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Sorry to tell you this but…..

I have mentioned on several occasions of conversations that I have had with USSS and DS agents while working.  I want to make a couple points here.  The first one is that any operational conversations with them should follow the “one voice” policy.  What I mean is that ALL initial contact should be made by someone of the management level of the security provider company to break the ice.  The management level personnel better serve the company when they explain what your ROE’s [rules of engagement] are, how many people you have assigned to the event or principal as well as exchange any other information that the official entity needs.  That management level person can then inform the official representative who the site specialist is and visa versa.

Company owners should never let junior specialists have this initial conversation.  The first 3 minutes of this conversation with an advanced official agent will determine how they view the junior specialist and YOUR company.  There is a protocol in that conversation and those who are well versed on how that dialogue goes can answer all the pertinent information before the first question is asked.  More than often most junior specialists that are not used to having this initial conversation will find themselves in nothing less than an interrogation.  The more questions they have the more you have left them un-informed.

If the USSS and DSS have a protecee that periodically visits your client or client event, and they already know that you are providing protection, what happens then is that the advance agent will call you and say, “Hey, I’m on my way over, who is your site guy?”  When you get that call you’ve crossed the threshold of a vetted service provider with them.  As time goes on when they arrive they will come to you and ask how the event with the principal will go down and then form their arrival and departure around you and your event.

This past week’s event where our client was hosting the “TOP 100” in a hotel that already had 2 DSS details in it, you could say that it was a security nightmare for arrivals and departures.  Both teams that came already knew that BPI provided the executive protection for the client and high value target event.  Under normal circumstances at this venue both teams would use back of the house to move their client however in both cases they came down the main stairwell.  This is the official “Head of State” hotel.  You can never pass this place on any day of the week and not see SUV’s out front with light bars on it and a gaggle of dark suits with complex lapel pins and taut earpieces protruding from their jackets.

For those of you that do not know how to have that initial conversation – give me a call and we can go over it.

6 comments

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  1. John Badillo

    Nice piece! When i get to that level im sure you will receiving an email from me…Be safe!

    1. Eric Konohia

      Thanks John

  2. Jon Tipper

    Eric – Couldn’t agree more. That intial ice breaker is crucial. I had a special event down here in HT which was being attended by a USSS protectee. Their advance guys came into town around a week before and due to the scale, status and complexity of the event I did the site agents role myself on top of my normal management tasks. They came in and we were able to sit and discuss the best way for doing things, what we wanted and what they wanted. The ice was broken when they saw that I had all the information, site plans and contacts for the key event staff and local LE on me . If it was a more junior specialist from my team who’d been on the site when they did their first visit, they’d have been getting “ok let me check on that” or “I don’t know but I’ll find out” answers. Some good relationships were formed (we even built a new road!!) at that event and due to the way they work (pulling agents from the nearest F.O.) I still see a few of them when they come down with their protectee who’s a frequent visitor.

    1. Eric Konohia

      Exactly Jon
      Most of the info I blogged is not adhered to and the unfortunate thing is that there are way too many specialists out there that think way to highly of themselves because they have done a detail or 2.

      It’s the same as the major and minor league or the pro team versus practice team

  3. MarK W. Dormoh

    I Like this and know that am in the US and look forward to going through some stuff with you such as Training.

    1. Eric Konohia

      My brother from west africa give me a call.

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