A Review of The Tactical Analysis Program

In August, I shared several resources for behavioral analysis via The Intel Brief. One of those resources was The Tactical Analysis Program, created by The CP Journal. At the time, I only completed the level 1 training and could not comment on the rest of the program. I completed the level 2 training course in October and thought it would be valuable to everyone if I wrote up a review of the program.
There are three levels to the Tactical Analysis Program. However, currently only levels 1 and 2 are available. At the time that I took the courses, there were three options to choose from: Military, Police, and Security. Recently I looked over the website and the CP Journal has added an education category. This addition is crucial because informed educators are key to creating and maintaining safe school environments. I’m thrilled that The CP Journal has recognized this and is working to make our schools safer.

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The courses are broken down into lessons. Each lesson has a varied number of modules that allow the student to easily digest the information. The courses break down as follows:

Security – Level 1 Course
1) Introduction – 2 modules
2) The Foundation for Identifying Threats – 5 modules
3) Assessing Individuals – 12 modules
4) Assessing People In The Approach – 6 modules
5) Improving The Process – 4 modules
6) Becoming An Expert – 4 modules

Security – Level 2 Course
1) Introduction – 3 modules
2) Assessing the Collective – 5 modules
3) Assessing the Environment – 5 modules
4) Conducting a Hasty Search – 3 modules
5) Conducting a Deliberate Search – 3 modules
6) Red Team Analysis – 5 modules
7) Course Performance Test – 4 modules
8) Taking Action – 5 modules

Level 1 has three multiple choice quizzes, one practical application exercise, and one video behavior test. Level 2 has three multiple choice quizzes, two practical application exercises, and a two part performance test. I believe that this is an excellent way of testing to see how well I understood and retained the information. The feedback from the practical application and performance tests are immediate. You aren’t left wondering how well you did or what areas you need to improve.

All of the lessons are made up of videos that are narrated by Patrick Van Horne. The videos are aided by photos and video footage of real life situations to illustrate the behaviors and key points in a natural environment. This is vital to learning how to form a baseline, recognize anomalies, and examine the subtleties of human behavior. Also, each lesson has links to articles from their blog that undoubtedly help drive in the main points. The CP Journal provides corresponding outlines that emphasize the main topics and provide space for note taking. I’m the type of student who takes a lot of notes and highlights important details, but I’m not very organized with my note taking. Having an outline that was already prepared and spacious enough for me to take additional notes was a plus for me.

The final resource provided is the mission planner (for the level 2 course). This is an excellent resource for not only the course, but for actual field work. The mission planner is an interactive Google document that helps the user create a baseline. Once completed, a copy of the mission planner is emailed to the address of your choice. This is great for record keeping, examining areas after the fact, and can even be used with practice videos. I will definitely be using the mission planner regularly in real time and for practice.

The overall length for both courses is advertised as 16 hours of classes (8 each). Someone taking these courses could complete each in one sitting. However, I feel it’s better to break up the lessons to fully understand the information and grasp the concepts. I broke the eight hours (of each course) into several blocks on multiple days. I like to take in smaller amounts of information and let it marinate in my mind before moving on to new material.

The only aspect I did not like about this course is that it’s distance learning. I tend to ask a lot of questions when taking a course, especially if it’s something I feel is important or complicated. However, having previously communicated with The CP Journal, I know that they respond quickly to emails. If I had any questions or problems with the course, I have no doubt that my questions would’ve been answered and my issues resolved in a timely manner.

Overall, I give the program a 9 out of 10. The price for both courses is extremely reasonable, especially for the quality of information, presentation, and customer service. I don’t know of a better course currently available and wholeheartedly recommend this program for anyone looking to “get left of bang and stay there.”

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