Students learn to identify suspicious behavior

Melanie Todd, Staff writer

More than 50 students from intelligence studies majors and criminal justice majors as well as forensic science majors spent their day off attending a presentation on identifying suspicious behavior.

The Law Enforcement Intelligence Club invited Frank Marsh, Department of State instructor with over 25 years of experience around the world, came to Mercyhurst to teach the 6-hour class.
Marsh has taught thousands of special agents, intelligence analysts, prosecutors, corporate officers and police officers around the world.

“We’ve had Mr. Marsh come teach for four years now and every time he brings new information to the table,” Aaron Henry, law enforcement intelligence club president said.

Last year Marsh taught on communication analysis. This year’s topic broadened to all suspicious behavior. The presentation included case studies, demonstrations, statistics and historical examples.
The material in the class is not only helpful for those looking for careers in law enforcement.

“What you don’t say speaks volumes about you,” Marsh said.

Different behavior is expected in different situations, and there may be cultural differences in what behavior is appropriate.

“Some things are expected. Some things are not. Pay attention to what is not expected,” Marsh said.

Whether a person is walking down the street late at night, or standing in a school cafeteria, identifying suspicious behavior could save their life.

“If you think or feel it is abnormal, an anomaly or suspicious it is worth your attention,” Marsh said.

One of the best things you can do in any situation to protect yourself is to be aware. “Criminals prey on the unaware,” Marsh said.

“He showed not only the behaviors that could be suspicious but gave us insight as to why they are suspicious, what they may be hiding. The historical case studies really allowed us to use the information,” Karima Elsayed, a junior intelligence studies major said.

“In only six hours, you can learn information that many in law enforcement only gain from experience on the job. Knowing the information beforehand can make all the difference,” Henry said.