Webinar presenter Mark Warren answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Protecting Key People in Your Organization. Here are just a few of his responses.
Audience Question: You mentioned a book at the very beginning of the webinar again. What was the name of that?
Mark Warren: It was Surveillance Zone by Amit Toben.
Audience Question: Are there any other books or documentaries or TED talks that you think would be good to watch or read as well?
Mark Warren: Well, as it relates to personnel protection, that’s kind of a sticky subject. Because, honestly, this is one of those areas that, really, it’s practical experience. Obviously, there’s training that you can go to, and the training can be very extensive to learn how to do proper advances. How to do the driving, the firearms side. I’m sorry, but we didn’t talk about armed versus unarmed. There’s just not enough time to really hit on a lot of the stuff in there. And to be honest, there’s times I have to do protection work and it’s unarmed in foreign countries where I can’t carry a firearm. So how do I do things there. I like Amit’s book, because I believed it was a great primer. Kind of a corporate security side of things and understanding. And he really hits well on the surveillance and counter surveillance, which for this group, where I was trying to go both from personnel but also personal security, where people, if I have a stalker or somebody will, this could be a good starting point for me. So, the other book that I’m going to almost always recommend is Gavin deBecker’s, The Gift of Fear.
Audience Question: You know, so many of our audience members are victim advocates. What advice would you have for a victim advocate, or somebody working in that field who’s working with a civilian, and that person is clearly at risk. They might be being stalked; they might have an ex-husband. What are some simple things they can do — because we all don’t have Bill Gates’s budgets? What can we do to advise those individuals?
Mark Warren: Right. So that’s such a great point and great question. We’ve worked with a lot of battered women’s shelters and stuff like that. In fact, we used to escort ladies going to court against their abuser, and many times we did protection. Two of us, one sitting close to the victim, but not directly with her? And one would consensus was an open court setting sit right next to the abuser, and he didn’t know it, he had an armed agent sitting right next to him. So, if he decided to do anything. It was going to come and he’s going to get blindsided. So, when it comes to that, obviously, the threat level is high, and then they’re in a very, very difficult situation. So one, if they’ve relocated, it’s just imperative that they’re not using social media, that they’re not communicating where they’re going to be, you know, family, other people, that gives them a starting point on, how to relocate them again. So being very careful about the information that they let out, and who they share it with. If they’re staying at, obviously a shelter that’s supposed to be secret, we definitely don’t want that getting out. But let’s say that she’s left him. She has moved away. He doesn’t know where she lives, but let’s say he knows where she works. So, she wants to really be paying attention to the counter-surveillance stuff. Now, as you leave, have somebody walk out with, you know, again, we’ve talked about this in other webinars, how we can keep people safe by knowing that, they have some type of threat against them. We’re going to have them escorted out to their vehicle. If its nighttime looking around, have good well-lit parking lots. Looking under vehicles, I’m looking for feet as I approach that vehicle from 25, 30 feet away. I want to be looking underneath it, because if somebody’s near the front of it, crops down waiting, I want to be able to see their feet before I ever get coming to that picture of that bomb. That was under the car. Looking into the rear seat, having your keys in hand as you approach your vehicle, looking for anyone that does, that looks out of place, just sitting in a vehicle. Maybe it’s not him following you. Maybe he’s got a friend that’s going to try and follow you. This, again, is now. If that person has left the abuser, I definitely want them driving surveillance detection routes. I want them purposely taking some of those secondary roadways, making multiple turns. Maybe making a stop or two inside to run an errand. And if you get into a position where you can’t see outside without them seeing you from inside the store, look at the parking lot. See if you see that vehicle again. And so, you can determine if somebody is following you. When they’re with the victim advocate, hopefully, you’re in a secured facility and everything else, but I don’t have a specific checklist, but some of those things that may be, I should look at putting together to provide to some of the victim advocates so that they can relay information. It’s definitely something that, if somebody has a need, I can try and at least put together just some quick reminders that they can hand out to people to do.
Audience Question: What advice would you have during advance planning for coordination and communication with emergency or backup security elements along a VIP’s travel route?
Mark Warren: You have to do that. That’s as far as recommendations. Just looking at the scope, I took 39 ladies that walked from Houston, Texas to Dallas, Texas from Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion clinic in the United States to Dallas federal courthouse, which is Roe v. Wade. So obviously, the threat against them potentially was up because of what they were marching for. I had to plan every single day, 6 to 7, miles a day, what that route was going to be. I had to meet with every single law enforcement. You know, every city and county, we were going through, pull permits. So, when you start talking about the advance work, the only way to do it, the best way to do it as in person, and get somebody on the ground. That’s why the secret service does that way. I don’t even have a clue how many teams of advanced groups they have for the President’s travels. So, they’re doing these advances, ——- storm drain, cover shot, and everything else on those parade or those routes. When the president moves, that’s why they stay on highways, because every secondary road, if it’s a driveway, they have to have a uniform officer standing in it or blocking it. So that’s why, when they move them, it’s along those primary routes. So, the coordination on that side with local law enforcement, face-to-face, is the best time. Don’t be afraid to share information. You have to trust them in some form or fashion, and typically, they’re going to be willing to help you. But they can also give you a lot of good recommendations on what happens in their towns, cities, communities, counties that that maybe you weren’t aware of? So, I prefer face to face when I had to do the planning for that route, that was a three-week trip that those ladies were walking. So, I had three weeks of advance work on every single one of those locations that they were going to be going through. Then I had to plan for all hazards, we had two severe weather events. One was a tornado that hit where my girls were walking and made national news, where it was picking up 18 wheelers. I drove through that tornado to catch back up. So that advanced work is so crucial. But for me, I prefer face-to-face, where you can really kind of get to know them, and they’d get to know you, and you can really see a lot more about what you may need to know about that community. I hope that kind of answered it Bill, please follow up, if you’ve got more questions, or I created more confusion on that.
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