Even before the United Kingdom terrorist plot last week, the Transportation Security Agency had begun revamping their airport security strategy. The Department of Homeland Security and the TSA are finally taking some positive steps to professionalize airport security. The initial step was designating security screeners as security officers, which will require additional training and supervision, as well as additional responsibilities.
Part of the professionalization process is the training of airport security staff in what's been called psychological profiling or behavioral analysis or a number of other terms that all amount to the same thing -- avoiding allegations of racial profiling while at the same time effectively screening out potential terrorists.
This is a welcomed program by those of us in law enforcement who've said for years that psychological profiling should be used by airport security staff. While representing the staff and membership of the National Association of Chiefs of Police at lectures or during media interviews, I've often discussed the need for upgrading the training of airport security staff with part of the upgrade to include psychological profiling.
Most police officers and investigators are familiar with the concept since it's used during the interrogation and interview process to detect deception on the part of the subject. Without going into too much detail, interrogators or interviewers, while questioning a subject about the matter at hand, are observing body language, eye contact, breathing, physical characteristics such as dry mouth or profuse perspiration, and other criteria.
Israeli security agents and police have used kinetic interviewing for screening people at airports and security checkpoints for years with much success.
In a press release the American Civil Liberties Union has warned that the behavior analysis screening technique could result in racial profiling. Could result? Creating public policy based on what "could result" is nonsense since in this case the ACLU insinuates bad intentions on the part of US security and law enforcement agencies.
ď[Behavior detection] is a code word for targeting brown-skinned males between ages 17 and 45 years. Itís not only racial profiling, itís ethnic profiling,Ē said Timothy Sparapani, who oversees privacy rights for the ACLU.
Mr. Sparapani doesn't mention how he arrived at the age bracket. He also fails to provide evidence that race and ethnicity enter into the behavior detection process. The ACLU attorneys seem to hallucinate whenever they read the US Constitution.
With recent events in Europe showing that certain whites are being recruited by terrorists, psychological profiling may prove even more effective than traditional criminal profiling. As usual, the ACLU is intentionally mischaracterizing the technique. When not portraying Boys Scouts as members of a Nazi-like organization, the ACLU is practiced in characterizing US cops as storm troopers.
If Al-Qaeda or the international terrorism network wanted to create an anti-American cell within the United States that would hamper efforts to protect American lives, they couldn't create a better cell than the ACLU. Each time a new technique or strategy is proposed or put into operation, the knee-jerk lawyers at the ACLU are right there trying to thwart the attempted innovation. Can anyone cite one case in which the ACLU sued on behalf of the victims of Islamofascists? Afterall, their victims' civil rights were obviously violated.
The ACLU is a non-profit organization, but it seems the have been empowered with a quasi-governmental status. With their comrades in the judiciary -- liberal judges appointed by liberal politicians -- they have been successful in hampering law enforcement and intelligence officers.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.