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To drill a mock scenario.


Using mock training scenarios is one of the best ways for an organization to evaluate its security capabilities and achieve a sound security response. A mock scenario is an organized activity performed to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular function. In security operations, it is the simulation of a real-life event to observe the actions or reactions of a security force. The goal of mock training scenarios is to ensure that officers can function successfully if a real event occurs at a facility.

Mock scenarios train workers to function under stressful circumstances. To ensure use of proper procedures and maximize training effectiveness, mock scenarios should be well planned and carefully implemented. When properly designed and managed, they offer realism that is difficult to surpass. Mock scenarios provide opportunities to test emergency response capabilities, evaluate officer readiness, review emergency plans, identify deficiencies in operational plans, provide training to correct identifiable problems, and monitor other functions pertinent to the successful completion of a mission.

To create sound scenarios, a methodology must be developed to ensure that the training program is thorough, accurate, and complete. Trainers may have to repeat scenarios in various locations and at different times to get a true picture of a security force's response capabilities. The following is a recommended method of developing and implementing training scenarios.

To obtain information needed to develop a training scenario, an organization's existing concerns must be surveyed before any action can be taken. Surveying involves reviewing several information sources including, but not limited to, the following:

Standard operation manuals. Policy manuals are helpful in developing appropriate scenarios. They include post orders, job descriptions, operational orders, and other related operational data.

Post orders outline proper procedures for a particular stationary post or mobile patrol. This information helps a trainer select variables for evaluation in a mock scenario. A trainer can test an assigned officer's ability to respond to an incident and at the same time evaluate the officer's knowledge of orders. This evaluation aids in correcting problems and may also be used in future training.

Operational orders and job descriptions can also be reviewed to locate critical areas for testing. Trainers can help management correct inappropriate behavior by pointing out any need for additional written policies, clarifying existing operational procedures, and suggesting training program development.

Incident reports. Analysis of the many incident reports written by a security force exposes problem areas that should be targeted in training scenarios.

Interviews. An excellent method of identifying security problems is the personal interview. Interview with managers, supervisors, and officers provide different perspectives on the type of mock scenario to conduct and reveal major concerns of those who must deal with an emergency resulting from inadequate security. Quite often, information gathered in interviews indicates possible security weaknesses and leads to beneficial training scenarios. This information can be used not only to test a security force's efficiency but also to alter or refine security practices.


Once training coordinators have surveyed existing documents, reviewed an operation, and interviewed managers and security personnel, they should develop a scenario format. This format should be written and consistent, emphasize the essentials of an exercise, and outline elements necessary for proper program development. Once written, the entire mock scenario can be presented to managers, supervisors, and other who need to know. A written document clarifies the total training objective and also reveals the effort that goes into a training endeavor. The design should include the following:

Goal statement. The goal statement should clearly delineate the purpose of the training scenario, outlining what the exercise will achieve. It can be a single sentence or a descriptive paragraph, depending on the goal's complexity. An example of a goal statement is, "The goal of this mock exercise is to evaluate the individual officer's ability to prevent a person from entering the building and to test the reaction of the security officer when an individual successfully penetrates the facility by entering through a door in the presence of the officers."

Factors in goal achievement. This section of the design lists each step required to complete the mock scenario, from planning to debriefing. It describes what the role players must do before, during, and after the exercise. The more specific a trainer is when writing this section, the more thorough the exercise will be. Continuing the example used in the previous paragraph, the factors section may look like this:

* Review organization's current policy.

* Monitor activities of the security force.

* Develop mock scenario.

* Develop safety precautions.

* Brief role players on mock and safety precautions.

* Coordinate mock with security supervisor and managers.

* Initiate mock.

* Conduct debriefing.

Targeted acceptable behavior. This section clearly states the behavior that must be exhibited for the targeted person to complete an exercise successfully. The required response looks like this:

* Recognize that a person is attempting to or has penetrated the building.

* Attempt to stop the intruder without leaving the assigned post.

* If the intruder is stopped, detain the person and obtain identification.

* If the person has penetrated the building, be able to provide description and direction of travel.

* Notify appropriate personnel.

This segment delineates specifically what an officer must do to perform his or her job effectively. If desired, a scoring legend can be created to help the training coordinator rate an officer's effectiveness. After completing the scenario design, a trainer should review the documents thoroughly to see that data gathered through the survey process is included. This makes those who provided information feel they are part of the entire training venture and motivates them to assist in future exercises.


As a scenario develops, coordinators must maintain a safety-conscious attitude. Safety precautions ensure that nothing unexpected occurs, that the training exercise is free from injury and criticism, and that future training endeavors will have management's support. Specific goals of the exercise should be outlined both in the written document and during oral instructions to role players. Key personnel must be aware that a mock is in progress.

