Can’t even enjoy a meal

As I write this blog most of you will understand the feeling and others will finally know what that feeling is.  Most street officers know the feeling immediately and those of you that have never experienced it, I hope for your sake you eventually will.

When I was a Maryland State Trooper I never liked sitting in any public place with my back to the door, uniformed, or off duty.  When I worked undercover I had to get used to not exhibiting that “need” to always face the door when I was collaborating in a clandestine status with the scum of the earth.  Too much attention and desire to face the door may cause them to think that I am anticipating someone to come in, even if I wasn’t, and ruin the undercover operation.  I had to trust my instincts in those situations.

Through my years of protection I have become worse at watching every person [man, woman and child] that enters an establishment, that walks past me and otherwise.  Now many of you are starting to relate to the topic.  It gets to the point that if a group of us are seated together, the guys who have no choice to sit with their backs to the door, usually say, “You got my 6?”  Why do we act like this?  That’s easy, we are always scanning for a threat.  You are on even when you are off.  A table of specialists can be annoying to other patrons because inevitably they are doing some level of 360 degree of scanning throughout their eating experience.  IF you have never noticed it, watch the next time you are out with other specialists.

I have a degree in behavioral social sciences whereby I spent alot of time people watching and analyzing behavior.  In saying this  I am always amazed at how, even at a social gathering, the elite specialists, never are out of position in the event something pops off.  No matter how calm and comfortable they appear on the inside they are coiled and ready to strike, respond or evacuate at a moments notice.

Take that same scenario and add your family in the mix.  You are on a protection detail.  Our human nature makes us always look out for our family, but add a sprinkle of “protection specialist salt” in the mix and it is multiplied.  Here is where I think many specialists fall short.  We train, we work clients and we train clients [at least you should be] on what to expect in the event of a crisis.  They know what it feels like when you put you hands on them, collapse them and move dynamically [again, you should always train your clients to know what this looks and feels like].  But here is the million dollar question.  Do you train your family how to respond or react if you have to go operational to protect them.  Your 14 year old son knowing that his dad is armed IS NOT ENOUGH.

I am in no way telling you that you should take them through a client education session but they should know what to expect and how to react if you have to act upon  a situation.  Think about it.  Your family is your most important client 24/7.  I know of one elite specialist [I’ll leave his name anonymous] that has his kids so switched on the three of them have duties.  Trust me, if you know who I am talking about and you know him you would not be surprised.  I am not talking sbout the stranger danger talk.  I am talking about if the crap hits the fan.  There are probably child psychiatrists out there that are disagreeing with this, but the reality is that we all live in a new world and “time out” does not work when you and your kids are trying to have a happy meal and it goes bad.

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