It is a sad day for the USSS today. According to news reports 12 members of the agency were relieved of their duties while in Cartagena, Colombia under allegations of involvement with prostitutes. According to sources one agent refused to pay a prostitute, who in turn notified the local police of the failure to pay. Quite odd that a prostitute can report that. But I’m not judging her.
It goes without saying that no agency, institution, department or company is devoid of issues but this rings at the highest levels. The agents involved in this alleged incident were in country preparing for the President’s visit. They were relieved, sent back to the states and replaced.
This is the second issue in months that have involved agents preparing for a presidential visit where arrests have been made. Just last year a DS agent was arrested for homicide in hawaii when e allegedly shot a man in a McDonalds.
It is quite apparent that the private sector is not alone when it comes to major issues. In light of the aforementioned cases what we deal with is in many cases minor league. However, unlike the private sector where the client/principal suffers the embarrassment of the incident, the President will not but the directors of each agency will.
On to the next one. 2 days ago Newark, NJ mayor Corey Booker, now being called “Super Mayor because of his many adventures of shoveling constituents out of snow, taking their trash out and chasing armed robbers, came home to his neighbors home engulfed in a fire. The mayor who has degrees from: Yale Law School (J.D.) Oxford University (B.A.), Stanford University (M.A.), Stanford University (B.A.) as well as being a Rhodes Scholar, decided he wanted to elevate to another level and enter the burning home to save his neighbor.
According to reports at least one of his official protection agents advised him that he could not go in. The mayor vetoed the advice and went with his “Bodyguard” in trace. As they combed through the residence the Mayor said he had a “Come to Jesus” moment where he realized that all his previous personal and mayoral issues didn’t matter. He found his friend, threw her across his shoulder and brought her to safety. The Super Mayor was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and minor burns to his hand.
We have an internal saying, “Bodyguards FOLLOW their protectees into danger where and executive protection specialist LEADS his protectee away from danger. Today the mayor is coined a hero but I have no problem in saying that his protection team FAILED him. Given the same circumstances with another result this guy or guys would be home today drinking coffee and eluding the news reports.
I am in no way saying that they should have gone in themselves instead of the mayor but what I AM saying is that there comes a time where you have to put your foot down. No one would have listened nor believed the story, “He wouldn’t listen to me and ran in.” if the mayor has been seriously injured.
In my view these 2 stories are major hits against official protection. I posted this on the BPI Security Facebook page asking if his team failed him and only ONE person (Jonathan Mika’el) stepped out of the shadows and said yes.