How did we get here?

One beautiful El Paso evening while driving home, I reflected on my 25-year career in law enforcement.  I thought about all the FBI offices I was assigned to throughout the United States, the many cases I had investigated, how many criminals I had put in jail, and the close calls I got into (and got out of) while arresting the aforementioned bad guys.

That’s when I realized I wanted to give back to the community I swore an oath to protect. I did not want to fade away into retirement with all this knowledge wasted, so I reached out to local contacts.  After a few informal meetings with leaders of small and large businesses, I realized they needed advice on how to become “smart” hardened targets, and how to respond to active threats. I also thought about their employees. They go about their lives before and after work also exposed to active threats in malls, schools, churches, etc. Law enforcement is traditionally reactive (crime happens, then it’s investigated), so why not use the knowledge I gained to prevent and mitigate threats?

After getting the initial blessing from my wife, I pitched the idea to my law enforcement (LE) buddies as I knew that they also shared many of the same experiences as I did. My LE circle is a very talented group of current and retired FBI special agents (as well as a few other three-letter agencies), police officers, and career security professionals. They were as enthusiastic as I was to be able to give back with our knowledge, and that’s when I decided to form Lateralus Group.

What’s with the name “Lateralus”, anyway? Remember back to the first part of this story where I said I was reflecting? That night I happened to be listening to a song (Lateralus by Tool) that spoke to me. My first love is music and I often draw my inspiration from it. The lyric said, “overthinking and over-analyzing separates the body from the mind”. I thought about how I was taught that “paralysis by analysis” often leads to failure to act and I saw that many of the victims I helped throughout my LE career suffered from just that. The next line says, “Withering my intuition leaving opportunities behind”. That’s when it struck me.  I can teach the community what the FBI taught me: to survive critical incidents and become a hardened target.

Whether it was a corporation that failed to act when a security anomaly was found or a person who “froze” when confronted by an attacker, action will always beat reaction, and bad guys know this. The song inspired me to look through these infinite possibilities of preparing the unprepared, and to act on what my intuition tells me is right: to continue to serve and give back to my community in this new venture.


Stay safe!