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Overt or covert choose your poison wisely.

We always hear conversations about how protection teams [particularly corporate teams] have to do more blending in with their principals than let’s say protection specialists that do notables and/or celebrities.  Do you REALLY know why you say that?  Do you understand the pros and cons to an overt versus covert footprint are?  We say it so much that when [as Frank Gallagher says-FNG’s] and even some seasoned specialists read it they just repeat the statement but really don’t understand why.

Over the next couple of days I am going to go over  the: 1-why, 2-what we gain from a less than obvious footprint, and 3-what we lose from it.  For the sake of these next couple of days I will NOT be referring to PSD, or any non permissive environment protection.  That footprint is obvious and for obvious reasons although there are times that they will disguise their motorcade movements by lowering the profile of the types of vehicles they use.

Most corporate clients want their team to display a covert, less obvious, and disguised look for a couple reasons.  The first one, that we always talk about is, they don’t want you in their personal space.  They may not always tell you that, but you are invading their personal corporate space.  You have to remember, that in almost all cases, the CEO is never the person requesting the protection.  It is normally driven by other concerned parties who have the CEO in their best interest.  It is often forced upon them by the insurance companies who have the “Key” personnel clause in their policy that dictates the CEO has to have security.

On the notable [any person with celebrity status] side of the spectrum, a covert footprint and less obvious footprint could make matters worse.  Many of these principals could feel you are not effective if you are not leaving a noticeable footprint in the terrain.  In essence, the larger the footprint, the more effective you are.  That’s why in the past you would see huge guys, knuckles dragging the ground always nearby.  That kind of protection was dictated by the notable and his/her crew.  The bigger the bodyguard, the more secure they felt.  Today, that style of protection has drastically changed where now you see more less of that.  It has not changed the fact that the presence of protection is less obvious, but the type of specialist has changed.  In fact, there are big trained specialists who understand this evolution and are very good at working “Small”.

But do you really know what you gain and what you lose from a standard overt profile versus a covert and less obvious presence.  Disguising the team while doing protection is great, as long as you know the vulnerabilities in do that.  A perfect 6 0r 7 man Diamond is a pretty thing when it is working but do you understand what you give up?  That is exactly what I am going to discuss over the next couple of days.

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