You may want to carry a map as back-up

I have been missing in action for a few weeks following an overseas conference and a 24 hour a day contract that tied up myself and my team for the past month. It doesn’t mean that I have neglected keeping up with recent security-related news though!

This story that I heard on the FOX News channel this past week had additional importance and relevance in the E.P. field as it played a major part for one of our training teams earlier this year.

The story is about the possibility of some of our GPS satellites failing beginning in 2010. This would have a direct effect on GPS systems. How would it effect the popular “GPS in the car systems” that so many of us rely on these days?

Well, it seems that pin-point accuracy would not be possible. Instead of directing you right to your exact destination, the device might instruct something like;”Turn left in a half to three quarters of a mile”.

There are those who say that the life expectancy for these satellites is far greater than 2010. But what if not? How many of us rely on a GPS to such an extent that they would not consider trying to read a map? How many know how to read a map?

During an E.P. training class this year, we had a young gentleman from this area who got lost heading into Washington D.C. from Route 66. Anyone who has ever driven around the Washinton D.C. area will know that when you drive East from Virginia into D.C., it is virtually impossible to miss D.C. as you run right into it.

Relying on his GPS, the young man got lost twice, opting to get off on I495 to reach Downtown D.C. When asked why, he could not explain. Most likely he put in bad co-ordinates, but it was more difficult to get lost than to go as planned. Had he used a map as back-up, he would have clearly been able to see that it was a straight shot all the way in.

Modern technology is fantastic – when it works. People tend to forget that when they become hooked on technology. A fried computer is just a big piece of useless plastic and metal. If you are about to give a presentation and the projector malfunctions or crashes, should you just give up. Would it not be better to carry a flip chart and pens?

Security professionals can not afford to disregard the ever present; “what if”. Personally speaking, I believe in having back-up plans for my back-up plans. As they say in Ireland; “To be sure, to be sure”.

How safe is your Client?

Things were a little wild for The Business these past couple of weeks. A week before the inauguration we had to literally drop everything when we were contacted by the office of an overseas President and First Lady who were in need of protection as they and their entourage were attending privately and as such, were not afforded protection by the Government as it was not a State visit.

Thankfully everything went well and the concerns that many of us had with so many people congregated to celebrate an event that had the world’s attention, did not materialize.

One point for the new agents to realize and for those considering a career as an Executive/Close Protection agent, one must always be 100% aware of their surroundings and their client’s well-being at all times. This is one of the core values that we continually stress during our High Speed 7 day Training Courses, which are held throughout the year around the U.S.

Our personnel were looking out for clients who had come to be part of the historic inauguration and who had pre-arranged to have tickets for their group and for the detail personnel. As they were making their way to the seated area, our agents noticed that a large group of spectators behind them had broken through one of the security cordons and were pushing forward.

Having seen the loss of life caused by a few dozen WALMART shoppers during a sale’s event in New York recently, our sharp-minded agents quickly identified a safe structure where they could go and escape the now growing hoarde of people pushing forward.

The clients were able to continue observing the swearing in of the 44th president in comfort and safety and were so appreciative that a potentially dangerous situation had been avoided that they contacted me and commended those involved for their professionalism and dedication.

When you attend an event as an EP/CP agent, you very well may be surrounded by famous people. Those who are unable to block out the fact that television and movie personalities are all around them or that they are at an historic event, will fail in their mission to protect the client. People like that are in the wrong profession.

Do not be overcome by events. Keep a cool head and expect the unexpected. Today, everyone wants their plane to be flown by Capt. Sullenberger after his amazing Hudson River landing.

I’m proud to say that our agents are known for their “Sullenberger” like protection and dedication. They do me proud.