In the aftermath of the January 6th riot at the Capital, 25,000 National Guard troop from 50 States and three territories were deployed to Washington DC to protect the Presidential Inauguration as part of Operation Capitol Response. As law enforcement began arresting suspects involved in crimes at the Capitol, members of the military and National Guard were among those arrested, raising concerns regarding the risk of insiders within the National Guard: Where the troops authorized to protect our Nation’s leaders a direct threat themselves?
Suddenly and very publicly the National Guard was in the spotlight, not for the professional deployment of thousands from across this nation on short notice, but rather the mandated rescreening of those troops assigned to Inauguration security by the FBI, Secret Service and Army. Days later, the media reported an additional 12 members of the National Guard had been removed from Inauguration duties. Two of the individuals were flagged for “inappropriate” comments and texts and 10 Guard members were removed for questionable behavior found in the secondary vetting process.
Once again, static, point-in-time assessments of behavioral risk proved to be outdated, inefficient and ineffective. This old model of understanding Guardsmen tied to calendar-based checks, opendoor policies, or random interactions with the troops will not uncover the known drivers of pressure and stress that everyday impact, and in some case move, individuals to harm to self or others.
There is a better opportunity to use enhanced continuous assessment technologies to uncover concerning behaviors far enough in advance to resolve issues before they manifest into significant problems. These proven, best-in-class solutions protect the privacy and civil liberties of individual Guardsmen and support staff through anonymity, elimination of bias and favoritism, alignment with organizational policies and incorporation of trust and effectiveness.