Apps, Tips, and Costume Tricks to Make this Halloween the Best Year Ever.

Security expert Spencer Coursen discusses helpful hints to ensure a Happy Halloween Holliday

One of the most popular holiday’s for kids — Halloween — is just around the corner.

Don’t worry, there is still time to put your finishing touches on your child’s classroom costume winner and to set your kids up for safety and success before they go out out in search of their candied treasure.

Here are a few tips to help ensure a Happy Halloween Holiday!

This time of year, it gets dark early. If you’re going to be night-time treating, reflective tape and stickers are a great way to accessorize costumes with safety-inspired accents.

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If you have the choice between the two, face-paint and make-up wont obstruct your child’s vision like a falling down face-mask. This may make a world of difference if you live in an area where many streets will be crossed.


Keep in mind that the most popular trick-or-treat times are between 5pm and 8pm, right around the time it starts to get dark. Flashlights and glow sticks are a fun way to stay safe.

  • Never — EVER — go inside the home of someone you don’t know. No “treat” is worth the safety of your child.
  • Avoid any homes where you can’t see the front door from the street. If the front door is hidden behind hedges or disguised by decoration, exercise caution and move on to the next home.
  • For the older kids, try to have them stay in neighborhoods they know, and try to avoid ever being too far away to run home. If they will be too far to run home, take a drive with them this weekend to identify safe-havens — those places where they know they can go to find safety. Make sure they have a plan, know where to go, and know how to get there.  There are even some apps that help neighbors connect.


  • Put your business card in your child’s trick-or-treat bag in case they get lost. It’s also a good idea to have them practice dialing 911 from your mobile phone in their costume. (In airplane mode, please)

911 song

 Spencer Coursen of Coursen Security Group discusses The 3 F’s of “Family, Food and Flags” are good reminders for where children can go to get help

Finally, do a little bit of background checking:

Take a look at the local sex offender registry and share your findings with your network. These will be the homes you definitely want to make sure you and your child avoid. Better to be safe than sorry.

Awareness + Preparation = Safety

Security Expert Spencer Coursen specializes in threat assessment protective intelligence and vulnerability reduction. Coursen Security Group Logo.



The Masked Motivators Of Mayhem

In the ever-evolving realm of crime and punishment, some things still remain constant. From stalking and harassment to insider threats, and from active-shooter incidents to high-stake heists all initial incentives can still be categorized into the three main motivators of mayhem:

Need, Profit, and Revenge.

NEED: Needs are a motivating force that compel an act toward satisfaction. Beyond food and sleep, they are found in the physical need of the addict who steals in support of a habit all the way through to the emotional needs of the love-sick stalker in need of reciprocation.

PROFIT:  Money has always been a manipulator of moral flexibility. There is no shortage of enticing offers where hard-to-acquire collectables, corporate insights, and state secrets can be easily sold for cash. This however, does not discount the motivation for profit that can be easily obtained through a breach of contract. The betrayal of confidentiality in support of TV, movie, or book deals has proven time and again to be a lucrative and not-entirely-punishable venture. The 24hr news cycle demands new, sexy, and sensationalized stories each and every day, and the producers of these programs not only pay very well, but seal the deal with promises stemmed from the additional faculties of fame.

REVENGE: Revenge is of course the most concerning of the three motivators, because much like loyalty, one never knows where the ideation of revenge is born. The jaded ex-lover, the passed-over-for-promotion employee,  and the religious crusader all have separate but equal investment in their willingness to exact some measure of revenge. They all want justice for whatever real or imagined grievance they feel they experienced, and they all invest in the ideation than they have within themselves the ability to bring about righteous resolve.

Protective Intelligence is the process for collecting and assessing information about persons who have interest, motivation, intention and practical capability to do harm. A person doesn’t just snap anymore than a pot of water just boils over. They are both the result of a slow burn; a motive-fueled ideation finally reaching a tipping point that compels them to act. To combat these aggressions, we must realize that regardless of circumstance or scenario, all motivations of mayhem have all followed the same simple pathway from grievance to action: Grievance, Ideation, Research and Planning, Preparation, Breach, and Attack.

