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Mall of America Uses Behavior Profiling

The Mall of America in Minnesota has instituted widespread behavior profiling in the decade since 9/11, says Security Director Doug Reynolds. While many businesses looking to improve security have resorted to traditional cameras and metal detectors, Reynolds attended a training in Israel to study how behavior profiling is used at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport. He then brought in former Israeli Airports Authority security agent Michael Rozin to help adapt behavioral profiling best practices to the needs of the mall. Together, Rozin and Reynolds developed a Risk Assessment and Mitigation (RAM) program that uses a small percentage of traditional security staff to search for out-of-place objects or behaviors, run security interviews, and handle operational deployment. Although the behavior profiling program was adapted to fit the Mall of America’s environment, it uses the same three components as Ben Gurion airport: detecting suspicious indicators, security interviewing (which Rozin said is the most important) and operational deployment. Officers also work closely with local police to obtain additional information during security interviews or if a potential threat is identified. Finally, the RAM program has enlisted aid from a wide array of mall employees, since they are most likely to notice suspicious people or objects.

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