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Trim back to disappear

I was thinking about a trip we did to Europe where we visited 7 countries in 10 days.  In each country/city we had additional security to augment out team.  Our first stop was the capitol of paparazzi – Paris, France.  We had a team of highly trained French specialists that was headed by a very hardcore and stern guy.  The principal was a very well known person that ALWAYS drew attention to himself/herself.  Minister and I had arrived a couple days before the detail went “LIVE” to coordinate security measures with the client staff and others as well as get our embedded French team on board of our expectation.

The hotel was the most famous hotel in Paris and known for paparazzi which we had to deal with.  Our first plan was to use a fake motorcade and use the covered option whenever necessary.  This was a business trip however there were plans for a personal agenda of shopping.  The business side was well publicized yet the personal agenda was all OTR [off the record].  There were appointments with personal shoppers who would come to the RON, make a decision on what type of shopping would be done.  At that time the routes would be comprised before we left.  This specific principal was very protection savvy and always listened to my recommendations.

As we left the RON and headed through the crowded Paris streets I quickly recognized the sounds of scooters revving their engines in and out of the rush hour traffic.  We were using a 3 car motorcade and motorcycle escort.  At the first stop everyone deployed from the vehicles.  I immediately noticed that the personality of the environment quickly changed.  “These people are used to this and it draws attention.”  By the time we exited the first shop, the buzz was in the air.  Everyone knew that there was ‘someone” in town.  The large footprint of the motorcade and men deploying from vehicles confirmed what their intuition was telling them.

When we arrived at the next stop Minister made a wise recommendation.  “Let’s lessen the footprint and have the specialists in the follow remain in the van.”  I affirmed his recommendation.  As we arrived curbside, I opened the right rear door and me, the principal and his manager stepped out into the small shop.  We kept the street and sidewalk clear of specialists.  It worked.  Depending on the agenda we did that for the remainder of the France visit and repeated the process in the other 6 countries.  Sometimes you have to run slick to out slick the adversary – even if they are scavengers riding 2 abreast on a scooter with a camera looking for THAT SHOT.

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