Crime Time with Steve Albrecht

“Shots Fired” Threat assessment professionals, like my colleagues and me, working with or for Human Resources and Security Departments, are always looking for answers to the often fatal issue of workplace violence. There are no easy solutions to stopping mass attackers, ex-employees bent on revenge, or domestic violence perpetrators who want to harm their former partners and they go to the workplace to do it. Similarly, police departments need a tool to identify people who shoot guns in the air in certain city neighborhoods; who shoot at strangers, enemies, or loved ones; or gangs, who create hazardous situations when they shoot at their rivals (and often hit innocent people caught in the crossfire). One tool that seems to have promise is known as a “shot spotter.” It’s a specialized listening device that hears the sound of a gunshot in a neighborhood, inside a school building, or at a workplace. The system can call 9-1-1 instantly and police can respond to the location with the hopes of
identifying the shooter and/or quickly rescuing any wounded. If this sounds like complicated technology, it is. The system has to hear the difference between an actual gunshot fired by a bad guy, a firecracker thrown by a 12-year-old, a car backfire (even though that’s mostly rare these days), and the sound of a door slamming. Every sound has its own digital signature and the engineers who design these “shot spotters” want to help police know a real gunshot from something that is labeled a false alarm. Too many false alarm can make police question the validity of these electronic systems and can cause the manufacturer to have to pay penalties in the form of expensive service call fees. Plus, no officer or deputy wants to respond to a “Shots Fired” call (always a stressful moment) and get there to find out the listening device actually heard a light bulb breaking in the street. These systems are designed and built by acoustical and electrical engineers, software programmers, and systems professionals. Often these scientists have worked in the military and for defense contractors.

This week’s Crime Time guest is Kathleen Griggs, CEO of Vienna, VA-based Databuoy Corporation. Her firm designs and installs the “Shotpoint” gunfire localizer for law enforcement agencies. I  will discuss this technology with her and what it means to keeping us all safe from workplace violence, K-12 or college and university shootings, or mass attacks in public spaces.
“If I Were A Crook” Steve has always been a man to follow the rules and the law. But what if he wasn’t such a good guy after all? What if he decided to become a bad guy? Could he use what he has learned in his years as a cop to become a crook? The good news is he would never do that. The bad news is that lots of criminals already know and do what he will talk about on this week’s Crime Time Podcast. Some examples:

What’s the best time to rob a convenience store? Between two police shift changes.

Where’s the best place to steal a car? The airport, right after you switch the plates from the same make and model of car you want to steal.

What’s the best object to carry to commit most high-dollar property crimes? (Hint: It’s not a gun. It’s a clipboard.)

Where is the best place to steal a car that already has the keys in the ignition? The post office or the Starbucks.