In the event of an actual emergency during an exercise, a mock can be terminated. During an exercise, a coordinator or another training staff member should be in the immediate area to monitor the actions of those involved. Trainers must look out for any behavior on the part of an officer that could lead to the use of force. A trainer is present to guarantee that an exercise is carried out properly and to stop it if any inappropriate behavior occurs. Again, safety is the primary concern throughout a training exercise.


Because the main reason for developing mock scenarios is to evaluate security's effectiveness, officers should not be warned when an exercise will be conducted. Preserving an element of surprise requires confidentiality on the part of the training coordinator and others who must be informed about an exercise. The organization, the level of security maintained, and the complexity of the training scenario dictate which persons should be notified.

The entire concept of mock training scenarios should not be withheld from security workers, however. When management approves mock scenarios as a training tool, officers should be aware that mocks will be conducted. They should be told that the goal of such training is to evaluate the effectiveness and response of the force and that the results of the exercise will be used to direct future development and training. Officers must be reassured that inappropriate behavior during mock exercises will not automatically lead to punitive actions.


Implementing mock scenarios is not difficult once initial steps have been developed, reviewed by management, and approved by the security director. Conducting scenarios involves contacting individuals directly affected by training and advising them of the date, time, and location of an exercise. The number of individuals involved depends on organizational structure. In most cases, those notified do not need to know the entire scenario, only the information pertinent to their operation.

Responsibility for conducting a safe and productive mock scenario rests with the training coordinator. Therefore, he or she must be confident that everything is in order before the mock begins. Before an exercise, the coordinator must review goals and safety precautions with the role players. A checklist should be developed that outlines each step a coordinator must follow to complete a scenario successfully.

During an exercise, a coordinator must constantly monitor activities of the role players and officers involved. Therefore, a trainer must remain in the immediate area in case terminating an exercise is necessary. The coordinator must also observe the officers' actions and document their performance, noting appropriate and inappropriate behavior. This documentation is used during the debriefing stage and for future training. During future training, names of officers involved in the exercise are not used. Only their actions are discussed.

At no time during a training exercise should any post or mobile patrol leave an organization's building or property vulnerable to intrusion. Conducting scenarios that compromise security defeats the goal of exercises and violates the integrity of the training concept.

Postscenario Activity

At the conclusion of a mock scenario, certain activities help the security force focus on officers' actions and on possible improvements in the security operation.

Review. Immediately following an exercise, a trainer should critique the scenario. A training coordinator should facilitate the critique and structure it so as to maximize the benefits of the review. The trainer should provide an

opportunity for officers, supervisors, and managers to discuss their feelings about the exercise openly. The trainer should also outline the goals of the scenario, solicit suggestions for improving training, and record actions that need to be corrected. The purpose of this gathering is to review what occurred and reinforce training exercise objectives - evaluating the security force's effectiveness and making necessary policy and training adjustments.

Training tapes. If a security department possesses a camcorder, the training unit should use it to film a reenactment of the scenario for training purposes. Tapes should not include an original officer who acted incorrectly. Tapes can be used during normally scheduled training or during roll call training.

Reports. The training coordinator should produce a report for the supervisor and the security director at the conclusion of the mock exercise. This report should include a brief goal statement, a review of participants' actions, the results of the exercise, and recommendations for training improvements.

When developed and managed properly, mock training scenarios are a useful and proven method of reviewing, evaluating, and modifying security and emergency plans. For example, the Maryland State Police used mock training scenarios at several complexes to test security systems and emergency response capabilities. The exercises proved extremely beneficial and achieved the goals set forth prior to training. An added benefit of the training was an assessment of the state police force's ability to work in conjunction with other organizations. One scenario conducted at Baltimore-Washington International Airport involved working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the federal and state aviation administrations, and a commercial airline. Although each agency had a prescribed function, the ability to work in unison was found to be of paramount importance in crisis management. Because each agency must perform its assigned task, interagency communication is essential.

The success of this type of operation depends on a unique rapport, which can be developed through mock scenarios, with each agency learning the special operating procedures of the others. This bonding between agencies leads to an understanding of total situation dynamics that would be difficult to duplicate by other methods. Data gained during these exercises proved the mock scenario's validity as an assessment tool.

In conclusion, the authors have applied the mock training scenario strategy to a variety of security situations, which include state, federal, and private industry settings. Their knowledge of the subject has been gained through both experience and in-depth literature review. Using the format outlined here, an organization can realize its full potential as a provider of protective services.

About the Author . . . Major John E. Glorioso is chief of services for a security force with the Department of Defense. He is a retired first lieutenant of the Maryland State Police, where he served as manager of operations at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and the Maryland Port Administration. Sergeant Gerald B. Mattocks, Jr., is coordinator of special projects in a training unit of the Department of Defense. He is a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1989 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:training
Author:Glorioso, John E.; Mattocks, Gerald B., Jr.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Dec 1, 1989
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