The one specialist series-Pt.1

As I have blogged and posted before, the chances of you working a client alone in CONUS is probably higher than being on a 3, 4 or even 5 man protection team. Keep that in mind when you go through your schools and as you prepare daily to sharpen your craft. Understanding that when you walk a protectee to the limo, exit the limo and enter the building, YOU are the entire Shift all-in-one. What does that mean? What it means is that your brain housing group needs to be firing on all cylinders.

What it also means is that it’s double the work for you. You don’t have the luxury of dispatching someone to do an advance and report back to you. You don’t have the luxury of having someone do route planning and secondary routes. What this means is that your advance or pre-preparation time has to be more time invested. Contacting POC’s of a venue you are visiting via phone is a start, but you should never rely on them to convey the circumstances of how the event will transire without seeing it firsthand. Sometimes this means doing it for free and I mean FREE. Sure you can say, “I’m only working the days I get paid for!” I hear you, but the fact is that if you haven’t prepared properly and anything happens, guess who gets the finger pointed at them? The so called Security Specialist. The fact is that if you can not invest at least a little time to insure protecting the client then you are not investing time in your profession. Does that mean you do 2 weeks for free? Absolutely not, but it does mean that there has to be some give and take. Otherwise it will show when you go doors open.

How do you plan to respond when you’ve made arrangements with the POC to meet you curbside at 0900 and to walk you in the venue and prior to your arrival you are feverishly calling them and there is no answer. The pucker factor happens and your gradient scale rises. Upon arrival no one is there. What do you do? Well if you had invested a little bit of time in preparation you wouldn’t be stressed because you would not have to rely on them to be there. In fact, having a POC walk a client in can slow down your walk from the vehicle to the venue. There is always an exchange of pleasantries in or around the car. Where do most attacks take place? In or around the car. If you already know how the event will happen you will only have to rely on yourself upon arrival. Is there a perfect scenario? If you have more people on your team then yes, but we are talking about the higher probability that you’ll be alone so the answer is no.

The other downside of being alone is being pulled from all angles by staff with changes in the event at the venue. You don’t have the luxury of sending someone ahead to advance a new room within the venue. How do you handle that? If there is no situation where the protectee is static in a previously deemed secure location or office, you’ll have to treat the new room as an off the record location. The cards are stacked against you at this point, but you have to have forethought and exercise your training. If I am dealt this hand without the ability to pre advance the room I will get as much info from an informed staffer on how the room is set up and how and what the protectee is supposed to do upon entering. I will almost demand that a staffer walk with us so that as we enter the room I can get some direction from them as we get the protectee set in place, while constantly scanning the room for red behavior. This is one of the worst scenarios even an experienced specialist can encounter, but it does happen. If you feel that you can not handle these curve balls, you may wanna pick another career.

Working a protectee alone is one of the very few times where I will stand firm with anyone about having me leave the protectee to do something outside of my contracted expectations. On many occasions I have said, “Ma’am or Sir, I can not him/her alone to do that” If they insist, you’ll have to make it clear that this not standard procedure and that by leaving them jeopardizes the security of the protectee.

Most EP schools teach team dynamics and allow you to get the feel of working the Diamond, when in fact, in most cases you’ll be the Cubic Zirconia working for the day. Its shines the same way but not what you’d hope to have.

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