You got your work cut out – pt.2

Ok, so let’s pick up from yesterday.  Your company has brokered the deal and either could not convince the client that it is difficult to protect their principal with one specialist OR your company was not proactive on consulting the client of the issues with a single specialist in protection.  Either way you have completed all of the protective advance work for your sites and your protective driver has fulfilled his/her responsibility with route planning and route security.  Note* Route planning and route security are different.

You have arrived at the predetermined pick up of the principal EARLY and are positioned to start your day.  The victor is curbside waiting for your signal that you are oscar mike with the principal to their location.  The butterflies that feel like pigeons start flying inside your stomach as you start unfolding the day’s events.  STOP THAT immediately. What happens at 1300 will not matter if you do not focus on NOW.  Are you positioned appropriately to address any potential threat/attack?  Is that position where you can still lead the principal to the vehicle?  There are so many misnomers that you should always be in the rear 2.5 position when protecting.  That’s one of the biggest falsehoods known to protection.  In fact, if you are working a principal correctly you should be orbiting him/her throughout the day like the earth orbits the sun.  All of the specialists that you are used to seeing in the diamond, box, or slash formations are gone and you have the responsibility of filling each of them as circumstances dictate.

It is an understatement to say that you have to be comfortable to work in an orbicular protective mode.  But here’s the deal, it has to come naturally.  You see – you move.  You anticipate – you move.  As you approach the victor, your protective driver should have already been scanning the apron for potential issues and communicated that , “you’re clear” or otherwise.  In your pre-planning phase you have to determine what mode of comms you will be using.  I do NOT like using cell phones however if you have to, it should only be to do quick bursts of info.  For instance, you meet the protectee and start walking, speed dial to driver, “Oscar mike to you.”  He/she responds, “Roger that or stand by.”  Hang up.  If you get the “stand by” response you’ll have to tell the principal to hold.  Call back to determine what the issue is, make a decision on how to respond to it quickly.  Once it’s determined that all is clear you tell the protectee, “Sir/Ma’am, we can go now.”  This is another example of how easily you can get caught up and comfortable working with multiple specialists.

As you approach the door to exit the building, I would, in just about all cases, expedite my cadence and break [walk out] the door before the principal.  Remember you are going from a known to an unknown space.  Meaning you are already in the building and entering an unknown area.  It’s the same as working a principal on and off an elevator.  If I can get in and off and elevator first without looking frantic and causing a scene, I will automatically do so every time.

As you approach the vehicle your cadence should elevate to get to that right rear door in enough time to open it without bumping into the protectee.  Timing is key!  You button up the vehicle and discreetly advise the protective driver to Move.  Here is when it gets dicey for specialists that are very insecure with their abilities.  Do you call the POC at the first venue to let them know you are on the way?  Hmmm, I will let you think about that one and not give you the answer.  But in your decision, there is a huge missing integer to this equation.  You don’t have a site specialist that will be curbside.  Do you trust a non security POC to handle that for you?  I’ll let you mull over that.

So you make your final approach at the first venue on your day’s agenda.  There is no site specialist to communicate, “No press, no media, no meet and greet- Key on me.”  You have to start scanning the arrival on your own and make the decision to do the primary drop, go to secondary drop or circle the block.  That decision is all on you.  You decide to make the drop.  There is no site specialist covering down on the right rear door.  There is no shift leader coming up from the right rear to take his position, and finally there is no signal from the shift leader that it is clear to open the limo door.  You are all of that in one person.  SCAN, SCAN, SCAN!.  You open your door and work the right rear door.  Note here- What we teach is that when we exit the front right seat to work the rear door, our back is NEVER turned to the location/door that we are going into with the principal.  When I get out I take a quick scan across the driver’s side of the vehicle and then slide down the vehicle to work the door.  I locate the rear door handle with my right hand and pass it off to my left hand without taking my eyes off where I am taking the principal.  As I pass the right rear door I pull it open with my left hand/arm and get positive control of the door frame.  As the principal exits the vehicle I am already to his right  and in a position that allows me to respond effectively if need be.  This procedure puts me in the door cavity as opposed to being separated by thhe door itself.

The way we teach working the doors maximizes your response and always keeps your tactically advantageous.  Too many schools teach working the doors like they see the USSS and other official protection teams doing so.  Yea it looks cool but when the fecal matter hits the rotary oscillator, that door is in your way.  As we walk away from the vehicle the door remains open.  I always tell my driver to leave it open until you see me enter the building.  It is only then that they can close the door.  You have already advanced the building and know where you are going. There is no site specialist leading so your back on the orbit, leading, following etc and the day repeats itself.  You’ve crossed the threshold of the first movement.  Stay in the NOW and work it the way you did from the onset of the day.  Do not fall into a lull assuming that you have someone with you because no one has your back but you.  You are the shift all wrapped up in one specialist.  There is no “I” in team but there’s an “I” in win.  So win!!!!

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