On June 13th, 2013, I hosted a webinar discussing how behavioral analysis can help ensure the safety of schools.

  • If you would like to read the speaking notes that accompany the slides, you can read them below:

Slide 1: Introduction

  1. Good afternoon everyone.  My name is Patrick Van Horne and I am the founder of The CP Journal and Active Analysis Consulting.  Let me start by thanking you all for dialing in today for this webinar.
  2. While the topic of school safety is always one that is important, the violent events that have occurred in recent history have certainly raised the level of awareness to new heights, and rightfully so, because they present a very complex set of circumstances for teachers, principles, bus drivers, and local police officers to deal with in order to create truly secure learning environments.
  3. The reason that I am going to talk about behavioral analysis is because of the benefit that it can provide when school’s focus is on preventing violence instead of only on how to respond to active shooters.
  4. It isn’t always easy to maintain this focus because of what happens immediately following a successful attack inside of a school.

Slide 2: Media Images Of School Attacks

  1. While the news and media frenzy that occurs after an attack brings laser focused attention on the issue of school security, this interest is often times short lived and can distract school administrators from making systematic improvements to their school safety plan.
  2. After Newtown, the focus became concentrated on political issues such as gun control, which led to a national debate about guns and took the conversation away from how teachers and principles can protect the students inside of their classrooms.
  3. The concern over mental health issues is often raised following successful attacks. Conversations about cyber bullying and the challenge that social media presents adds in an additional layers of discussion about how to prevent another incident from happening.
  4. While these are absolutely concerns that impact a school’s safety, these aren’t going to be overnight solutions, these are much larger decisions, that while important, they fail to provide any guidance on what schools can be doing right NOW to prevent future attacks in schools.
  5. These conversations and the demand for immediate results only leads to schools taking reactionary measures with the end result being an increased perception of school safety, while the goal has to be to get beyond only creating a perception and actually ensuring safe learning environments.
  6. That is what we are going to talk about today.

Slide 3: The Outline

  1. So here is what I have planned for today so that we can move school safety along the path of progress and begin enhancing the security measures that you have already put in place.
  2. We will start by going over the two types of threats that schools face – the insider and the outsider.
  3. From there we will talk about the different elements of an attack and how we are often trained to look for variables that change from situation to situation, but by learning to analyze behavior can focus on the one and only constant that is present.
  4. We will go into an overview of behavioral analysis, talk about the basics of reading individuals, groups of people, how people interact with their surroundings and the collective mood of everyone present.
  5. And finally we will wrap up by talking about how implementing a program that incorporates behavioral analysis can systematically reduce the degree of risk that your school is exposed to by increasing the level of awareness that your teachers and staff can maintain.

Slide 4: Keeping Outsiders Out

  1. As we start by looking at the two types of threats that a school faces and has to consider protecting against, the first are the outsiders.  Schools exist to keep outsiders out.  Those who don’t belong aren’t allowed in.
  2. Outsiders are typically the easier threat to defend against and identify because that person’s physical presence alone alerts people to the problem.
  3. This presentation isn’t going to really talk about defending against outsiders because when schools or companies make the decision that they want to ensure no outsiders can get in, the amount of resources available in this area are plentiful.  There are numerous companies out there that can provide security guards, install bulletproof glass, build access control measures and metal detectors, and create the contingency plans necessary to deal with this type of threat.  Because of that, I want to focus on the insider.
  4. I’m not saying that we should discount the seriousness of the outside threat, after all this is the style of the attack that occurred in Newtown.  Adam Lanza did not belong at Sandy Hook, the school knew he didn’t belong and had measures in place to keep him out, but he was able to forcibly enter the school as he shot his way in.  It is absolutely a topic that schools need to consider.
  5. Instead of talking about keeping outsiders out of schools, I want to focus on identifying the more difficult threat – the insider.
  6. The insider is harder to spot for the sole fact that they do belong and their presence alone does not alert anyone to the potential for violence.  They have the ID card, credentials and a legitimate reason for being there, making early detection a challenge to a school who is trying to make sure a student hasn’t brought a gun to school.
  7. While detecting these threats can be more difficult, it also provides the opportunity to intervene proactively once we know what to look for. People trying to conceal their intentions will stand from the crowd.

