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Home > Escapes from a facility > Checking for Tunnels

Checking for Tunnels

March 12th, 2012

When was the last time you checked for tunnels leading to and from your facility? This may appear to be an extreme question to people in many industrialized nations, and it may well be. Yet, if I were still involved in the day-to-day security operations of a correctional facility, I would certainly be conducting security checks for tunnels, and here is why.

Throughout the world, from the Middle East to the Mexican Border, tunnels have become a method of moving contraband and people. Today’s tunnels span the gamut from crude and dangerous to highly sophisticated. Some tunnels have airflow systems, electricity, and they are large enough to operate a small motorized vehicle.

It is a safe bet that in certain areas within the United States and throughout the world there are offenders who have experience in constructing tunnels. However, there is a lack of understanding and experience in uncovering tunnels, I believe, among correctional personnel in many industrialized nations, to include the United States.

There are experts available to teach correctional personnel how to search for tunnels. These experts can be found in the U.S. military and in the United States Border Patrol. The U.S. Border Patrol has uncovered tunnels for many years and has been exposed to every type of tunnel imaginable.

Those of us in the field of criminal justice have to continue to keep adapting our tactics to the changing world around us. It is my belief that methods and techniques that are used in the Middle East, Europe, China, Africa, etc., by terrorists and criminals will eventually be used in the United States.

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  1. March 13th, 2012 at 19:09 | #1

    More often than not in this field, you have to think like the criminals.

  2. March 14th, 2012 at 17:48 | #2

    Excellent point Mr. Sturgeon. Much work and ultimately a bad outcome can come from undetected underground tunnels. Better than the cover of darkness, working underground.

  3. March 15th, 2012 at 09:59 | #3

    Hi Bill,
    You are absolutely correct, we must remain flexible and open to new ways of thinking because criminal behavior and dynamics are always evolving. Tunnels probably already exist here in the U.S. We just need to know how to search for them. We can ill afford to become complacent at any level. The stakes are too high. Very good article.

  4. March 16th, 2012 at 09:52 | #4

    Thanks Dee. I believe that they do exist. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

  5. March 16th, 2012 at 09:56 | #5

    Brian: Thanks for your comment. I am writing an article about how ill prepared the US is for what could be the coming our way.

  6. March 16th, 2012 at 10:00 | #6

    Terry; Many years ago I was working on a counter-terrorism project. A General from British SAS, who was the project leader,started his training with this quote, “To defeat a terrorist - you MUST think like a terrorist”! So your comment is “DEAD_ON”! Thanks for the comment.

  7. Kathy Marshall
    March 31st, 2012 at 23:47 | #7

    Hi Bill, I found your article thought provoking and it is so true that you do have to think like a criminal in certain ways. You have to be diligent in your efforts to stay one step ahead of them at all times. Perimeter security checks should be a daily part of the tasks for your outside patrol officers. History will always repeat itself if you don’t pay attention to details. You should always expect the unexpected and have a plan. Thanks for keeping us reminded to pay attention to the obvious.

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