The incident, the mistake, the lesson #3

I have posted, blogged and broad-casted the importance of the non solicitation and non-compete clauses especially when it comes to contractors, and specialists.  I know its importance because I was stung by it.

The Incident:

Several years back I had a detail ramp up to a full on long term detail within 2 days.  The threat and vulnerability assessment was completed and there was a valid threat to the protectee.  In fact, the case was so involved that the FBI was dead in the middle of the situation.  The detail entailed a protective driver and a front right seat per shift as well as 2 residential specialists per shift.  The detail was in Virginia therefore all specialists had to have a valid PPS license.  During that time we had 3 other long term details and the numbers of specialists that I entrusted at the time was limited.  The detail leader assigned for this detail made a recommendation for 2 specialist to fill the detail requirements.  We went over their resume’s and I pulled the trigger on the both of them.

Things were going well until I started getting unsolicited calls from other specialists in the area that I did not know, asking about getting put on the detail rotation.  I knew then that someone had been talking.  One of my top 5 pet peeves is running your mouth about what detail we have ongoing.  It is no ones business but mine and I make it your business.  Before long I heard and witnessed these 2 new guys in mission creep.  They were in the private areas of the residence lounging with the principal as well as eating with the principal like one big happy family when he/she was having dinner with their family.  I sat both of them down separately and spoke to them about professionalism and the BPI way.  They gave a half @$$ response but I knew they needed to be replaced.  The hunt was on as well as trying to move specialists around from one detail to the other.

Before I got the situation under hand the principal called me in to tell me that she would no longer need our services.  In short, we departed ways and within a week I was told that the 2 new guys were working for the principal directly.  That, in and of itself, is a violation of the DCJS code.  I contacted both of them and reminded them of the non compete clause to which they ignored.  I later received a call from the principal who stated that he/she would be willing to try the case in Virginia courts to see if the NCA would stand.  I assured her that the NCA I had was the same one that Vance International used previously in the Virginia courts and won.  He/she persisted.

Within 30 days I got a frantic voice message from the principal asking me to return his/her call.  I did so at which time he/she stated that they had made a mistake and the 2 guys had used her credit card to buy weapons, take courses and purchase other non detail related equipment.  He/she also begged me to come back, remove them from the property and resume service.  I told him/her that I needed a day to think about it.  About a day and a half I called him/her back and agreed to come back with certain changes.  They agreed.

The Mistake:

I went again my core first cousin rule.  I was too caught up in staffing this detail that I did not follow my own rules.  The detail was stolen due to unprofessional and unethical behavior and the principal was right in the middle of it.  Part of the principals amassed wealth had come from overtaking companies and removing their personnel.  BPI Security was one among many that had been hit by this tactic.  Don’t just use anyone on your details.

The Lesson:

Rushing will never get a task done correctly no matter how much of a leader you are.  Today, I still won’t allow factors to dictate how I have to do the job correctly.  If my gut feeling tells me that I have to circumvent my standards I will pass the detail on to someone else.  Making 1 dollar is not worth ruining my reputation.  That standard has kept the bloodline at BPI flowing.


  1. Simon Philibert

    Probably the best one of your last 3 blogs (my opinion). Takes a real man to admit his mistakes Eric & there’s not a lot of them nowadays.. In that case, I think the two new guys knew what they were doing but the client is to blame too! He/she got played by some TOO friendly & unprofessional so called “specialists”.. Sad to see how far some people can push their luck when you hear what they did with the client’s credit card after they stole the detail..

    1. Eric Konohia

      True indeed my friend

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