Slide 5: TJ Lane

  1. To highlight the complexity of insider attacks, I want to tell the story about TJ Lane and his attack on the students in Chardon High School.
  2. On February 27th, 2012, 17 year TJ Lane was seated in the cafeteria at around 7:30 in the morning just as the school day was beginning and kids were entering the school cafeteria for their breakfast.
  3. Even though he was a resident in the school district, he didn’t go to Chardon High School, instead being enrolled at Lake Academy, which is a school for “reluctant learners.”
  4. Even though he was familiar and known by many of the students in the school who he was classmates with earlier in this education, he didn’t belong there.
  5. Despite being an outsider, he went unnoticed until he pulled out a Ruger .22 caliber revolver and opened fire on students inside the cafeteria.
  6. Ultimately he killed three students and wounding three more before fleeing from the school.
  7. He is now serving three consecutive life sentences without ever offering a possible reason why or motive for his attack.
  8. TJ Lane is not a unique story when it comes to school violence.  Some of the most tragic attacks have been launched by students who belonged in those schools.  They were able to conceal their intentions and weapons long enough to get deeper into the schools to conduct attacks in the cafeteria, classrooms, residence halls and auditoriums.

Slides 6 – 11: Faces of insiders

A. Slide: Cho

1.    Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded another 23 during his attack on the campus of Virginia Tech on April 17th, 2007.

  1. Slide: Kazmiercazk

1.    Steven Kazmierczak, killed 6 and wounded 21 on February 14th, 2008 in an attack at Northern Illinois University.

  1. Slide: Columbine

1.    Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 15 and wounded 21 on April 20th, 1999 at Columbine High School.

D. Slide: Byran Oliver

1.    Bryan Oliver, wounded 2 this past January (1-10-13) at Taft Union High School in California.

  1. Slide: Robert Gladden

1.    Robert Gladden wounded 1 person on August 27th, 2012 at Perry Hall High School in Baltimore.

  1. These six are just a few of the many attacks that have occurred in recent history in the U.S. from insiders.

G. As I mentioned at the beginning of the webinar, if we are going to get past just creating a perception of security and installing the bulletproof glass and access control systems, we need to be capable of defending against the insider just as much as we are preparing to stop the outsider.

H. Because these individuals are not going to be identified by simply being in the building, we need to understand what type of indicators they will give off and what teachers, school staff and security providers need to be aware of.

  1. What is going to make the difference between spotting these potential attackers and missing them comes down to what a person is trained to look for.  Often times, we are trained to look for what are referred to as the variables that are present in attacks.

Slide 12: Variables

  1. As the name variables implies, these are factors that change from attack to attack, and are therefore not true indicators of potential violence.
  2. The first variable is victim selection.  There are often times no pattern or relationship between the shooter and the victims.  This means that we are not going to be able to prevent violence from occurring by focusing on who the victims of an attack might be.
  3. We also can’t focus on the shooters themselves.  There is no set profile for an attacker, they can be of any race, any religion, any age and either gender.
  4. We aren’t going to be able to prevent violence by focusing solely on the attack location.  If we  are completely focused on preventing attacks from occurring inside of the school, and fortify the building to prevent that from occurring, the violent act can just as likely happen outside the building.  If the target building becomes too hardened, the attacker will just find a different area.  It isn’t possible to defend everywhere.
  5. We can’t focus on motive either.  These attacks are launched for a variety of reasons, and motive alone is not a pre-event indicator for violence on it’s own.  Not every kid who is bullied decides to bring a gun to school.  Not every child from a broken home makes commits to violence.  Trying to focus solely on those indicators will focus our attention on the wrong individuals.
  6. Finally, we can’t prevent violence by focusing on the method or the means. School attacks are not always carried out with guns. While he didn’t use it, TJ Lane brought a knife with him and bombs were used in the Columbine attack.  Even if security measures are put in place that someone manages to prevent any potential weapon from getting inside, attacks can be committed with fists or weapons of opportunity found inside the school.
  7. If any of these indicators are present, of course we aren’t going to ignore them, but relying on them forces security professional to be continually chasing and trying to prevent the last attack.  We are not going to rely on any variable that may or may not be an indicator on that particular day.  Instead, our observation is going to be focused on the one, and only one, constant that is present in every single incident.