The crippling infrastructure of our society is not limited to our bridges and highways. Our protective systems and strategies are crumbling as well. Many of the the antiquated security measures in place today are designed to doing nothing more than passively wait for the sirens to announce an intrusion. The strategies in place to respond to those alarms are rooted in effective response rather than proactive prevention. The problem of course is that today’s attackers aren’t wearing black ski masks and breaking-in through back windows. Instead, they have found it much more effective to simply walk through the front door.

Even within the realm of cyber crime, the reality is that those with nefarious intent are much more likely to steal keys than they are to pick the locks. It’s much easier to steal a username and password and then exploit the inherent privileges of a legitimate user. Much like a modern day “Manchurian Candidate”  they are turning innocent users into insider threats. 

Workplace violence and school shooters are no different. These violent acts aren’t being conducted by outside actors. They are the direct result of insider threats. Why? Because the single most influential factor of target selection is likelihood of success. These actors already know the layout of their target. They have likely participated in the response drills to the very acts they plan to carry out. Perhaps most disturbing is that they have the ability to breach and enter their target without raising so much as an eyebrow until their initiation of violence erupts.

Security expert Spencer Coursen uses pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to explain

“In today’s schools and corporations, there is all too often an emphasis placed on analyzing a specific act within the context of an isolated incident, rather than taking the “totality of circumstance” into consideration before rendering an assessment.” ~Spencer Coursen 

Imagine a jigsaw puzzle who’s pieces had been thrown to the wind. Someone is bound to stumble across an individual piece. And while they may find that unique piece interesting, it’s easy to see how it may not be viewed as altogether significant.  

However, if that individual piece was then matched up with other pieces of the puzzle — piece by piece — the bigger picture would begin to take shape.  Protective intelligence is no different. It’s the little pieces coming together that helps the hazard on the horizon to be more clearly seen. The more pieces collected, the more effective those protective strategies become.

Awareness, threat assessment, and protective intelligence are three separate but equally important components of public, structural, and personal safety.  We can no longer afford to live in a world where we simply hope that nothing will happen, and then solely rely on the first responders to save us when something does. Today’s safety requires a communal concern; an everyday responsibility toward vigilance we all must accept. A keen eye open for the motivators of mayhem is an effective first step toward preparing today for a safer tomorrow.

Awareness + Preparation = Safety


Spencer Coursen is the President of Coursen Security Group. He is an expert security consultant, threat assessment advisor, and protective strategist who is dedicated to reducing risk and preventing violence. His systems and strategies help corporations, non-profit organizations, schools, and at-risk public figures ensure the certainty of safety for all involved.

@SpencerCoursen / @CoursenSecurity

We can do more. We can be more.


Real, positive, and effective change comes not from the armament of man, but from the impassioned pleas of purpose. For if we can not find it in hearts to do away with the antiquity of age-old outlook, we will be forever damned to repeat the errors of our unchanging ways.

I was a soldier. I fought in a war. I understand the true cost of peace. I understand the necessity of arms toward ensuring the certainty of future safety. All I ask is that we look at the bigger picture and accept that we can do more than we have done thus far. We can make a real difference if we just have a willingness to course-correct our historic outlook. One not so focused on preserving the policy’s of the past, but on looking toward the future in preparation of a safer tomorrow.

We can do it. I believe.

UCC Strong

Awareness + Preparation = Safety


Spencer Coursen is the President of Coursen Security Group. He is an expert security advisor, threat assessment consultant, and protective strategist who is dedicated to reducing risk and preventing violence. His systems and strategies help corporations, non-profit organizations, schools, and at-risk public figures ensure the certainty of safety for all involved.

 @SpencerCoursen / @CoursenSecurity