Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Being Secure At A Public Event

I have a friend that has worked in security his whole life. He was in Special Forces when he was in the Army. After he got out of the Army he worked as a Policeman. He then moved into Diplomatic Security service for Department of State. After retiring from that he worked for a private protection company. He knows how to protect a principle.
I think we can learn from some of the things he watches for and does while protecting a client.

Use the same skills as in any social setting with an additional focus. Does someone or something seem out of place? Have some faith in your intuition.

Practice surveillance detection, especially when leaving. Remember that ordinary crime occurs around events, as well. Identify safe areas along your route in advance. Ask for security assistance if you’re uncomfortable with the situation.

Watch for targeting indicators; paralleling, hard focus, forces surrounding, etc.

Stay aware of exit locations. If you will be in a fixed position for a while, e.g., seated at dinner, identify the nearest exit to you, just as on an airliner. Note exits near restrooms immediately upon entering the venue. We tend to be distracted when we need to visit the restroom so it’s best to identify these in advance. Consider non-traditional exits, such as through kitchens or maintenance areas, if necessary.

Beware of the possibility of secondary devices; clear the area completely if there’s an incident. Go back to your hotel or residence immediately, don’t hang around the venue.

Discard unattended drinks. Once it’s been out of your control, get a new one.

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore it, explore it. Alert others, preferably security, about issues. Have faith in your intuition.

Increase and decrease awareness as the situation requires. E.g., increase awareness when going to or leaving the venue since there will be less security presence outside. Don’t try to be on ‘red alert’ all the time. It’s neither possible nor mentally healthy.

Ditch high heels if you have to move quickly.

Fleeing is preferable to hiding under a table if an incident involving small arms occurs. Gunshot wounds from a distance tend to be survivable. Close range executions are usually fatal. Determine a nearby point that offers cover or concealment and move quickly to it. Assess the situation and then repeat the process to escape.

Note locations of fire extinguishers. They are useful in case someone is on fire following a bomb and also as an improvised weapon. If you are on fire, drop and roll to put it out before running.

Side note on using improvised weapons:
There is no need to challenge or warn an active killer! That is only for TV and the movies.
Get behind him [her], focus your attention on the back of the head and, without warning, smash it as hard as you can with the fire extinguisher or whatever you have. Continue to nail them until they stop moving.
Then run away to safety.

If there is an incident, accept being separated from your party. Leaving the area and finding shelter should be your primary emphasis, not looking for others, unless they are small children.

Look for things or people that you may enjoy, as well. The object of terrorism is to change our society for the worse. Don’t let it do that to us.

High-profile events bring another security challenge: the threat of protestors. You never know who is going to be offended by or object to your function.

Watch or read up on local news and weather for where your going- plan ahead and be prepared. Check the events website for important information before you go.

Be mindful of where your carrying your valuables (wallet,money, credit/debit cards, purse, cell phone) and make sure you’re not making yourself an easy target for a pick pocket. This goes for the car too, make sure you’re not leaving valuables in plain sight or the car unlocked.

If you’re going with a group, plan a meeting point in-case you become separated. Plan times to check in on each other and follow up when someone doesn’t.

If you’re taking the kids, make sure you remember to have the “don’t talk to strangers” talk one more time.

Being at an event can make you vulnerable. As we can see in France, if it is a gathering of a lot of people it can be a draw for terror activities. Don’t be a victim. Be aware of what is going on and what you can do to stay safe and secure.

Semper Paratus
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