Slide 13: The Constant

  1. The only factor that is present in every single attack is the person’s violent intentions.  None of these incidents happen on accident.  Every single time, a person intended to harm others.
  2. Preventing the active shooter situation from occurring boils down to making two very important assessments. Does the person intend to harm others? Is the person capable of acting on those threats?
  3. Preventing violence from occurring means that we need to improve our ability to assess the intentions of others and identify the person who wants to hurt those around them.
  4. This is absolutely possible and we are going to do it by using behavioral analysis.

Slide 14: Behavioral Analysis Overview

  1. Behavioral Analysis are assessments of the uncontrollable elements of behavior that reveal a person’s intentions and capabilities.  This is important because it allows us to observe each and every person that we come into contact with each day.
  2. If you look at the Department of Homeland Security’s indicators you will find things like people experiencing financial problems, marital problems, substance abuse problems, etc.  The problem with that is it requires a very personal level of detail about the person for you to even begin assessing them as a potential threat.  If you think about the number of people in your life that would confide any of those concerns to you, you probably realize this is extremely limiting.  This is equivalent to a school needing to know what parents are going through a divorce, which parents have guns at home, how accessible are those guns, are kids getting bullied outside of school or online, which students have older siblings who might be using drugs, etc.  These indicators are very difficult to come by, and again, like the variables we talked about on the last slide, we won’t ignore them, but we aren’t going to wait for those to present themselves either.  Behavioral analysis allows you to analyze everyone, regardless of how much you know about them because you are assessing their intentions.
  3. All of the observations we are going to talk about come from applied behavioral science.  If we are going to make observations that lead to decisions we can be confident in, they have to be valid.  Often times after shootings, there is usually the one person that says, “I saw that person and thought that something was off, but I wasn’t sure and didn’t want to make the situation any worse.”  Because observing behavior isn’t a muscle that we exercise frequently, we can sometimes doubt ourselves, but since everything we are looking are applications coming from numerous fields of science, we can attain that degree of confidence that is required.  This also provides a terminology that allows to better communicate what we are observing.
  4. The programs that I teach are an evolution of the Marine Corps Combat Hunter program that I was an instructor in while I was on active duty.  This program was designed to give Marines the ability to recognize threats and insurgents in a crowded marketplace overseas, despite the fact that the enemy blended in with all of the civilians around them.  The program has been adopted to meet the needs and uniqueness of the civilian environment.  We aren’t teaching schools combat tactics, we are just giving them the same ability to recognize who intends to harm others.
  5. Finally, and most importantly, this is not racial or religious profiling.  Nothing that we teach or are going to talk about stems from that.  A person’s race or religion is in now way an indicator of the ability to hurt others, so we aren’t going to slow down our decision making process by looking at those. We also aren’t dealing with mental health assessments.  We are looking for people who have made the conscious decision to conduct some sort of attack, regardless of their mental and cognitive state.
  6. All of these elements all drive to supporting one very clear purpose. To Get Left Of Bang

Slide 15: Left Of Bang

  1. If you were to imagine a timeline that represents the steps that person has to do in order to commit an attack, bang is right in the middle.  Bang is the event – it is the shooting, the bullying, the bombing, the punching, whatever violent act they are planning
  2. Being left of bang, means that we have identified the pre-event indicators necessary to realize what is going to happen while we still have the time to intervene.
  3. Being right of bang is reactionary and the steps that people take to stop the threat and respond after it has happened.
  4. A SWAT team entering the school is right of bang. A teacher who recognizes that a student is behaving differently than the normally does and talks to the student and then discovers that the student has a gun in their backpack is left of bang.

Slide 16: The Pillars of Observable Behavior

  1. There are four different ways that we can look at and assess the people and the environment that will provide us this information needed to do this.
  2. We start by looking at and assessing individual people to determine their current emotional state.  Then we put those individuals into groups, developing a better understanding the relationship of the members within that clique and identify who the leaders and influencers are.  We then put those individuals and groups into the context of the environment to determine if people are familiar or unfamiliar with their surroundings and better predict what actions people are going to take. And finally we look at the collective mood of everyone present to determine how safe they feel and better understand the common emotions of the area as a whole. 

Slide 17: Assessing Individuals

  1. Being able to quickly and accurately read individual people is the basis and foundation of any behavioral approach whether it is threat recognition, becoming a better teacher or even a more astute sales consultant.
  2. We are going to look primarily at a person’s body language and we are going to observe what a person’s lower body, their torso, their hands, arms, shoulders and to a lesser extent their face to categorize them into what we refer to as clusters.

