D.C. Police Chief Admits that Charlie Sheen Escort Violated Department Policies

In his article in the Washington Times about the Charlie Sheen Police Escort,  Matthew Cella quoted MPD Police Chief Cathy Lanier as having admitted that the Sheen escort broke multiple department rules.  No offense Cathy or Matthew, but those of us in the Executive Protection field realized that, the minute we saw crazy Charlie taking a cell phone picture of the speed odometer, documenting for the world to see that the D.C. Police cruiser in front was pushing 80 miles an hour, 30 miles outside of their jurisdiction.

I do have to say, that Chief Lanier sounded very honest and open during the WTOP radio interview this afternooon when talking about how one of her “middle managers” (“probably a Lieutenant”, she said) wrongfully authorized the problematic escort of a Hollywood celebrity.  I was about ready to give her a “thumbs up” until she began justifying why her officers would have broken the rules.   

Chief Lanier went on to tell the interviewer that it wasn’t really that surprising that her officers went outside of their jurisdiction, sped and drove with their emergency lights flashing.  “Afterall”, she said, “Police are only human and we can’t expect them not to be awe struck when dealing with celebrities”.  What you talkin’ about Cathy? 

Yes, Police Officers are human, but no – they are certainly not like the average citizen.  They go through a different training, have broad sweeping powers that regular people do not share and have the ability to take another’s liberty and even life, if necessary.  They should damn well be held to a higher standard and we should expect far more from them than we would do from a 13 year old girl waiting for a “Bieber appearance” outside of a concert hall.  

I would wager that if you took a survey of all Executive Protection Agents (definitely all E.P. Agency owners), they would tell you that when they are hired to work in close proximity of a celebrity, they are not “awe struck” by that person.  If I ever discovered that one of my bodyguards had broken the law or embarrased my company or themselves on an E.P. detail, that would be the last time they would work for me.  The ironic thing is that when it comes to private sector Executive Protection, most Agents are more highly trained and experienced than local Police Officers.         

Apparently, the Metropolitan Police Department rules allows officers to perform escort duty for The President, Vice Prez, visiting Heads of State and the Mayor.  I sure am glad that I am not an MPD “middle manager” trying to figure out which category that “Tiger Blood” Charlie fits into. 

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.