SURVIVING A KIDNAPPING

Kidnapping is a booming business of global proportions. Despite what most think, kidnapping does not just happen in areas of conflict or in places that are socioeconomically depressed. Kidnapping can happen anywhere in any town, city or country.

You could be taken off the street, from your college campus, hotel, at an airport or your home or from your vehicle. It will happen rapidly and when it does you likely will be wrestling a number of emotions including terror and fear

Fear can be a paralyzing emotion, preventing you from acting to the situation. Having the right mindset is central to your abilities during and after the attack. As difficult as it seems, you must adopt the “kill or be killed” mindset to survive and escape that first sixty seconds of the attack.

Let’s face it; the majority of people are of good moral character. They are law-abiding citizens and would like to believe that if they are faced with a decision that involves defending their life in a kidnap or criminal situation, they will defend themselves.

The problem with this is that most people associate their survival in these circumstances with “self-defense”. Self- defense is a commercially marketable terminology. It is a term used by the majority of people to accept what is morally right and not what is actually needed to survive the unthinkable.Homepage Slider_4

Sadly what is needed to survive kidnapping is to take on the survival mindset. Remember it is fear that paralyzes you and prevents you from acting. The fear that you will suffer pain, the fear that you will not see your family again, and the fear that, if you even try to do something to prevent this attack you will be hurt or killed. The reality is you must use all of your fears and turn them into your greatest strengths when confronted with a kidnapping.

Exercising a survival mentality does require some specific training, and execution of such tactics and techniques must fit the circumstances. You must consider your options as it happens and hopefully you will have planned and prepared in advance for the same. If you cannot think and act along these lines, then it would be best to comply with the kidnappers and hope for a negotiation or possible rescue.

OF COURSE LOGICALLY YOU WANT TO DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO PREVENT THE KIDNAPPING BEFORE IT HAPPENS…

  • Become a hard target
  • Identify potential threats
  • Understand travel vulnerabilities
  • Avoid choke points
  • Analyze routes
  • Learn the principles of surveillance detection
  • Maintain situational awareness at all times
  • Train and rehearse offensive and defensive tactics

I will tell you that compliance and cooperation is the best chance you have for survival and release in a great number of the cases. I will also tell you that once held in internment, you should be patient as hostage negotiations are difficult and many times lengthy.

I will also tell you that your survival, and in cases where execution is imminent, and your escape crucial, training is the key. The fact is, if you don’t have any, you greatly reduce your chances of survivability.

THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND KIDNAPPING

Let’s talk about how technology and social media have contributed to the proliferation of kidnapping globally.

Let’s face it there are more college kids these days on social media then in the classroom. It has become a modern convention for the college student as well as other younger students and even adults.Hands of a missing kidnapped

Because of the sheer number of users on social media sites like facebook and others that foster a “freedom of information act” type attitude”, kidnap gangs and transnational criminal organizations have literally assigned their own “tech” and social media people to scan and investigate profiles for target selection.

Since the vast majority of people want to disclose personal information including there whereabouts at any given time, and their residential or even office addresses or companies they work for or own, it has made it infinitely easier now with technology to gather intelligence on the best targets for kidnapping.

The other aspect of technology for the kidnappers is that the majority of the crime can be executed online. Of course they cannot actually abduct someone physically, though there are various types of kidnappings that can occur wholly online and via communication devices, but technology has paved the way for these criminals and transnational criminal organizations to accomplish their objectives efficiently and quite effectively.

There have been numerous cases where the kidnappers have arranged for rental cars to abduct and transport the victims to secondary crime scenes, buy plane tickets online with fake identification and purchase equipment and gear needed for the abduction.

We all appreciate the freedoms we have and the wonderful and exciting things that we can do and become with the advent of the Internet, but in the booming business of kidnapping it only serves to deepen the riff in preventing these crimes.

