After Hours

July 27th, 2017

While my week was relatively quiet across the board, I used the extra down time to get to know people better and network as much as possible. I also used this laid back week to do more reflecting on my informational interview and put the finishing touches on the newsletter that I have been compiling.

Just when I thought my week was going to continue winding down, I was alerted of an “all hands on deck” situation during dinner last evening. This required me to put in quite a few extra hours over the course of the night. I was eager to put my skills to the test and jumped into action as soon as I could get my hands on a laptop. It was a little overwhelming in the beginning, as this was the first time that I was a true member of the team and not observing or training. It was rewarding to see all those hours of training pay off in a real-time code red/emergency setting. The account has been deactivated and is now deleted from Twitter as of an hour ago. The suspicious account happened to be a “catfish” account too. This made our jobs more difficult but allowed me to see the personality change between his real account and his fake one. It is mind-blowing how different that people act when they feel comfortable hiding behind a fake picture and name.

Below is a screenshot of what happens when you search his account now. It also highlights why I chose to pick the blue bird theme for my blog. My intern world revolves around the little blue bird that symbolizes Twitter!

Fairfax to D.C.

July 19th, 2017

Due to Tactical Institute’s strong ties to the Washington D.C. area, my boss spends a majority of his time traveling to and from “The Hill” as well as other places. I was lucky enough to be invited to tag along on a few of these trips, which certainly made for a fun and different week. My family came to visit me over the weekend, and we spent the hot summer days biking around the monuments. It was nice to see them, and great timing, too! They left, and I was already where I had to be as the work week began.

I was able to attend a few of the meetings, however due to security reasons, not all of them! We also stopped to check-in on some of the wounded veterans that were trained recently. That was a really humbling experience, and I actually learned a few tips and tricks from them to become a better threat spotter.

I really enjoyed meeting so many different professionals and there are some exciting plans in progress! Hopefully, I will be able to share what some of them entail soon.

 

Below are 2 pictures from my trip into D.C., I had to set up a makeshift desk for one of the days and these cookies were a gift from one of our clients! Yum!

Training Time

July 14th, 2017

What a busy week! I had the opportunity to attend 2 meetings. They put me in charge of taking notes and distributing them to everyone after the meeting ended. As opposed to taking notes in class, I quickly learned that I would not be able to keep up with the conversation unless I developed a sort of short-hand. I have never had to do that before, but in this field, time is of the essence and ideas/updates are bouncing off the walls. That being said, it was a new experience for me that forced me to acquire a new skill. It also gave me the chance to see professionals in the field working as a team towards a common goal. Addtionally, the other inten and myself have spent a majority of our time completing more training modules. When training new threat specialists, past scenarios that Ti have dealt with are used. This has been beneficial in many ways, but mostly serves as a grim reminder of the very real and very serious threats that are present in the world around us. I have a new perspective on life that will stick with me as I get older. One that errs on the side of caution and emphasizes the imporatnce of safety. Below is a video from 2016 of Tactical Institute on the news for preventing their 11th school shooting. This is an example of one of the training modules I completed this week, as well as meeting with Mr. Dowling for the informational interview.

http://www.krgv.com/story/30971267/online-detection-service-alerts-district-about-terroristic-threats

Exciting new contracts to start off July

July 6th, 2017

Hello!

After the long 4th of July weekend, I thought that it was going to be difficult to get back into work mode. The short week started off a little slow, but we received some exciting new contracts yesterday and now everyone is buzzing with energy. One of my favorite things about my internship is that each contract is different, and therefore requires a different approach. This keeps me on my toes and allows me the opportunity to constantly be learing new tradecrafts. While I am not permitted to disclose who our new contracts are with for security purposes, I can say that it is lucky they contacted us when they did! Within 2 hours of receiving my new task, a suspicious video was uploaded that clearly had bad intentions. What made this video even more of a concern? A .22 caliber leaning against the wall in the corner, as well as a string of aggressive, violent, depressed and threatening posts throughout the suspects twitter feed history.

New contracts also mean that I get to tag along to meetings and keeping track of any necessary paperwork. I love these small excursions, as they give me the chance to see new places and discover hidden gems along the way – ┬álike these picture perfect row houses that I captured below!