Join Dr. Steve Albrecht on “Crime Time” as he talks about how he would use his experience to outwit the criminal justice system and the police (and how the police would still probably catch him).
“Preventing Sexual Assault,” with Detective Carlton Hershman: Detective Carlton Hershman (Ret) is a 32-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, retiring in 2017. Det. Hershman is a nationally recognized speaker. He has trained thousands of law enforcement professionals, prosecutors, military personnel, sexual assault nurse examiners, and advocates. Det. Hershman served as an instructor at the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Academy on sex crimes investigations, Interviewing and
Interrogation, and investigations 101. He has worked several assignments as an investigator including Special Investigations Unit, Homicide Unit, Sex Crimes Unit, Elder Abuse Unit, and the C.A.T.C.H. Team (Cyber Unit). Det. Hershman is on the training faculty for the Institute of Criminal Investigations, a government training agency, and is a member of the End Violence Against Women International Cadre
of Experts.
He is also a lifetime member of the California Sexual Assault Investigators’ Association and has testified as an expert in sex crimes investigations, false reporting, and victimology of a sex crimes survivor. Det. Hershman also presents at San Diego area high schools, colleges and universities
on the subject of acquaintance rape and sexual assault by intoxication.
Det. Hershman operates a consulting business, advising and training law enforcement agencies across the nation in sexual assault investigations. In 2007, Det. Hershman implemented the sex crimes cold case unit. During his 10 years in the Sex Crimes Unit, he investigated more than 1,300 sexual assault cases. Join Dr. Steve Albrecht on “Crime Time” as he talks with Carl Hershman about how to prevent sexual assaults in our communities
and our families.
The Verbal Judo Institute with guest Mike “Ziggy” Siegfried: Mike “Ziggy” Siegfried is the Chief Operating Officer for the Verbal Judo Institute, a training firm founded by the late Doctor George Thompson, who created the verbal Judo concept and taught it to thousands of law enforcement officers around the world, including me. Mike is the primary tactical communications instructor for California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). Mike spent 26 years working as a full-time peace officer in San Bernardino County, California. He retired in July 2018. He holds black belts in Karate and mixed martial arts and is a court-recognized use of force expert. Mike is a published author in Police Magazine, the FBI National Academy Associate Magazine, Police Recruit
Magazine, and Campus Security Magazine. Join Dr. Steve Albrecht on “Crime Time” as he talks with Ziggy about why in this era of so many questions about police procedures, use of force, and
their continued need for de-escalation techniques, the concept of Verbal Judo is so useful and valuable.
Personal Self-Defense Guest: Dave Fowler, President, Personal Safety Training Inc., Coeur d'
Alene, ID, Dave Fowler has taught self-defense classes and security tactics to thousands of employees, security guards, and law enforcement officers. He teaches his popular AVADE course to security guards who work in casinos, retail stores, and hospitals. He trains healthcare workers to protect themselves, while working in emergency rooms, clinics, and on hospital
floors. Why the need for all this training from people in the medical profession? Because the rising number of incidents and reports show us that healthcare workers work in some of the most likely places for violence in the US. Even with armed security officers in our emergency rooms, drug-
seeking patients, angry family members, and other attackers still bring and use guns in the hospital environment. Dave believes the best response to an active shooter attacking a public space, concert, movie theater, school, or a workplace is the national protocol known as Run-Hide-Fight. This means you must be ready to run out of the building where the shooter is, taking as many people with you,
as safely as possible. If getting out is not safe or possible, then you need to hide out, in a safe room. This is a room with a lockable door, preferably with no windows. Move as many people as you can into the safe room, lock or barricade the door with heavy furniture or objects, move away from the door, shut off the lights, and call 9-1-1 as quickly and as quietly as you can. If you are confronted by an armed attacker before you can Run or Hide, you must be ready and willing to Fight back. This means you should use the element of surprise, sheer numbers of people on your side, and actual or improvised weapons (like a chair or a fire extinguisher) to protect yourself, protect the group, and stop the shooter until law enforcement arrives. Dave also reminds his students there is a time to talk to angry people and a time to take self-defending actions. He teaches the use of OC Pepper spray as a legal, appropriate, and successful self-defense weapon. We’ll talk about the value of OC Pepper spray, how it works, and why you need to practice to be able to: Draw it – Shake it – Warn the attacker – and
Spray it.
“International Corporate Security” All business is global and the security business faces challenges overseas that are similar and very different from what we see in the US. John Cowling is a longtime security manager, originally from Australia. He has worked as a prison officer there and transitioned into the corporate security arena. His work has taken him all over the world. He now works and lives
with his family in Dubai. John has deployed to Algeria, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Gabon, India,
Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA, Vietnam, and Yemen.
Here’s John’s bio and his beliefs about protecting people and assets: “As part of a global security team, I deliver practical solutions covering security risk management, training & development, travel security, business continuity and crisis management. Based in the Middle East region since 2005, I am fortunate to be regularly deployed on a variety of security, risk and crisis management tasks and projects across the Middle East region and into Africa, Asia and Europe. My travel is based on organizational needs rather then region, so I will travel anywhere! I believe that diversity in culture and gender is essential to a successful organization. I am a firm believer in providing realistic and tangible solutions that make a positive change on clients operations and peoples lives.” Join Dr. Steve Albrecht on “Crime Time” as he talks to John Cowling about life in Dubai, the corporate security challenges he faces in the United Arab Emirates, what he sees in Europe and the Middle East, and what that means about keeping the US citizens and companies safe as well.
“What Cops Know, Say and Have to Do,” For this hour, Steve will talk about an article he co-wrote with another San Diego cop, way back in 1987, for a weekly publication called the San Diego Reader. The article was called “What Cops Know” and it was a collection of stories from the street about things cops have seen and said and done. Some of it is funny – the angry skunk with the yogurt cup on his head, wildly spraying everyone in sight – to horrible – the deaths and violence and injuries humans cause to themselves and others, to odd – drunks drowning in park fountains and pilots getting arrested for drunk flying. Join Dr. Steve Albrecht on “Crime Time” as he talks about his collection of
stories from the Old Days, which are not that much different than the street stories cops tell in these New Days too.
“Stay Safe At Home,” Steve will be publishing his new book soon. It’s called Stay Safe At Work:
Your Ultimate Guide to Workplace Security. It covers a wide variety of safety and security concerns that employees and employers need to consider as they return back to their offices and worksites. This includes active shooters; workplace violence; telephone and bomb threats; car accidents; medical emergencies and first aid events; car thefts and car burglaries; fires in the building; encounters with trespassers and the homeless; safety during a pandemic; internal threats, including industrial
espionage; and overall facility security. Join Dr. Steve Albrecht on “Crime Time” as he talks about keeping our businesses, assets, information, financial data, customers, clients, and employees safe and secure from a variety of visible and hidden hazards, potential crimes, and opportunistic criminals that could target our workplaces.
California Prison System Corruption: with guest Donald “DJ” Vodicka: Donald “DJ” Vodicka is a former prison guard with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He is the author of a book called The Green Wall: A Prison Guard’s Struggle to Expose the Code of Silence in the Largest Prison System in the United States. We’ll talk about his experiences, and the corruption he saw, working in some of California’s toughest and most dangerous prisons. While working at the Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, CA, he discovered the existence of the ”Green Wall,” which was an actual prison gang made up of corrections officers. (California correctional officers wear green uniforms.) This group began abusing prison inmates and DJ Vodicka, as a member of the prison’s Investigative Services Unit, was told by the prison warden to investigate their illegal and unethical activities. What he discovered put his life and career at risk. he was labeled a snitch and a rat by some of his co-workers and it took his testimony in front of a public hearing of law makers in Sacramento to bring his story and the abuses he saw, to light. Join Dr. Steve Albrecht on “Crime Time” as he talks with DJ Vodicka about his life and experiences working in some of California’s most dangerous prisons, the corruption he witnessed, and the steps he took to save his life and career.
Understanding the Homeless with guest Ryan Dowd, Executive Director, Hesed House Homeless Shelter,
Aurora, IL, “Being homeless in America,” says Ryan Dowd, Executive Director of Hesed House in Aurora, IL, “is boring, dangerous, lonely, scary, and does horrible things to the person’s self-esteem.” I’ll talk to Ryan about his work at the homeless shelter and what he and his staff do on a daily basis to provide for this ever-growing population, not only in Illinois, but in this country. Ryan is the author of the 2015 book, “The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness.” published by the American Library Association. He is a frequent consultant to libraries around the country, as he helps them deal
with homeless patrons in their facilities. He was a technical consultant on the 2018 Movie “The Public,” a movie about the homeless in a Cincinnati library, which was written and directed by Emilio Estevez, who acted in the film, along with Alec Baldwin, Gabreille Union, and Christian Slater.

