Back to my roots… Personal Security.

Podcast Episode 071530

Hello and welcome to today’s show. Today I wanted to move back into my own personal wheelhouse and talk about some points about personal security that I get questions about all the time. Currently my role as a security systems engineer I put together systems that help organizations manage the inter-relationships with their environments, however, my roots go back to providing personal security options for individuals. Whether it be access control, surveillance video, policies and procedures for physical security, or personal protection itself I have built systems to help. Today I’m going to be discussing all of some basic concepts but from a personal level. Let’s talk about being safe. We break this discussion down by the aspect of personal security and possible solutions for each.

  • Technology can be both, a friend and an enemy. Throughout my career, I’ve seen millions of dollars in technology deployed, and in some cases, they were a waste of investment because, while it could provide information, the value of that information was purely based on the disposition of that information. In other words, if an organization deployed license plate reading cameras, what was the read license plate numbers contrasted against. Wasted investment. However, the level of technology available today offers the opportunity for an organization to achieve a multitude of objectives with the efficient deployment of technology for security needs. Choosing technology to deploy depends completely on the needs of the organization, and just as importantly, what the eventual result of the data will be. SOLUTION:
  • Bullying. Probably the most commented-on security threat that most people face is that of (I’d like to call) physical injustice. Physical injustice is when the attacker has more physical abilities than the victim. Whether that be augmented by weaponry or a large powerful individual against the weaker ones.  I must admit there is a huge factor here, attitude. There are those who refuse to quit, and those are the folks who are successful in this type of conflict. It’s all about the attitude, the will to succeed. Physical injustice can be brought on by not being protected as well. By subjecting yourself to elements and events you shouldn’t have to. Tough guys and being too cool for protective equipment. In business, we interpret this as intimidation, and it can be used at multiple levels and mostly we see it displayed at an interpersonal level. SOLUTION
  • Environmental awareness is probably the most overlooked security protocol there is available to the average citizen. A matter of taking one’s face out of their cell phone long enough to realize what’s happening around them. I’ve actually seen people (with their heads up) so involved in a phone conversation, that they walk into walls or street signs. This does not even touch the individuals walking around our towns with their faces glued to their devices, completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. Being alert and attentive to the environment around the self is critically important regardless of the situation. This assists each of us in creating time and space to augment the situation to balance the physical injustice. Most individuals are fairly self-absorbed in this modern-day world of the “me” generations. SOLUTION
  • Emotions play a big part in what the human brain focuses on. Fear as an example incites two very powerful scenarios.
    • The first is avoidance, this is where many attempts to ignore the scene, or turn away. While culture does play a role in this, many individuals face a physical injustice type of situation. This is where individuals will keep their gaze facing down, or covered up with hoods, or partially covered by other facial coverings.
    • The second is curiosity. Curiosity is typically afforded only when there is a layer of protection in place. This defines the scenario where traffic slows to a crawl next to a horrific accident because everyone wants to see. This is where the average person demonstrates a desire to meet death, but from afar.


  • Weapons are not always the best equalizer. While I’ve heard a thousand times about Colonel Colt making everyone equal, having the training and knowledge to be able to control the weapon during a confrontation can be just as daunting a task. One of the critical elements here has become the legal justification for the use of deadly force in public. Some of the issues involve the  Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) which was passed by congress in 2005 whereby gun manufacturers are held immune to wrongful death suits brought by victims. The challenge is attempting to educate the general public in the use of deadly force. By definition, Deadly Force is defined by chapter 10 of the Federal Regulations § 1047.7 Use of deadly force. Deadly force means that force which a reasonable person would consider likely to cause death or serious bodily harm. Its use may be justified only under conditions of extreme necessity when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed. A protective force officer is authorized to use deadly force only when one or more of the following circumstances exists:

(1) Self-Defense. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to protect a protective force officer who reasonably believes himself or herself to be in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

(2) Serious offenses against persons. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offense against a person(s) in circumstances presenting an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm (e.g. sabotage of an occupied facility by explosives).

(3) Nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the theft, sabotage, or unauthorized control of a nuclear weapon or nuclear explosive device.

(4) Special nuclear material. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the theft, sabotage, or unauthorized control of special nuclear material from an area of a fixed site or from a shipment where Category II or greater quantities are known or reasonably believed to be present.

(5) Apprehension. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to apprehend or prevent the escape of a person reasonably believed to (i) has committed an offense of the nature specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(4) 1 of this section; or (ii) be escaping by use of a weapon or explosive or who otherwise indicates that he or she poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm to the protective force officer or others unless apprehended without delay.

1 These offenses are considered by the Department of Energy to pose a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm.

(b) Additional Considerations Involving Firearms. If it becomes necessary to use a firearm, the following precautions shall be observed:

(1) A warning, e.g. an order to halt, shall be given, if feasible before a shot is fired.

(2) Warning shots shall not be fired.

  • . Control as to when to elevate to the next level of force.
  • I have interacted with thousands of people on both sides of the gun control argument, and I’ve discovered that there are really three levels of people within this scope of the discussion:
    • The first group is those who think ALL weapons are evil instruments of the devil.
    • The middle group is those who receive the training but hope to merely threaten, and not fully engage in deadly force.
    • The final group is those who believe there is “no kill like overkill” and attempt to have a personal armory.


A little intelligence (intel) goes a long way in understanding the threat. Being aware of your surroundings means more than taking inventory of what’s in your visual range. It also means being aware of the socio-economic tinderbox that exists within your community. Knowing the enemy is 80% of the battle, therefore if you can define the enemy or threat, you can adjust and adapt your plans for it. This is the main objective when it comes to security… knowing the threat. Some people take this to the extreme, others, do not. So, identifying the threat, and adjusting one’s response to that threat is how we make it through. So, in this section, let’s talk about threats.

The little things matter. One of the many things I’ve learned throughout the decades of doing security work is that most people don’t pay attention to the little things that intersect with our lives ’ bubbles, and could cause substantial damage to us, or our lifestyle. Scripts or battle-plans to combat each threat is what separates the successful versus the victims.


  • Technology
  • Bullying
  • Environmental awareness
  • Emotions
  • Weapons

Next week, we’ll discuss the concept and ramifications of defunding or demonizing police officers. What is expected the outcome can be based on this idea of defunding police departments.