When Did Profiling Become "Wrong"

I ask the above question: When did profiling become "wrong"? Really, I ask this in all seriousness.  Criminal profiling has gone on for some time, does go on and will go on in the future.  I ask this because of all of the discussion about the insane 4th amendment violating "security measures" that is now going on in US airports.  I will digress on this for only a moment.  This hi-tech boondoggle that was really just to make money from our hard earned tax dollars for administration cronies (I don't care WHICH administrations) craziness is for what security?  Why do people believe it is effective?  It must be effective because it is intrusive.  Is there an iota of evidence that any of these new measures work?  We know there isn't.

More after the jump.

OK, back to the real issue - profiling.  When I worked interdiction, I profiled all the time (gasp!).  However for all you race-card players, hold your horses.  I will give you an example of ONE thing I profiled on:  Wimauma, Florida.  When I worked in police work in South Texas, we had arrested on drug charges in our county alone 38 people in a span of 3 years from Wimauma Florida.  At that time, Wimauma had a population of less that 4500.  That is total population.  This means that the likely population of adults would be 2000 or less.   On an anecdotal note, every person that I had come across from Wimauma had illegal drugs or contraband in their possession.  Therefore, anyone from Wimauma, Florida I came across after that, I believed they were probably in the drug trafficking business.  The word probably is very important from a criminal law stand point.  My point is, that is only ONE element of profiling.

I heard someone almost gasp at the thought of profiling in airports for security purposes, as if it were something wrong. or bad.  If you do not like profiling - what if I call it forensic psychology.  Yes, we are speaking of the same science.

Another way I would profile working the highway would be based on destination, where the person(s) came from, type of vehicle, modifications and maintenance of the vehicle, the person's knowledge of the vehicle, and if there were more than one person, their knowledge of each other, their behavior... it goes on and on.  All of this can be formulated and articulated.  I was pretty successful at interdiction.  Not just drug interdiction, but contraband and stolen vehicles.  This same basic theory can be applied to all bad guys traveling.

I was trained and also having a psychology major did not hurt.  The point is, profiling works.  What?  You want to be politically correct and say that our problems with terrorist on airplanes does NOT include Islamic Jihadists?  You would have to go way back to find such a problem.   Yes, let us not identify the enemy and treat innocents like they are criminals instead to be fair.  I don't know what mamby-pamby world you live in, but that does not work in real life.  We need to know the enemy.

I am not talking about Islamaphobia, but Islamic Jihadists do show certain behaviors.  Bad guys in general show certain behaviors.  We can learn these, train on these, use these, and it works.  But, but what if we offend someone?  Um - groping by a stranger is not offensive?  The offended argument holds no water.

Profiling is not wrong and it works.  You can pretend it is wrong, or act offended by profiling.  If you don't like it just call it forensic psychology - it IS the same thing.

Whatever you do - stay safe!


  1. There's nothing wrong with profiling in my opinion! If it's based on solid facts and not racially or ethnically motivated, then what's the issue?

  2. Thanks Will, and thanks for stopping by. Nice blog by the way.


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