Monday, February 18, 2013

Protection Starts With Good Advance Work

Protection Starts With Good Advance Work
This is true for your own protection, protection of your family, or if you are in the business protection of your client.  In the US Secret Service Advance work was the foundation of keeping protectee's safe.  If the President was going to a location for an hour, there would be days of advance work, sometimes weeks.  Even with all this time, we had a lot of base data we worked on compiling, that was integral to the success of our jobs.  Some of these where checklists, templates, and a lot of supporting documents.  Part of this book is what you where given during your training, the vast majority of this book is what you learned out doing the work.

I teach a lot of bodyguard and Corporate Security types all around the world, as well as do protective surveys, and security assessments all around the world.  I still use and refer to this book in my work.  You can do the same, it does not have to be some official book but it helps.

Start by doing a security survey of your home, understand the good and the bad, when you can fix the bad, great when you can not at least you know what vulnerabilities exist, and plan on how to mitigate them in the future.

Just a few notes: Locks, Many people concentrate on expensive locks, yet put them on weak doors, or doors, with weak door frames.   In most cases a decent 5 or 6 tumbler lock will be just what you need, with a good dead bolt to support it.  Spending a lot of money on a lock that can be bypassed by one good kick to the door, it not a good financial move.

                           Alarms, I have a good solid blog piece on alarms, but let me say, I would get one, it does not have to be expensive, but they are a great security value.  If you get one of the ones from a major alarm company often they will provide a decent system at a very low cost if you use their monthly service.  Do not let them talk you into anything expensive, stay with a basic system easy to use, and then you will use it. Make it complicated and it will rarely get used.  Like locks, there is not an alarm system that I can not beat, but it is almost as hard to beat the simple system as the complicated one.  Remember most burglars are not that good anyhow.

                        Safe Rooms, even if it is nothing more than your bathroom, have a place you can retreat to and call for help.  If the alarm is going off, the bad guy has to figure that some type of response is on the way, and can not afford to spend a lot of time looking for your or your valuables.

Next do a quick security survey of your office, if you are a corporate security type this can take weeks to get it done correctly, remember fix what you can, and plan to mitigate what you can not fix.  There is a blog piece here on boxes, in the US Secret Service one of the ways to look at things is boxes.  Basically you secure your boxes, like the home and office, and then work on the movement between them.  Many times we consider our vehicles as another secure box.

Vehicle security comes in two ways, one locking systems that work, and that you know how they work, and also a vehicle security alarm system that works, and you know how to best use.  There is a blog piece here on tips on driving to mitigate the car jacking and kidnapping issues.

A big part of advance work in knowing the routes available to you from your home to office and back.  Even now I get hired to do nothing but look at the routes executives and their families have to use.  Over many years of studying Terrorists, Kidnappers, and other bad guys, you learn how they think, and what they are looking for.  Remember the key is they want to control the situation, so they look for choke points, and or points you use everyday.

To do that they all to one level or another do surveillance of you and your habits.  Even purse snatchers do basic surveillance, the key is to be able to notice it.  If you know the choke points and are used to what is going on with the people around your home and office, then picking up surveillance teams is a lot easier.  Start today, take a quick google earth look at your home and of your office.  Now use the google map feature to look at the route.  Let google pick the best route, and then look at its options usually it provides two or three.  See if any fit how you actually drive the route, most of the time it will.  Now look for points that all the routes use, these often turn out to be the basic surveillance points for the bad guys, and usually will be near the end and start our your route.

Now here is a good page for your advance book, look for places you would divert to, if you picked up surveillance or a team moving in on you.  Find places where police are, like police stations, fire stations, hospitals, airports all have basic areas you can go to and get help quickly.

I hope your advance book is filling out, you have the survey of the home, the office, perhaps your church, or the kid's school, even your gym.  You have the page or pages of your routes with safe areas to divert too.  Look through this blog and you will find other tid bits to help your provide you and yours a safer environment to live and work in.

I will continue to keep adding to this blog, I hope you come back and visit often.  If you are in one of my classes you should come away with more than enough to build a substantial advance book of your own.  There is no secret to great security it just takes a little work and an awareness of what is going on around you.


  1. This is true for your own protection, protection of your family, or if you're within the business protection of your shopper. within the US USSS|US Secret Service|USSS|Secret Service|SS|United States intelligence agency} Advance work was the muse of keeping protectee's safe. If the President was reaching to a location for an hour, there would be days of advance work, generally weeks. Even with all this point, we had lots of base data we worked on compiling, that was integral to the success of our jobs. a number of these wherever checklists, templates, and lots of supporting documents. a part of this book is what you wherever given throughout your coaching, the overwhelming majority of this book is what you learned out doing the work.
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  2. Protection is most important in any field. Everyone wants protection a businessman want protection for business and people wants protection from criminals. So in this situation Role of security services and security guard training become very important.

    1. I agree, and to me training is one of the big keys. If your the client or the Security Guard Protecting the Client, all can use training to increase awareness as well as hone new skills

  3. Great stuff...refresher and reminders.

  4. One of the items you need to have in your advance book is a bomb threat check list and to know how to use it. Most of your clients are going to receive threat phone calls and knowing how to teach someone to take a call is critical if you are going to get usable information 90% plus calls are bogus for bombs, but often lead to individuals that are a danger to your clients. If you want to know someone that can help your team, look to anyone that is at the ESI Executive Protection class right now. Here is a link to the PDF for your advance book. I would have a number of copies in the book to use and hand out.