How to Protect President Donald J. Trump

It seems that Donald J. Trump has taken the fight to the Republican Party and shows no signs of going away as a serious candidate to become the GOP presidential nominee. As a matter of fact, at this point if it were a boxing match, the referee might have to stop the bout because the other contenders are bloodied, battered and beaten. Ever since he jumped into this race, Mr. Trump has been on the attack and the mainstay of his campaign has been to punch and counterpunch his competitors as well as his critics. Just ask John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Hillary Clinton, and Megyn Kelly, to name a few, how it feels to be in the crosshairs of The Donald.

High Profile Equals High Exposure

In today’s political world, these candidates become high-profile targets because of their high exposure. Due in part to the Internet and social media, sensitive information about candidates, such as addresses of private residences, family members, salaries, and business ventures, are accessible to the public. And magnifying this exposure, the candidates are constantly attending public events, especially in Iowa and New Hampshire that require maneuvering through crowds of unscreened people at functions such as state fairs and parades. A preventative protective methodology balances ends, ways, means, and threats to identify and assess risks in these scenarios and opportunistic vulnerabilities. To reach optimum event security, a thorough process of properly trained and prepared security personnel analyze appropriate risk control measures and apply interrelated countermeasures and protective tactics to harden these events.

I Stepped Into a Burning Ring of Fire

Event security planning can be more easily described by explaining the “ring” methodology. The five rings of protection are: (1) the outer perimeter typically secured by public sector personnel at the federal, state, and local level, filtering people, equipment, and vehicles requiring event access; (2) the middle perimeter is the event security assets comprised of private security guards and law enforcement officers screening and controlling entry; (3) the inner perimeter is the restricted areas inside the event site, such as the stage; (4) the fourth perimeter is the intelligence collection and information sharing between the private and public sectors; and (5) the fifth perimeter, the life blood of the event, is cyber security dedicated to critical infrastructure, including electricity, power grid, water, and communications.

If You’re Not First, You’re Last

Armed with the “knowledge and power of the rings,” a best practice-based event security template identifies appropriate countermeasures that will lower the various levels of risk. The countermeasures and design alternatives are specifically tailored to address an event security operational plan, executive protection measures, emergency preparedness policies, interoperable communications, and risk mitigation strategies. I believe the ability to meet security, risk management, and emergency preparedness objectives will—at many critical junctures—rise or fall on whether the security team can execute-to-plan. That is the benchmark and you should never settle for anything other than the highest level of execution and performance when designing your event security and executive protection strategies.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Best practices in executive protection should be benchmarked to determine the most effective and efficient operations suitable for the candidate and the event. Following how the best executive protection programs keep apprised of emerging threats while also staying informed of industry trends in countering these risks will strengthen your own strategy. The advance work that precedes the arrival of the candidate is just as, if not more, important than the security employed during the event. A laser-focused emphasis needs to be placed on the preparations, strategies, instructions, and responses, so that if any crisis were to occur, all contingencies are in place.

Even though many of us are not experienced with protecting a presidential candidate as he or she moves through large-scale event venues, the tenants of rock solid executive protection and event security plans are still paramount to your own specific needs and situations.

The Grassroots of Marijuana Security (Part Three)

This blog is the third in a three part series, discussing the connectivity between security and the medical and recreational marijuana industry. In Part One I tackled a holistic security plan for the oversight of commercial cannabis operations. In Part Two, I explained the security strategy to support the construction, implementation, operation, and sustainability of a cannabis cultivation center or dispensary. For Part Three, I am delving into securing the day-to-day business operations of a legalized marijuana enterprise. Specifically, I examine the design and creation of a comprehensive security standard to mitigate risk to employees, products, money, operation, and brand that can and should be addressed directly by incorporating security strategies through an integrated approach in a number of areas.

You Can’t Make an Omelet without Breaking Eggs

After identifying the particular needs and challenges of a commercial cannabis business, the proposed security path is based on my professional experience as an expert in securing private and public properties. I recommend a strategic business model that addresses specific security goals and objectives and avoids disrupting business operations or negatively impacting the aesthetics of the venue. However, there will be some growing (another bad pun!) pains as I craft a strategy and vision built to last. The potential domino effect from this model is a unique security environment that may take some getting used to. The best example is a searching policy to mitigate diversion of product or theft of funds. Employees working in this industry will need to be prepared to have their packages, workspace, vehicles, lockers, and attire inspected when entering and exiting the facility. If employees are uncomfortable with these processes and procedures, then they will probably need to find another line of work.

If You Build It They Will Come

The paramount goal of a successful business model in the cannabis industry is to protect people, product, property, brand, and assets. The business will thrive when people see that protection is an important part of the company’s mission. Employees are more likely to see security as a company priority if management visibly supports security efforts and initiatives. Some of the best ways to demonstrate that support are to include security as one of management’s core values and to promulgate official company policies regarding security. Customers are more likely to frequent your place of business knowing that a great deal of thought and effort has gone into creating a safe and secure environment. Access control standards and practices and the ability to screen and filter all personnel, services, deliveries, and equipment seeking access to the dispensary and its environs are crucial. The design also includes training curriculums, security awareness and education materials, emergency preparedness, fire prevention, and employee assistance programs, among many areas. Additional documents and policies will further protect your investment by focusing on strategies such as social media, open-source intelligence and analysis, technical surveillance, threat assessment, and incident response.

Security Technology Is Like Taking a Drink from a Fire Hydrant

Security technologies evolve at such a breakneck pace that as soon as your systems are installed they seem outdated. The only way to stay ahead of this curve is through the implementation, use, and effectiveness of the latest security systems and technologies, such as digital closed-circuit video surveillance equipment, exterior and perimeter security systems and monitoring, electronic access control systems, automated alerts, and information-sharing software. A well-qualified and experienced systems integrator can be worth their weight in gold because they can bring to your operation best-in-class performance and capabilities regardless of the product company. This independence will keep you away from vendors who push their own equipment without properly evaluating its effectiveness for your situation.

Many Receive Advice, but Few Profit from It

A trusted advisor can provide insight and counsel based on an institutional knowledge of the security industry often attained by sharing information and acting as a liaison with the federal, state, and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies. This model focuses on service to clients by developing strategic security relationships. Acting as a reliable and dependable confidant while offering an objective and independent voice, I not only keep you apprised of emerging threats but also informed of industry trends in countering these risks. In this fast-paced and ever-changing environment, the Lake Forest Group’s market leadership is maintained by a steadfast emphasis on research, analysis, and continuous interaction with subject matter experts who are leaders in their field.