Personal Safety & Security

Hick's Law

Given a choice, I’ll make a good decision…given several choices, a positive outcome is far less likely. This little gem of knuckle dragger wisdom comes to us courtesy of “Hick’s Law” better known to students of psychology as the Hick-Hyman law. 

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Given a choice, I’ll make a good decision…given several choices, a positive outcome is far less likely. This little gem of knuckle dragger wisdom comes to us courtesy of “Hick’s Law” better known to students of psychology as the Hick-Hyman law. 

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Avoid the 'Bolt-On Skill Set'

Good gear pays dividends. Too much gear taxes the brain.

Gear is great. I distinctly remember boxes of goodies arriving and being divvied up in the team space among enthusiastically open hands. As a recently retired service member and newly minted full time taxpayer…I look back on those days with a mixture of wistful reminiscence and fiscal horror. Financial responsibility aside- we can attain too much of a good thing.

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Good gear pays dividends. Too much gear taxes the brain.

Gear is great. I distinctly remember boxes of goodies arriving and being divvied up in the team space among enthusiastically open hands. As a recently retired service member and newly minted full time taxpayer…I look back on those days with a mixture of wistful reminiscence and fiscal horror. Financial responsibility aside- we can attain too much of a good thing.

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Prepare. Prevail.

We often remind students in our law enforcement courses that they should "train for the 1%".  Basically, we're telling them to prepare for the worst case (the "one percent" refers to the historically small fraction of bad guys that are proficient killers).  We believe that these officers have a responsibility- to themselves, their families, their fellow officers, and society- to maintain this level of preparation. This idea doesn't just apply to cops, though, it applies to all of us. Especially those of us in leadership roles.  Are you ready for the worst case?  Have you prepared yourself? Your family? Your organization?

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We often remind students in our law enforcement courses that they should "train for the 1%".  Basically, we're telling them to prepare for the worst case (the "one percent" refers to the historically small fraction of bad guys that are proficient killers).  We believe that these officers have a responsibility- to themselves, their families, their fellow officers, and society- to maintain this level of preparation. This idea doesn't just apply to cops, though, it applies to all of us. Especially those of us in leadership roles.  Are you ready for the worst case?  Have you prepared yourself? Your family? Your organization?

Read more


Security at Places of Worship: More Than a Matter of Faith

By Scott Stewart and Fred Burton (STRATFOR)

Until there is awareness of the threat, little can be done to counter it. In many parts of the world, such as Iraq, India and Pakistan, attacks against places of worship occur fairly frequently. It is not difficult for religious leaders and members of their congregations in such places to be acutely aware of the dangers facing them and to have measures already in place to deal with those perils. This is not always the case in the United States, however, where many people tend to have an "it can't happen here" mindset, believing that violence in or directed against places of worship is something that happens only to other people elsewhere.

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By Scott Stewart and Fred Burton (STRATFOR)

Until there is awareness of the threat, little can be done to counter it. In many parts of the world, such as Iraq, India and Pakistan, attacks against places of worship occur fairly frequently. It is not difficult for religious leaders and members of their congregations in such places to be acutely aware of the dangers facing them and to have measures already in place to deal with those perils. This is not always the case in the United States, however, where many people tend to have an "it can't happen here" mindset, believing that violence in or directed against places of worship is something that happens only to other people elsewhere.

Read more


The Secrets of Countersurveillance

By Fred Burton (STRATFOR)

Almost any criminal act, from a purse-snatching to a terrorist bombing, involves some degree of pre-operational surveillance. In fact, one common denominator of all the different potential threats — whether from lone wolves, militant groups, common criminals or the mentally disturbed — is that those planning an operation all monitor their target in advance. However, while pickpockets or purse-snatchers case their victims for perhaps only a few seconds or minutes, a militant organization might conduct detailed surveillance of a target for several weeks or even months.

Read more

By Fred Burton (STRATFOR)

Almost any criminal act, from a purse-snatching to a terrorist bombing, involves some degree of pre-operational surveillance. In fact, one common denominator of all the different potential threats — whether from lone wolves, militant groups, common criminals or the mentally disturbed — is that those planning an operation all monitor their target in advance. However, while pickpockets or purse-snatchers case their victims for perhaps only a few seconds or minutes, a militant organization might conduct detailed surveillance of a target for several weeks or even months.

Read more