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Managing the protective package

Often times you are protecting a client that has a number of staffers that move with him. In the human tiered food chain they will automatically put themselves in the upper hierarchy of importance within the movement of the protectee. As you and your team go through your departure procedures and systematically put him/her in the limo, the entourage of staffers will pile into the follow vehicle without haste. As soon as the shift lead gives the, “recover, recover, recover” command and the team pulls back from the limo, they’ll see that most, if not all of the follow vehicle, has been taken hostage by staff, folders, itineraries and iPads.
Now you have someone on your team playing the bad guy, telling the client’s team they have to get out, or reposition to the rear of the vehicle. Meanwhile, I’m in the limo looking at the Chinese fire drill screaming, “Limo’s up”.

How do you alleviate this potential problem? 1-find out in the initial interview with the client, how many and who will move with the protectee. 2-push the client for a staff vehicle and explain in a succinct manner why. The follow vehicle could potentially be used in an aggressive and dynamic manner, which could cause injury to non security personnel. There is always a potential that you may have to deploy weapons from this vehicle and the possibilities of them getting injured is high. 3-during a vehicle transfer, someone from the staff is going to be left behind on the “X” or waiting for AAA to tow the disabled or downed limo. Either way, it’s not going to be pretty. This is definitely a question that needs to be had on the front end.

Protective/security drivers have to maintain the integrity of the vehicles until the team has loaded. However, a non security driver needs to be trained not to allow the vehicles to be commandeered by strap hangers.

We were in Europe some years ago when we were preparing for a departure and the follow vehicle was missing on the apron. We had to use a spare as the follow. When the follow car made it to our destination I asked what happened. He told me that a staffer had him make a run for her to pick up some items. We dodged the rhetorical bullet because we had a spare, but the situation could have been bad, let alone embarrassing. We told the non security driver in no uncertain terms, “don’t move this car unless we tell you to and I will deal with any staffer”. Hijacking cars and seats are a common tactic by staffers. Unbeknownst to them, they become an anchor on a high speed attack vessel. Trust me you wont have this problem in non permissive areas. They’ll be waving, bye bye from behind cover and concealment.

On a lesser note, I personally don’t like talking operationally around non security personnel, especially staffers. In closed quarters, like lead or follow vehicles, which are almost mobile command centers, it is inevitable that call signs will be exposed. Before you know it, OPSEC is violated when they start calling you and your principal by their call signs.

Last year we had a staffer overhear one of my specialist call out a call sign. When the high level staffer asked the specialist who he was referring to, he told him it was the principals call sign and that we referred to his wife as 1-Alpha. He was chastised accordingly.

The upside of them being around us is that when they see the well oiled BPI machine running, they continue to shout praises in amazement to everyone in the office. But I digress.

Heres the message in this blog
Identify your protective package and:
1-Manage it
2-Protect it

Whenever possible try to obtain a staff vehicle to accommodate the extra baggage (staff).

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