Executive Protection – Professional planning for protecting executives
If you have ever considered contracting professional protection specialists you should have an understanding of the type and breadth of services they provide. This can be achieved through having knowledge of the planning detail required for effective Executive Protection Security Services. In this article we will develop an understanding of the detailed planning a professional team undertakes in order to provide the most effective service to protect the ‘human resource’. At the end of this article you will understand the planning process and how it can best support your Executive Protection needs.
Planning a protection task – 4 essential elements in the preliminary planning
All Executive Protection Officers should have a thorough understanding of planning an executive protection operation. All protection tasks have a number of elements within them. They are:
- Full knowledge of the Executive under protection – this includes medical history, personal interests (restaurants, clubs etc.) and the social interest in the executive;
- The threat assessment – What is the personal threat to the executive and from whom (media, issue motivated groups or individuals);
- The itinerary – Regular travel and special events; and
- Resource allocation – Team size, transport options, electronic surveillance etc.
With this information a protection team is able to develop an effective protection plan to provide the most effective security operation for the executive under protection.
Planning – the best way to win a fight is to avoid a fight.
Once informed with the preliminary information the security team will begin the detailed planning process, which is designed to minimise any perceived threat to their executive. The planning process will cover every reasonable worst case scenario and deliver solutions to deal with any foreseen eventuality. Security teams will look at the 3 major areas in protection task. These are:
- The route – to and from all identified venues. This will include alternative routes, communication black-spots, testing of the selected routes to mimic the time and day of the event and emergency centre identification;
- The event – Who is organising the event, is it private or a public event, security arrangements, media interest, IMG interest; and
- The venue – being the residence, workplace or special event venue, a thorough study of the venue(s) is/are conducted (this topic requires a separate article to illustrate the detail of this task).
Once the reconnaissance is done and all data collected, the team compiles detailed planning reports on all aspects of the security operation.
Reports and briefing
Every element of an executive security operation is compiled into a security report sometimes referred to as operational orders. Each team leader in charge of each element compiles their own report relating to their part of the operation. The security team manager collates and reviews all data and drafts an overarching report to ‘Quality Assure’ the plan. Every member of the team is then thoroughly briefed to ensure they are fully aware of all aspects of the Executive Protection operation. The team leader will also conduct a briefing for the executive and relevant staff so everyone is aware of the relevant points pertaining to them. This will be a summarised brief outlining detail such as arrival points, escort detail and broad instructions in the event of an emergency.
In this article we have briefly highlighted the planning process that goes into every professional executive security operation, in order to minimise any negative impact on the executive under protection. Application of this detailed planning will ensure all elements of executive protection are covered to ensure a successful outcome on every task.