SDR training and education focuses on proactive prevention of—rather than reaction to—harmful events and security threats. Proactive steps, with foundations in knowledge-based decisions in order to prevent deviant actions, have proven to be far more effective than simple pre-emptive measures. Pre-emptive measures often rely on knee-jerk reactions to supposed suspicious behaviours or actions. Through proactive training, like SDR‘s, trainees do not use generalizations upon which to base their gut reactions. Instead, they base their actions upon their knowledge and do not look for specific personifications of the characteristics that they may personally deem as being “deviant,” or “suspect.” In this manner, SDR training is able to negate ethnic profiling which is the Achilles’ heel of most other training techniques or methods.
Pre-emptive actions inherently rely on ethnic profiling. Security professionals’ decisions are coloured with specific biases. If they believe that a certain group is more likely to perpetrate particular crimes, the officers will be more likely to quickly stop a person fitting their pre-identified list of characteristics, rather than stop and take stock of what the individual’s behaviours may truly indicate. More often than not, the presupposed suspects in many situations are pigeon-holed as a result of cultural ignorance coupled with overly stringent counter-terror and counter-crime criteria. Rather than rely on proactive measures and true understanding of the information or behaviours which they may see, the pre-emptive actor is impulsive in order to deter an actor prior to even viewing potential deviant behaviour indicators.
The tactics that have been utilized by law enforcement in the wake of September 11th, “include tighter border controls, profiling, preventive detention, the gathering of preventive intelligence through rough interrogation and more expansive surveillance, targeting of potential terrorists for assassination, pre-emptive attacks on terrorist bases, and full-scale preventive war.” These new pre-emptive tactics, do not account for the civil and human rights upon which they may infringe, and most acutely this has come to pass in the form of ethnic profiling. The global security and safety system needs more nuanced tools with which to more effectively train security personnel. SDR training is a solution and an invaluable tool with which to enhance the security system worldwide.