One Specialist series-Pt. 5

Double the tasks, double the work and double the responsibility. When you are alone and on the road with a protectee everything that you normally can do locally has to be given extra time to accommodate on travel. I educate the client the need to get in the AO earlier. You are traveling to an unknown area where you have little to no geograpical knowledge. You have zero experience with the venues and in many cases there may be a language and cultural difference. Meeting with driver’s assigned to drive you around is a full time job when it comes to educating them on how you want them to manage their workspace. Breaking a driver out of his normal courtesy habits takes time but has to be done. Also, if I am dealing with a hired driver, I will drive the routes with them to familiarize myself with the area, but more importantly, their driving habits. The non-security driver is the weakest link on a detail. Reprogramming their internal CPU takes time, but the message and your security standards have to be dealt with on the front end or you’ll find him/her racing with you to open that rear right door on arrivals, him/her standing at the rear right door on departures and the list goes on.

In as much advance time as I can, I always procure POC information from the client before I travel to another city, state or country and establish some type of telephone relationship. In this call I request a meeting upon my arrival as a pre-advance “ice-breaker”. Popping up in a new area and requesting n unsceduled meeting is like shooting a bat in the dark. People are busy and the best way to lose them in the future is to pop up and push for things as if your agenda is more important than what they have going on. I have seen guys so caught up in their zeal to do an advance or survey that they come in, kick open the front doors with the impression, “Stop what you’re doing, I need stuff done!” We have no official authority and in the eyes of a hotel security manager you are no different than an unscheduled beer delivery. You have to fit in a schedule.

The same respect has to be given to each part of your schedule, which means if you don’t pre-call and introduce yourself early, you’re going to be wasting your time getting there early and wasting the client’s money. One of the things I do is first speak to the event or planner from the clients office who is planning the trip. He/she is a treasure trove of information that can help you expedite introductions from their end. A short introductory email to all of the POC’s ahead of time goes a long way before you get in the AO. This is not rocket science but it is proactive thinking to make your trip easier and effective.

The protective mission starts way before wheels down, delta oscar (Doors open) and anything associated with the client in the AO. Mindset is key to any successful mission. Once the call is made to employ you on a protective detail, the clock is ticking, ESPECIALLY if you are working alone.

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