Situational Awareness

I’ve talked about the Knife Intifada before.  Palestinians are stabbing Israeli Jews left and right.

With that in mind, watch the security footage from an checkpoint in Jerusalem, below.

A woman in a Hijab walks up to the guard at the checkpoint.  She shows him her ID.  The guard starts looking at his… tablet, clip board, something official (I can’t tell what).  All the time he’s talking with the woman.

She has a full 20 seconds (from about 0:26 – 0:45) to slowly bring her bag around and pull out a knife.

The situation ended about as well as it could have at that point.  The guard received only minor injuries and the woman got shot, but non fatally.

All I can thing is “c’mon Doofus, you’re lucky you’re not dead.”

Let’s count the probelms, shall we?

1- Stabbings all over the city, committed by Palestinians.  Woman is wearing a Hijab, indicating she’s probably Palestinian.

2- Woman has a huge bag, that could be hiding anything.  Guard doesn’t pay attention to the bag.

3- She starts fumbling in her bag.  The guard apparently asks what she’s looking for it in, but makes to attempt to secure her.  It could be a knife, it could be a bomb.

4- The guard spent most of his time with his eyes off the Woman and on his … unidentified security object.

5- The guard stands way too close to the woman giving him no space to react when she gets her knife out.

I’m not a cop, but I’ve read about modern police traffic stop procedures.  Keep your eyes on the driver and passengers, watch for movement, etc.  When the cop has to fumble with checking ID or writing a ticket, where is that done?  In his car, with the suspect (for lack of a better word) in his car.  Why?  So the suspect can’t attack the officer while his attention is elsewhere.  This guard dropped every bit of situational awareness and now has a scar to prove it.

Don’t drop yours.  If something makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, listen to that fear.  I’d rather be accused of profiling than get killed or spend the rest of my life crapping into a bag through a hole in my side because I chose to ignore something that got my hackles up.

3 Replies to “Situational Awareness”

  1. He had too much to do, and not enough safe space to do it, and no back up to help him do it.

    He was looking at her pass/passport book/ID, which takes his attention from what she is doing, and also trying to look at the cars coming in. Although that may have been mere distraction.

    That’s not to say that your points aren’t 100% correct. I’m merely pointing out that his attention is divided among multiple tasks, and all her furtive movements were lost in the static, as it were. Had there been another person at the checkpoint, it may have been that he would have been able to pay more attention to what she was doing.

    Or he might just really suck at SA.




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  2. I used to work security, it was one of the jobs I had in grad scool. I think I’ll blog about that tonight.

    One guard could do this job. It’s a mater of procedure. The guard should have his post, probably protected by a K rail or other barrier to keep him from getting run over. There should also be a waiting area for pedestrians 10 feet from the guard’s position. The guard didn’t appear to be checking the driver’s ID so that is one less thing for him to worry about.

    When a pedestrian arrives, the guard goes to the pedestrian and gets the ID and goes back to his post to review it. When pass is granted, the pedestrian can leave the waiting area. A simple turnstile or spring loaded gate, something to made a pedestrian lose momentum if they try to rush the guard would help too.

    Is this slower? Yes, but it’s safer and more controlled. This guy just seemed to be a pud with his shirt untucked and blue sneakers.




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