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Jun 17, 2019

Next Level Podcast

Kevin Kauffman & Gary Tabke


Gary has an extensive background in Law Enforcement and as a Security Specialist. (See attached BIO)

Kevin – What is the number one common problem most people make concerning personal safety?

Gary Situational Awareness. In general people go around not paying attention to their surroundings. People cannot go from Point A to Point B without looking at their phone because they are so reliant on them, thereby making themselves a target.

Take a Lioness on the Serengeti, she’s hungry and looking to get food in the fastest way possible with as little trouble as possible so she looks for the weak, the sick, and the young. Criminals are the same way – they don’t want you to resist or fight and are surprised when you do. They want to get away quickly, they know what works, and that’s why they do what they do. Our lives brush up against criminals on a daily basis so Situational Awareness - keeping your head on a swivel - is a huge part of personal safety.

Discussion of the Beverly Carter Crime

Kevin – What was it that caught your attention about this particular crime?

Gary – The whole totality of the crime and how it went down starting with a female caller posing as a Buyer and wanted to see a home in the late afternoon/early evening. No red flags here as this happens all the time. Agents get calls all the time to show homes to strangers at odd hours. So I questioned if this was a unique situation or is this happening on a large scale. NAR had statistic for over a ten-year period and reported that 100 agents (10 per year, almost 1 a month) were killed while performing their duties and 940 assaults were reported although many go unreported.

I questioned why someone hasn’t taken the time to keep Realtors safe and began to ask local Realtors if anything like this happened to them. My research found yes it happens often. Now there are apps to keep Realtors safe and they are great for letting people know where you are, but when an assault starts it happens fast and in close proximity. Experience and training are the only thing that could get you through an assault. I developed a training to keep agents safe when they are showing homes or holding open houses.

Kevin – How much time did it take to research and develop your training?

Gary – Countless hours and my research continues every day. I spent a summer going to open houses and entering very quietly. I was astounded at how easy it was to catch an agent unaware. I teach how to perform a perimeter check on vacant homes, open house safety – example do not lead a Buyer through a home with your back to them.

Kevin – recaps open house safety, vacant home entry, perimeter checks.

Gary – yes, these are real simple things an agent should add to their repertoire to keep themselves safe.

Kevin – how long is the course you teach to Realtors?

Gary – About 75 to 90 minutes; it covers pre-planning, creating a safe work environment, situational awareness, improvised weapons (cellphone for one), and quick exit self-defense. Q & A as I make myself available for discussion.

Kevin – What if the 1.2 million Realtors took your course;  what do you think the percentage of crimes would be decreased?

Gary – Possibly 75% but there are no guarantees but if we are inherently safer there would be less crimes. (Discussion of showing a home with basements and not having your back to a Buyer.)

Kevin – We can make a difference in our own safety and that of our peers. How can someone reach out to you for training?

Gary – on Facebook, Instagram, gmail, and through my have a website.

Gary – in closing, criminals mimic other criminals so again, Situational Awareness is crucial in keep agents safe. It’s also good business for Brokers to keep your people safe and it’s also smart business to limit liability in the event of an unfortunate incident. Bring in a safety expert and keep a good record of trainings.


Gary Tabke’s BIO

“I enjoy getting over on people who are trying to get over on other people.” – G. Tabke


Gary Tabke, owner and lead investigator at Tabke & Associates, Private Investigations, has over 30 years of investigative and security experience. After a career in law enforcement with the Hayward Police Department and later as a security specialist, he has conducted both risk assessment and provided tailored clinics in personal safety and awareness for realtors, businesses and individuals.


Gary is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Citizen Academy and is certified by the Department of Homeland Security for Active Shooter Preparedness Programs. He has investigated countless homicide, theft, fraud, missing persons, child custody, domestic violence, and civil suit cases. Gary has provided surveillance and counter surveillance, witness protection, corporate protection and personal protection for both businesses and individuals.


There is little more terrifying than finding one’s self in unfamiliar surroundings and under attack. Having a planned response can not only be a deterrent but also empowering. Utilizing a blend of vast experience, common sense and proven tactics, this retired street cop will instruct on preparedness, situational awareness, easy to execute “quick-exit” self-defense techniques and the identification and use of improvised weapons, all designed for your safety.