Overseas travel could be more dangerous following Bin Laden’s death.

While the U.S. (and other Nations) rejoices following the news of Bin Laden’s death, those about to embark on overseas travel, especially those holding U.S. passports, should exercise extreme caution.

Not only has the State Department issued travel alerts (http://www.emergencyemail.org/newsemergency/anmviewer.asp?a=1058&z=1 ), but a plethora of INTEL and Govt. types have also issued warnings concerning the need to be aware of the possibility of retaliatory attacks.   It is too simplistic to feel that Bin Laden’s demise will bring about the downfall of Al-Qaeda.  

Whilst it is true that the A.Q. organization will be “leaderless” until they can find a suitable replacement, this does not mean that they are not capable of inflicting serious casualties to “get back” at those who have denied them of their leader.  This can be looked upon as a type of “wounded animal” syndrome. 

Speaking on CNN’s “Piers Morgan” last night, former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani said; “in the short term we are in more danger, but in the longer term, we will be safer”.  The question remains however; ”how long is “in the short term”?  I have an immediate vested interest in trying to understand the viewpoint of these grieving radicals, since I will be flying to a volatile part of Asia next week.

My advice is not to take chances with your safety.  If travel can not be avoided or postponed, focus intently on your own personal safety and on the safety of those you send overseas – whether employees or family members.  This reminds me of a call I received from a potential client last year. 

He and other staff members were going to Pakistan to form a joint venture involving a lucrative project for his company.  He was concerned for their safety and asked about bringing U.S. bodyguards on the trip.  The host company in Pakistan told him that they would provide the foreigners with local security.

Having worked around the world on many International assignments, I was experienced in how certain countries train their personnel.  I advised the potential new client to bring experienced U.S. security personnel as part of their team.  The busines owner was concerned that he might insult his new business partners if they discovered that they had brought their own security consultants. 

This is why it is important to find a highly experienced security consultant and LISTEN to what they tell you.  There are ways to include highly trained and experienced security personnel with your staff so that they blend in as engineers or legal assitants or whatever else may be your business.  What you should NEVER do, is to to compromise your safety or the safety of your employees.   

If something happens, what effect do you think it will have on your company’s reputation?  Ask yourself is it worth it.  Our advice to you is not to rely on local resources, but to bring those experts with you – either openly or covertly.  Remember that training standards in many other parts of the world are nowhere near the level that they are in the U.S.

Security companies may not be able to hire Afghan police in future.

This Canadian report states that the Government of Afghanistan may start cracking down on security companies who lure Afghan police officers away for bigger pay.

It is little wonder why police officers would be enticed to resign – they are currently paid approximately $160 a month by the Afghan Government, but they could make quadruple that by working for private companies.

Afghan officials put the figure of lost police at around 19% of the Force. With a total force opf 97,000, those leaving account for nearly 20,000. One measure they may introduce is to put a “cap” or ceiling on the amount that police may be paid if they leave.

When I headed up the United Nations’ Special Investigations Unit in the former Yugoslavia, we also had former Balkan Police working for us. One young guy who acted as our official interpreter/police liaison in Croatia had only earned about $100 a month from the Croatian Government, saw his earnings skyrocket overnight when he began working for the U.N. for around $700 a month.

Hopefully both sides can come to some kind of mutual agreement so that the locals will be able to make and save a bit more money than they can now and thereby improve their living conditions and better help their families.

D.C. Police Detective Arressted for Propositioning a "Prostitute".

Some time clients call us up and ask if we can send them off-duty cops for Executive Protection assignments. My first inclination is to tell them why we are reluctant to use off-duty police.

Yesterday, WTOP radio reported that a Detective Wheeler from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police had been arrested for trying to hire a Prostitute. Unfortunately for Detective Wheeler, the “prostitute” was an undercover Police Detective herself.

The story gets better, however. It seems that Detective Wheeler is assigned to the Vice Unit. For those of you who don’t know what a Vice Unit does, they set up “stings” and dress female Police officers to look like prostitutes in order to arrest those who try and do business with “prostitutes”. One wonders if Detective Wheeler should be charged with the prostituion charge or one involving gross stupidity.

Just becaause a Police officer carries a gun, does not mean that this qualifies him or her to do everything security related. While most of them are decent, hard working indivduals, there are also some who break laws and circumvent the system for their own benefit. When you hire an “off-duty cop”, you do not know what you are getting. Perhaps you will get a bad apple(s) who will do more harm than good. Afterall, what way is there to vet them?

A professional security company like ours, train their own people and enforce from day one a strong sense of Ethics. We have a zero policy for any behaviour that might be detrimental to us or the client. On the rare occassion when someone does something that we do not condone, they are terminated. There is no room for Union intervention or “three strikes, you’re out” or any other delaying tactic.

Our reputation is too important. Then again, we do not have “jobs for life” but must instead earn buisness by constantly performing. The next time you need a security person, keep this in mind.