 Slide 18: Clusters

  1. We use clusters of three or more cues to make an assessment about a person because a single gesture does not have one, and only one, possible meaning.
  2. If you were to look at this guy in the picture, he might be standing with his arms crossed because he is closed off, he might be uncomfortable, he might be annoyed, he might be comfortable, he might just be cold, he could be trying to support a broken collar bone.  There are a ton of assessments that could be made from one gesture or posture, so we aren’t going to rely on just one cue to make that a decision.
  3. We are going to look for 3 or more cues that all lead to the same conclusion about what a person’s body language is communicating.
  4. So if we have 3 cues, we have enough information that allows to assign them to a cluster.

Slide 19: Cluster Categories

  1. We can assign every single person we meet into one of four different clusters.  A person can be acting either dominant or submissive or uncomfortable or comfortable.
  2. We use these terms because in situations where you are trying to identify potential threats, there isn’t enough time to look at each person and say “well their feet are doing this, and their hands are doing this, and their torso is doing this” for everyone around you.  That is much too slow of a process.
  3. By grouping gestures into clusters, we can quickly assess what the entire body is displaying and quickly communicate it by saying “this person is dominant,” “this person is uncomfortable,” “everyone in that group appears to be comfortable.” This speeds the process up of observing without losing the accuracy of an observation.

Slide 20: The Brain

  1. Before I show pictures of people displaying each of the four clusters, I want to quickly touch on where these gestures and postures originate from.
  2. All of our body language, whether it is controlled consciously or unconsciously, is guided by our brain.
  3. I don’t want to spend an excessive amount of time on this as this can fill an entire hour in itself, but these clusters are the manifestation of the signals sent to our body by the Limbic System of our brain.
  4. The limbic system is our survival center and is what initiates the freeze, flight or fight response that many people are familiar with. This is how we deal with stressful situations: through freeze, flight, or fight.
  5. The limbic system is constantly searching our surroundings for things that may harm us and when a threat is perceived, this part of our brain is what guides our initial reaction to it.
  6. The response that our limbic system unconsciously and uncontrollably generates is what will determine which cluster we are observing.

Slide 21: Dominance vs. Submissive Cluster

  1. Classifying someone as dominant or submissive is determined by the amount of space a person is taking up.  This is where posturing comes in to play because this is a territorial display. Dominance is the manifestation of the fight response to stress. A person will usually posture before they get into a fight, taking up more space or attempting to intimidate another person into submission.
  2. Submissive behavior is the exact opposite.  People who are acting submissively will try to make themselves as small as possible.  They will retract their arms in, they will pull their legs in, and making them look smaller. Submissiveness is the absence of the fight response to a threatening situation. Sometimes you see this in abused children when their abuser is around them.  They make themselves small as if they are attempting to avoid being seen or angering the person.
  3. So dominance, making oneself larger and submissiveness, making oneself smaller.

Slide 22: Examples of Dominance

A. As you look at these pictures, they all show examples of dominance, putting your hands on your hips, placing your feet shoulder width apart, using exaggerated hand gestures to take up the space in front of you or puffing up your chest. Yelling at someone is essentially using your voice to control a larger amount of space by talking over other people the same way that invading the personal space of others is used to show that you are in charge.

Slide 23: Examples of Submissiveness

  1. Compare the examples in the last slide to the children in these pictures.  When a person is acting submissively, they take up less space.  The girl in the picture on the left with her shoulders lowered and hands drawn into her body. In the top right, when people wrap their feet around the legs of a chair, that is often done as if they are seeking stability or trying to regain control. It helps to prevent excessive movement, which fits into the category of making oneself smaller.

Slide 24: Uncomfortable vs. Comfortable Cluster

  1. For the Uncomfortable cluster, we are looking for body language cues that show the manifestation of the flight response.  This is displayed through either “distancing” behavior or “blocking” behavior that shows a person perceives a threat and is trying to protect themselves.  A person who is acting uncomfortable will be often be exhibiting signs you might otherwise refer to as anxious or agitated or nervous.  When your body is reacting to a stressful situation with the flight response, you generate energy, to get yourself out of there, this energy has to go somewhere.  This is where pacifying behavior (rubbing hands together for example) comes into play, it is the energy manifesting itself somewhere on the body.  This means that the person is feeling threatened but it may be anywhere along the spectrum of threats from being killed, to just a challenge to their credibility, to annoyance.
  2. The last cluster of behavior is referred to as being comfortable.  A person who is feeling comfortable does not perceive any threat to their survival.  They are what you might refer to as relaxed or lounging, and in no position to defend themselves should a threat arise.  Comfortable cues show the absence of any freeze, flight, or fight response to stress. There is no perceived danger.

