Working in the shadows
A professional close protection team isn’t limited to the close protection operator observed standing next to the VIP. There are often personal protection operators working and contributing to the VIP’s safety from a distance and who are never seen by either members of the public or the media. Their job is as equally important to the close protection mission as the team members who stand next to the VIP. They have to observe anything that appears suspicious, then investigate it, report it and take action on it.
Imagine this scenario: Your principal is going to take part in a charity event. As it is a high profile event, the guest list and other information have been released to the media in advance of the event. Since only a little information is needed in order to harm someone, (WHO they are, WHERE they are going to be and WHEN they will be there) any potential enemies of your client now have the time and information they need in order to make their plan and act against you. Given this scenario, what can you do to limit or eliminate any possibility of the threat against your client from being made a reality?
Your advance/protective intelligence team can investigate and gather information on the venue, the venue’s regular staff and any additional staff hired for the event, the other guests, allowing for the preparation of a contingency plan in case of any problems. They should also travel the client’s primary proposed route a short time before the client and observe for surveillance or anything that could prove problematic. It may also prove necessary to conduct a low profile security sweep of the premises prior to giving the OK to the close protection team to bring their principal in. It is unprofessional and dangerous to allow your principal’s entrance into a place that hasn’t been subjected to an advance security detail – the more thorough the advance the better however, if time doesn’t permit this then at least a cursory security sweep should be carried out first. Placement of undercover close protection operators inside the venue can prove extremely advantageous. Having them mingle with other guests is better still since a great deal of valuable information which could prove instrumental in ensuring the client’s safety can be obtained. Additionally, if anyone planning to harm your client is present at the venue, then they are unlikely to have accounted for the undercover operators, giving the undercover operators a distinct advantage. A female close protection operator can work very well in these circumstances, since most people will think she is just another guest. Being a part of the advance security/protective intelligence team isn’t easy, it requires patience, keen observation skills, the ability to blend in any social setting and the ability to move unobtrusively while being acutely aware of one’s surrounding environment. You have to be able to constantly scan and evaluate your surroundings and be able to observe anyone who could be a threat against your client. Persons ideally suited for this task would be military intelligence operators, police detectives, private investigators or others who have been trained and employed in an investigative role.
Athena Academy Founder
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