You got your work cut out

One of the hardest, if not the hardest, job in protection is working a protectee alone.  There are so many things to write about on this topic that I will have to break it up in a couple blogs.  So let me start from the onset of the detail call.  In as much as it is close to impossible to guarantee 100% protection for anyone, as the numbers go down on the specialists you have assigned to a detail the more that 100% drops drastically.  But when you get down to just one specialist the cards are stacked against you.  Even the worst dealt hands have won on poker.  It all depends on how you play it.

Let me tell you something about the decision for a single specialist detail.  In 99 out of 100 cases this is at the request of the client, who in many cases, does not understand the security nor the possible implications of a single specialists.  I could care less about the amount of work that a single specialist has to do, but the concerns I have are about the misconception that having one specialist is sufficient.  Money is often the deciding factor from the client perspective.  When the security provider representative has the client rep on the phone it is their duty and responsibility to inform them of the pros and cons of having just one specialist assigned to protect.  If your rationale is sound you can often sway their decision.  Remember, they have no idea of security, and even less about protection.  That said, company owners should always have someone that is well versed in protection fielding these calls and requests so that the conversation can be compelling.  In the end, if you are all alone on a detail, it is as a result of  a non security professional making a decision, money and finally the result of an il-equipped security professional who was unable to articulate protection standards.  It is always better to have a minimum of 2 specialists on any detail.  That is very important.  If you don’t get it, get your rest and be prepared to hustle.

We strive on the proactive preparation of any protection detail, however this is extremely emphasized when working alone.  For the sake of this blog I am going to focus on the single specialists in the front right seat where you have a skilled protective driver.  Being alone with a non security driver [or hired driver] elevates the possible issues, but I won’t focus on this today.

First, you have to be everything for this detail, meaning you have to do the protective advance work.  If your company has not included this in the contract you should arbitrate with them [your company] for some sort of compensation to do this.  I never, I repeat NEVER, recommend that you write off the protective advance even if you have to do it for free.  Passing on an advance is never a good idea and simply dangerous.  This may mean that you’ll have to advance more than one location.  From a company perspective, you should push for the protective advance to be part of the billable hours.  You can make or break a detail by not having the advance included in the contract scope of work.  Having a single specialist working a client without the ability to do an advance is a terrible business decision and simply setting them up for failure.  Moreover, expecting anyone to do an advance for free just because you know they won’t operate without doing one is selfish and unethical.

Part of the proactive work that you have to do is get with your protective driver and make sure he/she knows the schedule and initiates the route planning in the order of how the schedule unfolds.  If time permits, I always want a route packet so that I can review it.  Once you cut them loose you have to trust that they know what they are doing because you have way more to do than micro-manage the protective driving operations.  It all falls under your perview but you can not waste time overseeing this when you have a slew of other responsibilities.

The key to your success is manage your duties in the order that they will unfold on the day you go “hot”.  Contact the POC as soon as you can and as often as feasible to ascertain any changes in plans.  It is also very important that you stress to them the importance that they they contact you as soon as there are any changes or potential changes.  Knowing these things early makes your pre-planning easier to adjust.  If you lose your POC or the confidence of the POC, you will be in the blind.  That being said be very strategic with your calls and make sure that every call has purpose.  Remember, they have much to do and in many cases you are often the last issue they have on their plate.

This is a very demanding responsibility and should only be left up to a very experienced specialist.  The best single specialists have excelled in every other aspect of the detail and can visualize every aspect from the preparation stand point.  Tomorrow I will go over last minute prep and going “Hot”.  The following day I will talk about working the client alone.

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