Slide 25: Examples of Uncomfortable Behavior

  1. The two pictures on the top reflect typical forms of pacifying behavior that indicates a person is feeling Uncomfortable.  The girl biting her teeth and the girl fidgeting with a ring on her finger indicate that they are nervous and trying to calm themselves down.
  2. The bottom two pictures show distancing or blocking behavior.  The boy in the bottom right corner has backed himself against the wall, creating as much distance as possible from whatever is causing the discomfort and the girl in the bottom left picture is leaning away, a subtle form of distancing behavior from the science experiment.

Slide 26: Examples of Comfortable Behavior

  1. All of the people shown on this slide are demonstrating comfortable behavior, which is often times what is normal for people.  They are relaxed, engaging with whatever is in front of them and not concerned about any possible threat.

Slide 27: Observing With Context Lead In

  1. The four clusters of behavior that we just discussed are ways that we can categorize every single person we observe and they are mutually exclusive: a person can not be dominant and uncomfortable, he or she will fall into one cluster or another
  2. But these clusters are just the beginning of the process and not the end state.  These should be considered the “science” behind observations and accurate ways to categorize the emotions, postures and gestures of those we come into contact with.
  3. People will naturally cycle through all four of these clusters throughout the day and labeling someone as one or another does not make them a criminal or a potential attacker.  It is simply an observed fact.
  4. To provide these observations with greater meaning, we need to understand the context that surrounds the person we are looking at.  This will let us know when the person fits our baseline. Therefore they are not someone who requires further attention, but will let us know when someone stands out, is an anomaly, that requires a decision and some type of action.

Slide 28: Everyone and Everything Has a Baseline

  1. Everything starts with a baseline, if we don’t know what’s normal, we will never be able to identify the person trying to conceal their violent intentions.  It leads us to use a very simple formula to structure all of this information and these observations.  We refer to this as Baseline + Anomaly = Decision.
  2. The first step requires that you define what is normal, once this is clear, you can begin searching for people who stand out from the baseline, and once you identify those anomalies, you make a decision about how to proceed.
  3. Think about what the baseline for a classroom consists of.  Often times, people only consider the physical objects that would be present: the tables, the chairs, a computer, a projector, a teacher, students, a white board, etc.
  4. But a baseline goes much further and needs to include observations about what the teacher’s behavior: do they teach in a dominant manner or submissive manner when presenting a new concept? Is their energy level very high or are they lethargic?
  5. Also, how would we define the student’s behavior: are they comfortable or uncomfortable while in class? Are they paying attention or drifting off?
  6. I’ve found that many teachers typically have a very thorough understanding of the individual baseline for each of their students.  Because they see them every day, they have learned the subtleties of each student and when prompted, can provide a very detailed description on the baseline behavior for students, groups and cliques, and the collective mood of the classroom depending on the time of the day.
  7. The more thorough that this baseline is, the easier it becomes to identify changes, which is the goal.

Slide 29: Putting Observations Into Context

  1. The baseline that you establish for the different areas of a school are defined using each of the four pillars of observable behavior that we brought up before.  We do this because we can never be completely sure what type of observation is going to alert us.
  2. In one situation, it might a student who is demonstrating excessive cues from the Uncomfortable Cluster while walking into the school one morning when everyone else is exhibiting the normal comfortable cluster.
  3. In another situation, it might be a student who is normally outgoing, loud and engaging, but now is not participating when a classroom of students is becoming excited and is conveying emotions that don’t fit his baseline.
  4. In others, it might be a student who is avoiding a group of friends that she normally hangs out with, showing submissive cues to avoid being seen by them.
  5. At this point in the process, we don’t yet know why they are acting this way, all that we know is by defining the baseline for what is normal and the context that surrounds it, we can begin to focus on the behavior, the people, and the situations that deviate from that norm.  We will talk about how we will find that cause/that trigger in a second, but the first step is realizing that something is different.
  6. Each one of these observable behaviors should be thought of as a lens that we see through.  We are never sure which lens will provide the information and insight that we need to recognize the subtle changes that are exhibited before an attack, so we train ourselves to understand each of them as thoroughly and as intuitively as we can.