It would be prudent behavior to seriously consider what information one displays online including photos and personal information and think about limiting exposure to whatever you do decide to post to friends and family whenever possible. And know that there are people watching and they are not the government, they are not friendly and warm, they are the enemy and they don’t sleep, so it would behoove you now to be very proactive from this moment on.

THE INVISIBLE HOSTILE EMPLOYEE

The invisible hostile employee is the one we do not see. He or she is the one that is easily overlooked. They go through their daily job un-noticed and “invisible” to fellow employees and security, but do take notice as they may be the one that is stealing corporate proprietary information and selling it to the competition or the one who walks into work or school with an AK-47 assault rifle on a suicide mission.

They are unassuming upon first glance and most of the times because of their characteristic personality remain undetected to the rest of the world around them.

As a business owner, corporate decision maker or defense coach, it would behoove you to recognize that these “invisible workers” do exist and they pose a huge vulnerability for your business welfare as well as employee safety.

To effectively “see” these individuals, you will need to look at all aspects of your business to identify weak links in the personnel as well as your security and countermeasures for the same.

If you do not already require it, you may want to institute more comprehensive employee screenings to include unconventional background checks that go beyond credit history and previous employment. Perhaps personality and behavioral testing executed both on paper and via a professional experienced in profiling and matters of this type.

It is common practice for even the most seasoned employers to direct their focus on augmenting things such as their sales volume or gross revenues while overlooking the potential profile of a would-be opportunist or worst.

A profiler would approach the identification of this invisible worker as someone on the extreme end of the personality characteristic spectrum. The personality spectrum will span from the introvert loner (male or female) to the extrovert celebrity. This will single out the obvious employee while the person that poses the highest potential threat will go undetected.

The invisible employee will be the one with previous training who has imbedded himself/herself in a group by balancing the personality characteristic. They will be an occasional contributor, attentive listener, interactive to the point of not being too memorable.

They will be gathering information on the corporate structure, customers, proprietary formulas, security measures, database, marketing direction, future product development, acquisitions, employee background for threat definition or raiding (head hunting), building engineering/layout/construction and sabotage areas of advantage.

The invisible employee will use his/her access to become familiar and confident with your surroundings. These are the same areas, which you, your employees and the security should be using to gain an advantage.

Prepare yourself and the people around you to screen for aberrant behavior and query out of the ordinary. As past cases have shown many times over, the individual was an “inside man” or there was a relationship that extended to the interior of the work arena.

History has shown us; Virginia Tech, Fort Dix Six, Columbine, etc. all had reconnaissance performed by people who had been inside the facilities and felt confident with their surroundings to be able to perform their nefarious activities with relative impunity.

An evaluation should be performed to test the objectivity of your security and the awareness of the employees that surround you; a red vs. blue team test scenario can accomplish this. Test Scenarios and vulnerability studies should be performed regularly to eliminate as many weaknesses or flaws with human beings and those that may exist technologically so that you are better able to thwart an attack—if and when one should come.

Now for completeness, let us not forget our “invisible employee” which can be anyone who enters our arena. This can be the simple intrusion to the advanced.

The simple intrusion can be the delivery services guy; pizza man, coffee service, pest control, sanitary services, window washers, interior gardening services, pool maintenance, sub shop delivery, temp workers (day/ scheduled inventories), carpet cleaning, etc.

The advanced intrusion would require the intruder to monitor the communications (verbal and electronic) and wait for the opportunity for a need to be requested. This situation could have been created in the facility to force the interior persons to request the services of the nefarious group who had presented their services prior to creating need.

Our objective is not simply to specifically identify weakness, but to spur thinking outside of the box. This thinking will assist identifying objectives for planning and actionable purpose. The objectives need to be periodically revisited, as a boilerplate template to create updates.

One other aspect to pause upon is to consider an outside source for a vulnerability study. You might not like the findings, but this will serve as a template for your internal investigational studies. Lastly, consider making this personal or someday it may affect you or the ones close to you personally.

