Situational Awareness of Job Functions

Situational Awareness of Job Functions

Situational Awareness of job functions in your region of interest?

These skills are used for a variety of reasons by the security manager;

The security manager wears different hats at times in relation to job functions. Their job demands them to be investigators, conflict managers, mediators, negotiators, and compliance officers to ensure the physical environment is secure.

  • Governance Management, Vetting and Compliance
  • Project Management (security style) considering operations and mobilization
  • Negotiations with suppliers and service providers
  • Polarized neighbourhoods: policing and managing such neighbourhoods. Specific methods to recruit and place only staff with skill-craft in-line with such. Unskilled staff could incite incidents as they could be misinterpreting gestures or be misunderstood.
  • Companies to select non-bias, racist, xenophobic or radicalized staff but people may lie or hide their true emotions to get the jobs in stores close to, or in the polarized neighbourhoods.
  • Identify a person that could be abused, manipulated by bullying, extortion or blackmailed to working as the insider threat on a mission, or participating in concert with a militant organization, or organized crime.
  • Detecting mental or emotional status of staff. Unstable staff could cause horrific collateral damage.
  • Handling disputes with clients, victims or other issues with foreign nationals or other cultures.
  • Selecting the experts, the right security service or sub-contractors with the right mental attitude and consider skills that would mitigate the risk with current challenges.
  • Identify if staff are being abused in their homes by migrants from war torn countries that have been adopted or from various religious extremist cultures that support honour killings. This is a marked increase of domestic violent crime.
  • Most importantly, gathering reliable and all the information as staff may lie, hide or share information for their own agenda to clarify the true situation to safeguard others.

To determine such, we used the concept of; Where do we use the skill-sets of lie, deception detection and investigative interviewing for assorted reasons in divergent job functions’’. The skill-sets are used in all sectors of criminology and security besides job functions. Crime scene authenticity protection, first contact, investigations, close protection, risk management, personnel assessment, vetting, compliance, just to mention a few examples.


The Situation in Work Environment

People are not forthcoming with information for a number numerous reasons, it is vital for security managers to earn the respect and trust in to reduce the resistance to obtain information.

The Security Managers uses the skill-sets to earn the trust and respect of their team besides focused on specific ideals. The skill-sets are used for many purposes however as the manager must make final decisions, they therefore, are reliant on their staff’s input. When the staff do not trust or respect the manager, the manager may not obtain valuable information.

Do you respect and trust your Security Manager?

The first things that comes to one’s mind sub-consciously when we meet people for the first time is do I respect the person, and do I trust the person?

How does one respect someone?

They are [11]exceptional attentive listeners with a balance in empathy and ego drive. They are open to innovative ideas and want to know or learn more, as they realize they are responsible for the lives of many. They understand emotionally the responsibility of their position and have the mentality that goes with the responsibility.

This has nothing to do with the title, as some people get their title by perceived strengths and skills related to security. Perhaps, they have just had a lengthy period of military war/conflict experience, or they may be academically inclined with MSc with limited field experience in a specific field and believe they are versed in all fields of security.

Subsequently, one who knows the true value of a security manager would be able to assess a manager. The security manager that is an expert in Risk mitigation and a student of Criminology will acquire the skill-sets and master certain skill-craft in-line with current challenges.

Unfortunately, the Directors of companies do not know the true abilities of a security manager and therefore do not understand the value that the security manager could contribute to their company.

Respecting the Security Manger could fit in with certain criteria, such as,

1.The Security Manager is not biased or racist in any sense of the word. They must be non-political and non-racist, as any professional of the Judicial System as they are part of the Judicial System. (Own Work: J Kirsten 2014)

2.They are knowledgeable in their region of interest and furthermore and most importantly, they express that they realize they are students of ‘their region of interest’. Reason being, is that new incidents evolve rapidly with current challenges being the speed of technological development and the impact on the security ground level to political climate changing dynamically and speedily. One simply does not respect a ‘know it all’ person.

