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Two Specialists series-Pt. 3 (Protective Driver)

Often times we do not have the luxury of having a follow car, and/or drivers. During contract negotiations it is determined that there will be one car and 2 specialists assigned to a principal. The security package calls for 2 close-specialists and one of the specialists will be driving the primary vehicle with you in the right front seat.

In your pre-planning with the second specialist you have to make a clear determination on how the arrival will be conducted and when and where the second specialist will join the protective formation. If you decide that the vehicle will be valet parked, you need to understand what you give up by putting an unknown inside your vehicle outside of your control. The same holds true when the second specialist parks the vehicle unattended. Your decision on valet or parking the vehicle has to be weighed against what is more important upon arrival, parking or having that addtional specialist in the protective formation. For me, the threat, situation, venue and event will dictate. Obviously either way, you lose par of your egress options once the car is out of your immediate area. So plan appropriately.

Arrivals can be done in a couple of ways however I will not let my second specialist abandon control of the vehicle until we are inside. There are times when I will have the second specialist slightly exit the vehicle and stand within the door well to provide some limited coverage and another set of eyeballs until we get inside. Then he can do the pre-arranged parking procedure. In a high threat situation the driver would not exit in this fashion obviously, but another set of eyes on any arrival is always welcomed.

A very limited opportunity is to pay someone at the front door or building management to stage your car at the front. Word to the wise-just because your car is out front does NOT mean it is secure. Many junior specialists will feel a sense of security just because the car is in front of the venue as opposed to a secluded parking garage. But it is an option especially when it’s close to time to leave. You’ll have a shorter distance to get to the vehicle to thoroughly check it.

As a detail leader/AIC you have to calculate the time it will take your second specialist to get to where ever the car is and have it curbside upon exiting the venue. As soon as you know that you are in that window you need to release that second specialist to get the vehicle so that the departure is smooth and you don’t have to put your principal in a “holding pattern”.

Let me address semantics. The term protective driver in this scenario means a driver that does protection and not necessarily a driver that has been trained in protective driving procedures. Although there are times when the term is one in the same, we know that everyone doing protection that drives has not completed a driving school.

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