Getting the correct defensive training includes observation and awareness skills as well as threat assessment. It is always a good idea to have your management team and support staff trained in potential hostile surveillance and/or situations. Defense Coach University provides up-to-date comprehensive defensive and protective training for identifying these type threats on businesses and corporations and how to effectively curtail, control and mitigate potential risk. DCU in association with the TRS International Group also offers red cell type security penetration testing to assist in vulnerability assessment and effective security planning and implementation.

SECURITY PROTOCOL FOR GOING TO THE BANK OR ATM

  • Keep all cash out of plain sight when driving to or from the bank
  • Vary the travel route you take so that no recognizable patterns are established, but keep to heavily traveled roads.
  • When making large deposits or withdrawals try to take along another family member, close friend, or business associate.
  • Try to avoid using ATM machines in the evening hours, when possible. If you must use an ATM after dark, try to find a drive-up ATM to minimize risks.
  • Always scan the area of the bank or ATM upon approach, observing shadows, movement, unusual or out of place things or people.
  • In approaching an ATM machine outside of your vehicle, have your ATM card in your hand, stand directly in front of the machine to safeguard your PIN number, take the withdrawn money immediately and put it in your pocket. Scan the immediate surroundings again while walking towards your vehicle.
  • In using a walk up type ATM machine, park your vehicle as close to the ATM as possible.
  • While using the ATM machine, keep alert by constantly scanning and observing the area around the machine and the surrounding area for anything or anyone suspicious.
  • If you suspect you are being followed at any time, drive directly to the nearest police station or the closest area with lots of people.
  • Leave word with a family member or close friend that you are going to the bank. Make sure they know the location of the bank you will be going to.
  • If possible, keep a cellular phone with you at all times. Make sure it is programmed with the proper police emergency numbers.
  • Always use an ATM that maintains good lighting both at the machine area and the surrounding parking lot.
  • Use indoor ATM machines whenever available. Follow the same observation and scanning concepts as above.

WHY SHOULD BECOMING A DEFENSE COACH BE A CRITICAL STRATEGIC BUSINESS DECISION?

It’s no secret that we are faced with an ever-escalating societal problem. Uncertainty.  These are uncertain times and we are in a period of continuous “flux”, economically, geo-politically, in relation to business, crime, terrorism and opportunism.

Defense Coaching satisfies Five very important needs:

1) The need to feel safe. To protect yourself and your family. To feel Safe in your home, while you’re out and about, while you are doing business and while you are on vacation. It imparts knowledge and skills that enable and empower you with certainty about your safety and security.

2). The need to earn more. Let’s face it we all could use a little more in our pockets. Defense Coaching is a new, exciting and needed field, which offers this opportunity.

3). The need for success, in everything we do is a basic human quality. To attain success in life is a universal goal that knows no boundaries. Success provides the impetus and motivation for most everything that happens in our lives.

4) The need to give. As people we need and want to give to others. To share and connect with people. To COACH, teach, help and inspire others to achieve and meet their goals.

5). The need to grow—personal growth and development is a lifelong pursuit. It is a way for people to assess their skills and set goals so that they can reach their full potential. We fully encourage growth and promote learning so that defense coaches are at the cutting edge in their field.

Every person in every job or business is constantly faced with day-to-day challenges and tasks, some expected, some unexpected. Defense Coaching satisfies these important needs and more.

With everything that is happening in the world and in our environment, and with the future uncertain, it should come as no surprise that safety and security are, and will continue to be priorities for people across the globe. There has never been a greater time to get involved in the business of defense, safety and security then now. Defense Coaching enables you with the tools and skills to execute your entrepreneurial spirit.

By taking an active role in defense on every level we become the masters of our destiny, and as a defense coach, are better prepared to deal with the expected and unexpected challenges that come our way thus giving you a decisive advantage both in business and in your personal life.