3.They have an investigative mind which is their greatest strength and focus on their skill development related to such.
Subsequently, a Master is a person that knows to retain the title ‘Master’, is a person in a state of continuous learning and perfecting skill-craft. People respect and trust an educated professional

4.Security Managers base their decision making on all, usable and reliable information as they know their actions are life impacting or life & death decisions implications. They do not thumb-suck info and know what skill-craft to perfect to accomplish this.

5. When they declare they are experts in Risk Mitigation, and you ask them how they mitigate risk. They may discuss historic data and bring in their viewpoint of current challenges. Then ask them, what is happening on the ground right here and now in their location and region of interest? If they do know– then ask them how important it is to know as they did not mention it.

6.They declare they are students of Criminology and continuously pay attention to the news media especially articles or current events pertaining to any form of crime. They are to substantiate their statement by confirming the statement with facts.

7. The Security Manager knows what they do,as they evaluate, interview and use advanced investigative interviewing methods to do the MOST IMPORTANT function which is to gather all, usable and reliable information.

Furthermore, the Professional Security Manager must be able to manage other people’s emotions. They have mastered deception detection skills to the point of being able to manage the emotions of others effectively when they need to. People feel respect and trust for the security manager, when the security manager managers their emotions by understanding their situation and knows their position and how they truly feel. This can only be done with the skill-sets of lie, deception detection and investigative interviewing.

What is Situational Awareness in Job functions: Situational Awareness for Project Management

(Security Style)

Project management is a function that all managers do either as a daily task or consider and acknowledge the title when a special project must be undertaken. Let us consider a project as a clock. Each function designated to a person is a cog. If the cogs do not work in sequence – the clock simply will not work.

Security projects could involve life impacting or life & death situations and therefore transparency and accountability is key to a successful project. The project success will depend on the level of situational awareness of the decision makers on the ground and reaction speed.

The success of any project will depend on reliable and all the information to start with. There must be consistent flow of correct and transparent information all the time during the project until completion because any actions based on insufficient information will deliver collateral damage.

Project Brief

The manager is briefed on the project. Perhaps, the manager is not totally clear on the brief, or is provided insufficient information for whatever reason. It is up to the project manager to ensure that they gather reliable and all the information for the project before embarking to selecting the right people that will participate. If the initial brief does not contain accurate and sufficient information and the manager finds issues, then, the manager must explore the reasons why this has taken place. Could the project be sabotaged from the beginning with lack of information or misinformation, doomed to fail and for what reason?

A project is only as good as its people. People may not be forthcoming with information. People do lie, hide or volunteer information for their own agenda. How do we know that we are placing the right people in the right position for the right reason at the right time?

Capable; They may say that they can do the job, but in-fact are chancing it for their own agenda.

Accurate reporting – There may be someone that indicates that they have completed their portion of the project and ready to advance to the next stage but may be lying when asked by the project manager. They may not be lying because they want to sabotage the project but simply because they are embarrassed about something they did nor did not do. They may be hiding something or volunteering information for some reason such as protecting others.


Understanding the situation must take all into consideration based on historic data, current challenges and especially the X Factor which are issues that the manager is unaware of. This is the biggest nightmare – not knowing what is truly going on under the manager’s nose. It is possible that distinct cultures could be working together. In the issues and impact of communication [12]Vardaan Sharma outlines major problems.


Decisions based on inaccurate or insufficient information will lead to collateral damage


Project failure, Loss of funding, lives impacted or death 


Situational Awareness for Security Budgeting


The forensic auditing team and security department can make up a formidable oversight and governance team.

 In the in-depth work by [1]Scott Porter and Larry Crumbley (2012)  for forensic audit interviewing, comparisons of various interviewing methods are highlighted between, Canadian, American and British police interviewing methods. Furthermore, they explore the characteristics of the interviewing style between police and the accountants besides the ethics and interviewing laws in obtaining confessions. The forensic accountant may have had police investigative interviewing training but contend that the character of the accountant is different to the police investigator. They do record and cite incredible results in the interviewing process by presenting timeously evidence to the suspects and compare the impact of ‘method of conduct’ by the Swedes and Australians. In this work, the methods of investigative interviewing consider aspects that are similar and subsequently, takes cultural behaviour into account as distinct cultures react differently and therefore methods used in one country or culture may be or not be as successful in another region.