We’ll discuss these questions, among others:
• Are homeless people dangerous to you or others?
• What are the best ways you can help an individual homeless person you
see on the street?
• What are the best ways to help homeless advocates in your community?
• What about homeless people and their dogs?
• Why is homelessness so severe in California?
• What are some of the obvious solutions to homelessness that our
government leaders are not considering?
• What does the future look like for the homeless problem in this country?
Youth Empowerment to Stop Gang Membership: As a teenager, Arthur Soriano was a gang member in San Diego’s Mid-City area. His involvement in that life landed him in prison, many times. Upon his final release, he reconnected with his family and began walking the path to change his life. An encounter with a San Diego Police juvenile detective caused him to think about becoming a mentor for teenagers living in or around the street gang lifestyle. He began that process, supported by his wife and children.   Today, Arthur is the President and CEO of Youth Empowerment San Diego, a company that believes in community engagement, youth mentorship, and building resilience. Since Arthur came from a trauma-informed background, he recognizes the impact living in a trauma-filled home can have on young children. Countless studies demonstrate the impact of living in a dangerous, violent home can have on kids, as they grow up to become dangerous and violent themselves. We will discuss why trauma victims so often become crime perpetrators. We will also discuss the process and impact of “restorative justice” programs, which put crime victims in the same room with the juvenile crime perpetrators that harmed them. Using a structured, facilitated discussion, the young men or women who committed crimes against others seek to apologize, explain why they did what they did, and ask for forgiveness.
Keeping Our Kids Safe Online: If you go to the mall, church, or a movie theater, it’s not unusual to see children as young as 8, clutching onto their every own smartphones. Today, kids who can barely walk, talk, or read can climb up on to a desk chair at home and operate a computer mouse that gets them on to their favorite sites on the Internet. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating that second example, but not by much. Parents who say they have purchased a smartphone for their children have done so to “keep them safe,” in case there’s an accident or they need to get ahold of them or vice versa. But is it safe to give a child a cellphone with all of the things he or she can access on today’s wide-open Internet?
There are thousands of web sites which are good, educational, and healthy for kids. But there are millions of web sites that are filled with hate, racism, violence, and most obviously, pornography. Not being able to know what your kid is looking at online, and why, and more importantly, at whose urging, is the most significant safety, security, and child abuse prevention issue of our Digital Age.
Predators roam the anonymous world of the Internet, invading teen chatrooms, asking for sexually explicit photographs from everyone from pre-teens to young adults, and even encouraging meetups which, sadly, have ended in sexual assaults, exploitations, kidnappings, pimping for prostitution, human trafficking, and even murder. The Internet can never be made fully safe, even with local police officers and federal agents working together – often in one of the 61 ICAC or Internet Crimes Against Children task forces in the US. It will take vigilance by parents, to actually pay attention to what their kids are looking at, who they are chatting with, or who is exchanging personal information with them.
This week’s Crime Time podcast guest is Frederick Lane, a noted author and attorney who specializes in keeping kids safe online. Here’s his bio:

