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Body Language Give-aways

(Top right) Trainer Prospero Ellis leads the body-language training.

Published 10th November 2011, 2:51pm

A mixed group of Immigration, Prison and Royal Cayman Islands Police officers are this week undertaking 'rover' training, to assist them in detecting subtle body language of travellers and those involved in criminal activities.

Observational Techniques and Behaviour Analysis is the theme of the intense one-week course. The 24 participants include members for the Joint Task Force, as well as one of the Immigration Department's representatives from Cayman Brac and the Jamaica Visa Office.

Course facilitator Prospero Ellis, a veteran police and USA Customs officer, is now President and CEO of the Miami-based company Rovertech International. He has conducted similar courses in Cayman for two decades. He was accompanied by co-presenter Omar Bolivar.

Mr. Ellis shared that these methods have both tactical and administrative applications. "Understanding non-verbal and body language studies is critical for officer safety, as well as law enforcement," he said. "It can detect the types of messages people are sub-consciously sending."

As he helped the officials hone their skills, he noted that officers often "see without observing", or "hear without listening". Non-verbal behaviour will give people away 75 to 80 percent of the time," he added.

The course was opened by Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith who challenged the participants to make the most of the time and be prepared to use what knowledge they will gain.

(GIS)