If you’re not looking for it

The best security plans in the world still does not relinquish the responsibility of the security team to remain alert and vigilant throughout the event.  I blogged last year about how easy it is to get lured into self promoting and self defeating daydreaming.  Our minds have a way of taking away from the moment at hand and easily into what happened yesterday or what will happen later.  Meanwhile we mentally travel forward or backwards in time away from the most important time-NOW. In the last week or so we have been watching American Presidential candidates getting glitter bombed by activists looking to get their statement across.  The non-lethal attacks seemingly happened daily.

Meanwhile in France Presidential candidate François Hollande was approached from his left by a woman that walked briskly on stage reached into her bag and flour bombed him.  The response to “HER” was fairly quick yet it still seems that getting to the principal was a little lethargic.  This scenario strangely resembles another one in our past history [see video].  President Reagan was hit by a glass award while on stage in Las Vegas.  4.5 seconds elapses before a simultaneous response to the attacker and the President is made.  In both incidences the attacker’s behavior is not consistent with the environment.  The French woman walks up the stage, approaches the dais while reaching in her bag-RED BEHAVIOR!  The attacker in Las Vegas comes on the stage,  smashes an award and approaches the President.

We have to be looking for it before it happens and not watching the event unfold.  Neither of these incidences justified lethal force on the force continuum yet our industry has become such a pro weapons training environment.  What scares me is that core principals of looking for behavior inconsistent with the event, the environment and with the security plans did not warrant a quicker response from even the best of the best.  What does that leave me to think about specialists in the private sector.  Most specialists have only done immediate action drills at their EP courses.  That’s not the problem.  You can come up with a thousand immediate action or attack on principal scenarios and you could still come up with more.  The specific scenarios are not what you should be remembering.  The lesson in each of them is if you are NOT looking for it, you won’t see it.  That’s the common integer in every immediate action drill.

“Looking for it” starts well before you arrive at any location.  It’s gathering protective intelligence respective to your principal and/or event.  If you are working a financial event then your attention should be geared in a certain way.  If you are protecting a company that sells products that uses animals in testing, them your protective intelligence is directed in another way.  The point is that “looking for it” before the event can greatly increase your ability to see it before it happens at the event or during the course of your principal’s itinerary.  As you gather this info you can also gain some knowledge on your potential adversaries methodology and mode of attack.  It does not preclude the fact that they can implement another method but it helps you to at least fine tune you ability to know possible attack methods.  Remember, intentional harm, unintentional harm and embarrassment.  Glitter bombs are intended to gain attention and embarrassment but can unintentionally cause harm to your principal if thrown in their eyes.

Remember, If you’re not looking for it, you won’t see it.



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