to provide it. We exist to provide civilians with safe and secure cities so they are free to live their life. Behavioral analysis empowers them to do just that.
See what training options are available to the law enforcement, military and security industry in regards to behavioral analysis and threat recognition by clicking here.
About The Author: Patrick Van Horne
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