THE LESSON OF FOCUS

One very important lesson I learned as an operator is FOCUS. The nature of the trade demands tremendous mental strength and acuity. The ability to stay laser focused is critical. Aligning your sights on your weapon with your intended target or goal is paramount, without sight alignment you will miss your intended point of impact.

In business if you do not align your sights correctly and stay hard focused on what is in front of you, you will not reach your intended goals. Having a good sight picture affords you a clear understanding of your vision and goals. Your sight picture gives you a target to aim for. When you have front sight focus and “press the trigger”, you execute. You have taken the initiative to reach and achieve towards your defined goal.

Now you need a second sight picture, a vision that is action oriented and is your follow through. This represents confirmation that your point of aim is your point of impact.

So FOCUS gives your the ability to stay on the right target at the correct time. And it allows you to maintain situational awareness, always scanning to look for opportunities and threats.

TRAVEL SAFETY

With escalating economic woes, stock market dives and business uncertainty, we see an ever-increasing rise in crimes perpetrated against citizens everywhere. And while here in the United States we have seemingly caught “cold”, other places and countries get the “flu” in terms of the economies.

People all over are affected by this vast economic downturn, and for the most of us it is difficult, but we do whatever we can to manage and get through it.

There is however others out there, criminals and opportunists alike who share the same goal of “getting through it” although their methods for accomplishing this objective are far more devious.airplane

The incidence of robberies, car-jacking, home invasions, pick-pocketing and other criminal enterprises always skyrockets when economic times are tough. And this brings us to our point; safety is now more than ever, paramount for the business or recreational traveler.

Travel Safety is a key concern for Americans and global citizens everywhere and is tantamount to the escalating crime issue that is occurring all over the world.

Whether traveling alone or with your family, you should raise your awareness level and take precautions to minimize potential threats and issues later on.

There are far too many items to review for this article however let’s discuss some of the more important points now:

  1. Make sure that you have packed all your suitcases and they are properly sealed and locked whenever possible and have markings or ID on each piece.
  2. Carry all your Identification on your person is something such as an ID carrier.

If you do not own one already, an ID Carrier is an essential item to hold your travel documents, passport and other forms of ID. Normally they are designed to hold these documents close to the body under your clothing, and are secured by a neck chain or some other type of string around the neck. The ID carrier should be worn underneath your outer garments so that it is not visible to the passerby. The chain or string that secures the item can also usually be tucked under clothing to diminish its visibility as well. In this way, you are less likely to lose them via your own misdoings or others. For safety purposes, it is better to employ a break away chain for the ID carrier than paracord or other string like material so that it is less likely it can be used to strangle or suffocate you with.

  1. If traveling abroad, contact the state department first and check to see if there are any increases in security threats for the area you will be traveling in. Also check in and register with the embassy in whatever country you are traveling to so that they are aware you and your families are there.
  1. No matter what your destination is, never wear expensive jewelry, carry large sums of cash or “stand out” in the crowd, as this will surely make you a target or any local criminals that are lurking about.
  2. Whenever traveling, become familiar with local laws, even while traveling within the boundaries of the United States. One of the reasons for this is number 6.
  1. When out and about at your destination, always carry something with you to act as a “buffer” in the event someone attempts to rob you or worse. We are not giving you advice at this time on whether or not to offer resistance should this happen, (as every circumstance must be handled within the confines of the numerous factors and people involved), but merely offering you a simple, and at times effective means of putting something-a barrier between you and the potential threat.

Defense Coach University offers comprehensive Travel Safety & Security Programs as well as Travel Briefs and Alerts for Corporations, Organizations and Individuals.

For more information on Travel Safety & Security please visit us at: www.defensecoachu.com or call: 1-800-820-0882

THE COMMONALITY OF IT ALL

Everyone has heard the expression, “it’s just another tool for your tool box” or “you need as many tools in your tool box as you can fit”?