“Frederick Lane is an author, attorney, educational consultant, and lecturer based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a nationally-recognized expert in the areas of cyber safety, digital misconduct, personal privacy, and other topics at the intersection of law, technology, and society. Lane has appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, the BBC, and MSNBC. He has written nine books, including most recently Raising Cyberethical Kids ) and Cybertraps for Expecting Moms & Dad ( ). He is currently working on his newest book, The Rise of the Digital Mob (Beacon Press 2021). All of his books are available on or through his Web site,”

Protecting Your Home From Burglars: One of the few benefits of the Corona virus – and there aren’t many – is that it has helped to lower the home burglary rate. Having so many of us quarantined over the last six months has meant we are home during working / daylight hours, when most residential burglaries take place.Home burglaries are most often committed by drug users and teenagers
(who can be both, but it’s not as common as separately).
These crooks seek out houses that are unoccupied during the day, when those of us who don’t steal for a living are at work or school. The pandemic has kept so many of us home and this has driven the residential burglary rate down. People who are addicted to heroin or meth need money to support their habits. After they’ve finished stealing from their employers – and getting fired – or from their relatives – and getting kicked out of their families, they turn to stealing from strangers – you and me. For this week’s Crime Time podcast, on the Acts Media Group channel, I’ll talk about how you can protect your home from opportunistic thieves, who are mostly lazy and hardly the safe crackers and cat burglars we’ve seen in old movies. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of alarm systems, the value of cameras, and whether you should install a fake camera outside your house as a deterrent. (Spoiler Alert: no, this is a bad idea.) I’ll also, talk about the most popular home security systems, including those offered by ADT, SimpliSafe, and Ring. Do you need alarm monitoring? Can you install these systems yourself or do you need a professional? Do dogs
and motion sensor lights help drive burglars away? Other factors considered include are why do most police reports only have three boxes to list what was stolen during a home burglary or how can you
prevent a team of burglars from using a moving truck from emptying your house?
Finally,how can you use Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) to keep your home safe.