Slide 30: Baseline + Anomaly = Decision

  1. As we’ve mentioned, this formula is what allows us to recognize those who intend to harm others.  Whether the person’s behavior is extreme dominance, which would likely be seen in an outsider before an attack, or discomfort or submissiveness if a person is attempting to conceal their intentions in order to avoid detection. These are the observations that are available.
  2. But it all begins with a baseline, clearly defining the behavioral norm for the are and the people that are around you is an essential first step.
  3. But finding anomalies isn’t just going to slap you in the face.  You have to go out there and actively searching for them.
  4. Once an anomaly is identified, you must make a decision and must take action.  This isn’t observation for the sake of observation, but to provide the information needed to make intelligent decisions and take proactive steps.
  5. I’m not going to talk too much about decisions because we have a wide variety of professionals watching today.  How a police officer responds is going to be different than a school security officer, which is going to be different than a principle, which is going to be different than a teacher. But there is one decision that is standard regardless of your profession.  That is the contact.

Slide 31: The contact

  1. Once we recognize that someone’s behavior doesn’t fit the baseline, the only way that we can confirm our observations is by talking to the person.
  2. If a teacher observes a student approaching the school entrance and is exhibiting extreme discomfort, that may be because they have a gun in their backpack and are nervous about getting caught or it could be that they have a test at the beginning of the day that they didn’t study for.  The behaviors would look the same, but the cause is completely different, one is legitimate and one is not.
  3. This conversation does not have to be intrusive, but can be a teacher simply asking the student how he is doing today and seeing how he responds.  Did the discomfort get more extreme as an authority figure approached or did he become more comfortable because someone noticed?
  4. This is especially important when working with teenagers. Remember that the behaviors we are observing originate from the limbic system, which is also where our brain’s emotional center.  I’m sure those listening who have teenage kids of their own or who work with them frequently already see the complexity since kids are inherently emotional and can change moods in a split-second.  Most of these shifts are completely normal and to be expected, so we can’t respond with force every time something comes onto our radar. Tact is important.
  5. This is how we will distinguish between a student just got embarrassed by friends and has the ability to cope with this anger and those who are so enraged that they attack “without caring about what will happen.”
  6. This is where being proactive and enhanced security come from – the active participation and awareness of everyone involved.
  7. Nothing I’ve talked about replaces anything that you are already doing in your respective schools.  The intent is to complement them.
  8. If your school is already using the physical control measures designed to keep the outsider out – that is great because it creates a perception of authority, which will be viewed as a stressor by a potential attacker.  This helps to elicit the behavior that we can observe and use to separate the criminal from the crowd he hides amongst.
  9. I’m talking about educational controls, so that teachers and school staff have the ability and the informed awareness to create a safe learning environment.

Slide 32: Coopers Color Code

  1. As we wrap this up, I just want to bring up the different levels of awareness that people experience throughout their day.  I like to use Cooper’s Color Code as a model for this, which was developed by Marine Lt. Col Jeff Cooper.
  2. He created a terminology for us to use and explain 5 different states of awareness which highlight the relationship between proactive vs. reactive approaches to threat recognition.
  3. Condition White: No Situational Awareness

1.    You are relaxed, unaware of your surroundings, and are unprepared to react to anything.  An individual is unfocused and inattentive to any potential threat.  A person in the white will commonly walk around looking at the ground or with their face buried in their cell phone.  People will do this when boredom, fatigue, and lack of discipline sets in.

4. Condition Yellow: Relaxed Alert

1.    You are in a relaxed state of alertness and have a general awareness of what is going on around you. You do not perceive any threats, but you are purposely and actively searching for them.  You know they are out there. This state can be maintained for a long period of time. Anything or anyone in their immediate vicinity that is unusual, out of place, or out of context should be viewed as potentially dangerous, until it can be assessed further.  Every person, particularly leaders, should strive to be in condition yellow at all times. Otherwise, you will be unable to respond to threats quickly enough.