 There are obviously case studies of financial fraud, theft of all kinds, and MO (modus operandi) of felons where the forensic accountants can refer to and obtain successful results.  The security manager within their own region of interest, should know where and how service providers are able to defraud or commit financial crime related to the security department, such as, on reviewing service providers consider if all services that were rendered that was paid for has been received. This goes further in considering if there was ‘theft of time’ when services that are charged per hour when the site was truly manned. Even though the forensic accountant may focus and discover embezzlement, fraud or misappropriation of funds – they may discover it was done by a person or people working in concert. Keep in mind, that service providers could lie or hide information. For example; a service provider could be charging for a service, as in, manpower, whereas no such service is being provided or more provided on purpose and pay-offs are being made.

The problem is that the accountants consider security as an expense. The implications are when they need to cut expenses the accountants look to the security department to cut or elevate the budget. The financial department can calculate the loss of revenue due to workplace violence, strike-damage, besides theft of company time or any other kind to consider the cost of mitigation against the losses.

Most important to keep in mind, to have a substantial contingency. Reason being, is that we are in a highly fluid and volatile sector of industry where the lives of others are in the hands of the security department. Unique terror attacks or acts of organized crime evolve at a moment’s notice anywhere at any time which may demand physical or non-physical products or services to mitigate the risk.

 Problem: Accountants instruct to Cut Budgets

Solution: Change attitudes to the fact that the security department is a profit protection or profit enhancing body. This can be done by introducing transferable skills to other departments. The accountant interview people in their quest to discover what happened to the money. In certain countries forensic accountants may use polygraph services. This work outlines the new generation of mitigating factors, uncovers and discloses damming issues in the polygraph industry

Little do the forensic accounts  know that the security professional is equipped with skills that are matured and advanced in discovering the truth of the matter and can be used for many reasons, namely;  Acquisitions and MergersThe security department’s character is one of paying attention to detail by way of looking for issues that others miss. They focus on the X -Factor which is ‘what is truly going on-the-ground that others are unaware of”. When the company goes into a deal of any kind, and only to find out after the fact the missing information would cause collateral damage on the company by-way of,  loss of financial capital, wasted time and most importantly – damaging the reputation of the company. Who knows if a company is being investigated by shareholders or stake holders that may be dragged into the limelight of the news feeds and social media in future for any dubious reasons and suffering reputation damage? The forensic account must consider that security professionals are specialists in obtaining physical evidence using various methods or knows where and who to use to obtain relevant information.

When the accountants discover loss of revenue with some points mentioned above and appreciate the fact that we are living in a constant state of insecurity whereas there are life impacting or life and death outcomes, then they may consider security  as a crucial factor. Subsequently there must be a flexible contingency budget as incidents or issues could evolve that are unexpected due to current challenges changing and perhaps having to mitigate issues that has just been discovered in their region of interest.  If the Security Manager is-able-to discover issues related to the financial department then it would help greatly to earn the trust and respect of the accountant. Conclusion: The financial department must trust and respect the security management that masters the skill-sets as they themselves use the skills for forensic auditing. Working in concert, the forensic auditing team and security department can make up a formidable oversight and governance team.

[1] Porter, Crumbley 2012      Teaching Interviewing Techniques to Forensic Accountants Is Critical

Situational Awareness for Close Protection Operatives

In the in-depth and wide-minded research of Dr Gavriel Schneider (2005) he refers to the Close Protection Officer (CPO) possibly escorting the principal internationally and furthermore, working with counterparts abroad, subsequently, interacting or working with diverse cultures. Included in his research, the pays attention to various forms of communication that the CPO would be involved in, i.e., in the stages of planning, mission and de-briefing. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of observation, awareness, and quick thinking. Having researched various CPO training companies and paying attention to the curriculum of others, we noted that all were failing in certain aspects whereas, the research paper of Dr Gavriel Schneider (2005) [1]was most advanced.

