Webinar presenter Dr. David Grantham answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Analyzing and Producing Actionable Insights. Here are just a few of his responses.
Audience Question: In terms of better understanding or adversary, Can you remind us what the full definition of the MICE – MICE acronym is again?
Dr. David Grantham: Absolutely. MICE, yeah, is used to evaluate your source. M is money – they just want to get paid. I is for ideology – if you recall Robert Hanssen, who spied for the Russians when he works with the FBI, he didn’t spend most of the money they gave him. C is for compromise – this would be more of a jail setting or an arrest. They have been arrested and you tell them you’re going to jail unless you provide me XYZ. So, they’re compromised. And then ego – they just have a need, an ego that needs to be fed. So, money, ideology, compromise, and ego.
Audience Question: In terms of analyzing the motivation of the intelligence given, how do you determine this without showing doubt to the source? How do you ask the source directly why they’re giving me information?
Dr. David Grantham: Oh, that’s a great question. This is very difficult. This is where elicitation comes in, okay? It’s not easy to go, what’s your motivation? They won’t understand that. So, one of the basic questions, as you begin to build rapport at some point once they provide some information and they, seem to be getting comfortable, what I will do often if I can’t find another way of asking is, I’ll say, you know, I’m curious, you know, why are you doing this? You don’t have to do this and I really appreciate you are, but I want to get to know you more. I’m just curious, why are you doing this? Can you help me out? Now that’s just one way of doing it. Oftentimes, people will tell you their motivation through their stories if you’re listening. There’s been plenty of times that I’ve never had to ask, someone will tell me, you know, my mom’s sick and this is my way to get out maybe – I don’t know, I’m just hoping maybe. I haven’t even asked. I know immediately their motivation or at least part of their motivation is personal. Now, in our Department, we do have – and what I didn’t get into because it gets a little bit more complicated – is we have decided to make ours Priority one, Priority two. For us, it’s motivation one, motivation two. There’s a primary one, the overarching one, my mother. The secondary one is their case. We have found in a corrections environment, there are usually two. One is the primary, one is the secondary. To get that information, you can ask that question I said but if you stand there long enough and talk to them, they will tell you. If they don’t, then just ask once the rapport is built, once you feel comfortable and they feel comfortable, you ask them. More often than not, they will tell you, hey, man, I just need help with my case. If I give you this, will you call the prosecutor? Bam! I know their motivation right there. Now the motivation, they may add something later. We have many guys come in and say, you know what, I screwed up the streets bad and I don’t want any part of this anymore. What can I tell you? What do you want to know? This is my way of giving back. I already know my motivation. I haven’t asked. So, you don’t know? Ask. But give it some time, Build rapport before you ask but you’d be surprised how many people just tell you.
Audience Question: Shannon and Leticia are asking in much that many of the same ways, the same question regarding intelligence source from either phone calls or from social media. So, can you talk a little bit about it? Do your methods and approaches differ? How do you document and analyze information if it’s from a phone call or from social media?
Dr. David Grantham: Yeah, oh, that’s a great question. Because of the time constraints within this, you know, there were some things I kind of have to leave out but those are great. I’m so glad that they came up with social media. On our confidential contact form, we have a category for social media. So, we go onto social media. We identify any activity or any social media handles if they haven’t told us already. There’s a lot of people that will say, go onto my social media. Here’s the guy’s name or here’s what his pseudonym is on my friend list. That’s the guy I’m talking about. So, we will leverage social media through their friends because they may say, well, yeah, the guy that I sell drugs for his name is Bobo. I don’t know his real name, that’s a street name, nobody calls him by his real name. Bobo is under Bobo One on Facebook on my friends’ list. Well, there you go. We’ve identified it. So, we leverage social media both to confirm, if we can see it, confirm if this person has access to the information, they claim which is one more step. We will also log their handles on their confidential contacts. We know where to reach back to. That’s why we document that and confirm the source or evaluate the source reliability. You can imagine, with social media, there’s a ton of ways to do that in your department. You can find a multitude of ways. Really, it’s just leveraging it to better understand the source. When it comes to the jail information, we are working toward developing, if you remember, one of the slides had that, Excel spreadsheet, how a bunch of numbers on it. That’s one way that we’re pulling information in the jail is through these Excel spreadsheets that have algorithms, or have numbers assigned. So, these actually go into the system. If I want to say, you know, let’s say, there’s a war in Mexico to end drug cartels, in a specific area. Well, I want to go to jail and go, okay, who is from Mexico? And who is from that state in Mexico? Well, this algorithm would just reach and grab that information and pull it out. Therefore, I can go talk to them, hey, you’re from this area, there’s a war going on, do you think it’s going to affect the United States? What do you think about it? You know, who do you think is involved, et cetera? Now, this is going to be very specific to your department because I don’t know the tools that you have, and I don’t know the systems you have. We have a very old system here. So, it requires us to reach into it like that to pull that information out because the system will not tell us that information just offhand. So, and that’s just one thing that we’re doing. There are several others with different levels of sophistication. We’re fairly new to being very good at synthesizing all that information. We are supposed to get a brand-new system that would do most of this. We’re still waiting on that. So, I hope that answers the question. If not, I can go specific or restate it.
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