5. Condition Orange: Specified Alert

1.    You are at a heightened state of alertness and are getting ready to deal with a threat you have identified. Your mind is preparing for and developing a plan to deal with the potential threat.  If an incident occurs, a person has at least a rudimentary plan for dealing with the threat.  The willingness to act on this plan is the bias for action.  This state cannot be maintained for a long period of time, and your body will want to revert to a state of yellow when the threat is gone.

6. Condition Red: Engaged in the fight

1.    You are reacting to the threat and are in a fighting state of mind.  You are executing the plan you developed while in a state of orange.  In this case an individual’s complex motor skills, visual reaction time, and cognitive reaction time are all at their peak.  While this condition is optimal, you begin to pay a price; an individual’s fine motor skills begin to deteriorate.  You may experience focus lock, tunnel vision, and other adrenaline effects (shaking, sudden bursts of energy).

7. Condition Black: Breakdown

1.    You are in a state of catastrophic breakdown of mental and physical performance.  This usually occurs when you are forced to react to a threat or situation that you have not been able to prepare for.  At this level, the fore brain stops and the midbrain takes over; the cognitive processing deteriorates.  This may be a result of lack of training or lack of mental readiness.  This level of awareness is the same as Condition White, but for a different cause.

Slide 33: Being Reactive

A. The reason I bring up these 5 different conditions is because of the relationship between Conditions Yellow, Orange, and Red.  If a person does not know what to look for or what causes someone to be classified as a potential threat, they will never shift into Condition Orange. They will go from looking for threats to immediately responding to the shooter without any advanced warning.  This is being reactionary.  If the only thing that people are looking for is an actual weapon, they will not have any planning time before the event takes place where they can intervene.

Slide 34: Being Proactive

  1. On the other hand, when a person is trained to identify those individuals who stand out from the baseline by recognizing the subtle cues and identifying people with violent intentions, they create the opportunity to be proactive.
  2. This allows them to shift into Condition Orange, develop a plan for how they are going to deal with the threat and take action before the attack every occurs.
  3. I bring this up because I know that many people listening in are security providers and while you are trained to be constantly alert and are assessing your surroundings, you can only be in one place at a time.  As you assess the security at your school or your workplace, you have to ask, are the teachers in your schools trained to know what to look for? Are the bus drivers? Is the rest of the staff? If they aren’t, you are going to lose the potential to go into condition orange if it all has to be observed by you. 

Slide 35: From Science To The Streets

  1. Step 1: When I look at what it takes to learn and apply behavioral analysis, there are 4 distinct milestones that people progress through.
  2. We just talked about the need to use behavioral analysis, so that we can protect against the insider threat the same way that we are preparing to deal with outsiders.  We also discussed a little bit about the 4 pillars of observable behavior, but didn’t cover all of them.
  3. Step 2: This second step is essentially the classroom time, learning the science behind the observations, why they are important and learn to make these observations through pictures and short videos.
  4. Step 3: Once that foundation is built, a person is now ready to begin applying these observations in small and confined locations or through videos.
  5. Step 4: The more comfortable a student becomes with the concepts and the ease at which they can make accurate assessments, they are able to really continue their learning on their own in any setting they find themselves in.
  6. To help people progress along this path, my company offers training to support that learning.

Slide 39: Training Seminars

A. We provide training that takes people up to that third and fourth milestone that teaches how to read behavior and how to apply it in the setting that makes the most sense for them, whether that is a school, an office building, a church.

Slide 40:  Online Resources

  1. However, no one is going to become an expert at anything after just one class, continuous practice is required to achieve mastery in any skill.  For those looking to become capable of observing, assessing and communicating behavior in any setting they go to, we provide these online resources as well.
  2. Most of you signed up through The CP Journal site, so you are aware of it already.  The practice that I referred to that will get a person up to that last step so that can do this in any setting they find themselves in, the best resources are reserved for our subscribers, where they can practice each week on establishing the baseline at different locations through video training.  This teaches the process that allows people to do this wherever they go.
  3. And those can be found at www.cp-journal.com

Slide 41: Contact Information

  1. I am about to open it up for any questions that people might have, but before I do, here is my contact information if anything comes up after this webinar is over.  I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have.
  2. A recording of this webinar will be up in the CP-Journal if you want to come back to it and a transcript with my slides will be added to our Library page shortly as well.