In this research paper, we stress the importance and re-iterate that security success of a CPO will depend on their level of situational awareness of the decision maker on the ground and reaction speed. The emphasis on this piece is on the situational awareness – decision making and reaction speed. The situation is that international cultures communicate taking cultural behaviour and cultural conduct into consideration. If one does not know what others are reading in others or saying to others using their hands or face in cultural behaviour, then situational awareness is no- existent. Furthermore, the client (principal) could be misinterpreted or be misunderstood which opens the door to possibilities that can cause collateral damage in the field or even destroy the business relationship with the client.

The decision-making to plan and protect the principal begins at the stage of interviewing, whereas, the CPO must establish the true situation. The client in fact could not only be the principal but also their entourage, e.g. partners, kids, wife, etc. The CPO may ask questions related to the health of the client and enquire about issues that may negatively impact on the safeguarding of the principal. The principal may not disclose their little secrets that could impact on their protection. Therefore, it is vital to gather reliable, and all-the-information during the brief and to continuously monitor the truthful situation as issues could have been missed. We need to take this further and make decisions on which members of the team are best and need to vet the team, whereas, it could be possible for CPO’s to have an issue with the client if they are racist or bias in any way. For argument sake, let us say that the principal may be an extremist right or left-wing celebrity or a paedophile, then there may be team members that the issue and could cause a situation whereas the principal could experience collateral damage on purpose. Furthermore, team members could lie or hide information Peter Constadine (Find in Peer Reviews)

When it comes to situational awareness picking up on a highly volatile scenario, quick decision-making is now in a stressful situation [2]Dr Gavriel Schneider (May 2012) where the emotions of fear are predominant. Freeze, fight or flight are possible symptoms that naturally occur because of the neuro-chemistry of the person [3](H. Stefan Bracha, 2004). It is vital that the CPO is properly trained to react instinctively. The Security Personnel using HIM must be trained instinctively to activate operations and mobilization with clarity of consciousness and confidence. Therefore, the operations awareness and training of mobilization must be intense for security personnel to feel confident and for considering the implications to react timeous.

The pre-check of a venue or site by the CPO is a critical part of protection. They may need to interview the people on the site to vet and validate the security. Venues derive revenue by holding functions and may not provide all-the-information as they do not enjoy turning business away, therefore, the people on site may not provide accurate information to secure their financial return. The CPO needs to know the truth of the matter.

The impulsive visit. The principal may simply request a change in route at the last minute and drop by for an impulsive visit to a venue. The CPO needs to then interview the people manning the entrance, be it the guard or receptionist to validate the security. Within seconds they need to clarify the situation to decide. An example, would be at a bar, whereas, the CPO, would need to know if there had been any issues in the bar that night, or did the guard turn away someone and that person promised to return with others. The site management may not want to lose the business and therefore, lie or hide information. It is vital to know the truth of the matter for obvious reasons.

Dr Gavriel Schneider (2005) addresses the importance of educating on protection methods and HIM emphasis on educating the client to earn trust and respect with HIM skills. The client would use HIM to consider their true situation and their own threat level with their partners, wife and kids. Furthermore, as the skills are transferable, the client could use the skill-sets in their profession besides their personal life.

The conclusion to this work is that the HIM method of lie, deception detection and investigative interviewing taking cultural behaviour into account is a critical core skill.


Major Threat Concerns for Security Management

The insider threats;

The in-house guard force or outsourced service providers could be the insider threat.

  1. Refer to Situational Awareness of the Polygraph Industry. Annexure 4
  2. Refer to Situational Awareness of the Security Service Provider Threat. Annexure 5
  3. Refer Situational Awareness of Radicalization of Migrants in Detention Centres and Prisons. Annexure 9

Major Fears

Annexure 1.  Situational Awareness considering Historic data, Modus Operandi (Region of Interest) and Pattern (Individuals)

Annexure 5. Situational Awareness of the security protection service threat

Annexure 6. Situational Awareness doing undercover or in a hostage situation

Annexure 7. Situational Awareness for access control and perimeter security

Annexure 8. Situational Awareness to determine state of crime or state of terror – is it the same?

Annexure 9. Situational Awareness of radicalization in detention centres and prisons that host migrants

Annexure 10. Situational Awareness of hotel security: Protecting and creating profit by enhancing security

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