The reality is that you do not need more tools in your toolbox; you need the right tools in your toolbox. 

One of the tactical training tenets with which we operate basically states that we want to be responsible for our curriculum. If I teach for example 32 different ways to deal with a frontal handgun threat, well god help that individual no matter there background because if they ever have to employ one of those 32 techniques they will more than likely fail and then ultimately I have failed them.

When you give people a multitude of options to deal with a specific problem or situation, in this case a lethal force threat, it slows down their reaction time dramatically. In short, the more choices you give someone, the longer it takes that person to make a decision because of the variety of choices he or she has.

If our intent as defense coaches is to train the modern day warrior on all fronts and align them for combat and prepare people for conflict then we must develop TTP’s that have commonality of technique and in that way we are preparing them to win!

Theoretically and practically the fastest response will always be when you have one stimulus and one response, of course this is not realistic in the security and tactical world, but why don’t we all at least teach TTP’s that have “commonality”, a thread that runs thru a number of situations? Why don’t all instructors employ tactics and techniques that can be applied across a multitude of situations rather than having a multitude of techniques that we apply to each situation?

 TRAIN TOGETHER-FIGHT TOGETHER-WIN TOGETHER!

HITTING THE MARK

“You can’t hit the target without aiming. You cannot aim unless you have a target.

In my trade, aligning my sights on my weapon with the intended target is critical, without sight alignment I will miss my intended point of impact.

In life, if you do not align your sights correctly, you will not reach your intended goals. Having a good sight picture affords you a clear understanding of your vision and goals. Your sight picture gives you a target to aim for.

When you press that trigger, you execute. You have taken the initiative to reach and achieve towards your defined goal. That second sight picture is paramount. It is your follow through and represents confirmation that your point of aim is your point of impact!”

WHAT MAKES A GREAT LEADER?

Leadership is more about how you act, rather than the skills you have or acquire as a protection specialist or operator.

If someone were to ask me, as they often do, what are the critical qualities of a great leader? I always respond with the same three words character, presence and intellect.

Character is best developed during adversity and when you prevail through adversity, strength and resolve are built. To develop character, you must educate, grow and use experiences as lessons learned so that you can continually improve.

As Leaders and business operators you have an obligation and responsibility for not only your own character, but also the development of all your team. Your “character” should then exemplify values and ethics that best represent your company or business for which you are the leader.

Presence is the sum total of your certainty, actions, words and mannerism. Presence must convey the leaders ability to command attention while also garnering respect. As a leader and business operator, it is essential that you be perceived by your peers, and team as a person whom can inspire and motivate them to duty.

The phrase that “leaders lead from the front” is more than just that, it is a way of life and you must communicate these attributes by standing and or fighting in the trenches with your people everyday. In this way, you are imparting confidence to your team that their “leader” or “team leader” is willing to do whatever it takes to complete the mission, and it is then that that team will follow you to hell and back.

And for those of you that are just starting out or those that want to grow as an executive or professional, it is Intelligence that allows you the mental, cognitive and creative abilities to execute the tasks every day, which lead to achievement and success.

As business “operators” you are thrown into situations, which demand critical thinking at a moment’s notice, you have to be able to view every obstacle or challenge from all sides and think laterally to solve it.

The Corporate world requires a proactive mindset with an understanding of consequences for every action or inaction. Threat assessment must be a part of that world and be congruent with the matrix of components that makeup the threats and the mission. Intelligence is what will allow you as a business operator to have the mental agility to continually make sound judgment calls and stay ahead of those threats.

So lead by example for there is no written set of laws that define leadership. It is your confidence and belief, values, thinking and actions that transcend conventional thought and bridge the gap between what you could be and who you are as a leader.

CONTACT DCU

Whether you are an individual, corporation or learning institution we have a solution to fit your needs. Contact us by phone or email to set up a free consultation to find the right DCU program for you, your employees, faculty and student body.