In May 2021 Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney told CNN’s Jake Tapper “If you look at the vote to impeach, for example, there were members who told me that they were afraid for their own security — afraid, in some instances, for their lives,” she said. “And that tells you something about where we are as a country, that Members of Congress aren’t able to cast votes, or feel that they can’t, because of their own security.”
I’m sorry but Rep Cheney just said the impeachment of a President of the United States was affected by Members of Congress being afraid to vote their conscience out of fear for their safety.
But unfortunately, this isn’t a new development, in 2011 Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s was shot, and in February 2017 Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), and Rep. Reichert (R-WA) decided to not hold public events, and blamed their decisions on “the threat of violence at town hall meetings” and they used the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s as their evidence they were not safe.
Were they correct? Well on Jun 14, 2017 — Congressman Steve Scalise was shot on an Alexandria Virginia Baseball Field, and in October 2017, Rep. Frederica S. Wilson of Florida felt it necessary to “skip votes” because of “a wave of threats against her. Representative Wilson didn’t just skip votes, the honorable lady, in fact, spent the week home in her Miami district protected by a security detail.
These are just some of the examples of elected officials not doing the people’s business out of fear for their safety. And it’s not like this situation hasn’t been looked at by the Capitol Police, but just this past January 2021 Democratic Representatives Josh Gottheimer and Dean Phillips wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and on behalf of thirty (30) House Members said they felt like “targets” and asked for more security.
In the opening paragraph of the letter, they wrote “The horrific attack on the United States Capitol reminds us of the grim reality that Members of Congress are high-profile public officials, and therefore, face ongoing security threats”. Continuing, the authors also point out “in recent years, there has been a surge of threats and attacks on Members of Congress, including the 2017 baseball game practice shooting that wounded Republican Whip Steve Scalise. “Members now regularly face threats in Washington D.C. and in their District”.
So why not just task state or local law enforcement to provide close protection to Members of Congress when they return home? Well in that same letter it says
“protecting members in their district is much harder because local law enforcement agencies are stretched and limited, and often don’t have sufficient staffing or money to provide regular protection to members,”
Now that’s just the security of Members of Congress, what about the hundreds of public health officials and state and local elected leaders enforcing COVID protocols like mask mandates and elections officials under threat for “election fraud” claims. It’s no wonder “local law enforcement agencies are stretched and limited”. But even if an agency or department has the manpower, they often don’t have the training, and a uniformed officer in a marked patrol car isn’t a protective detail.
Don’t take our word for it, Task Force 1-6 the Capitol Security Review overseen by Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré, USA (Retired) made it clear they felt the same way. In the Dignitary Protection Services section of the review it says;
“The Member threat environment is not confined to the Capitol Complex. Although the USCP’s Dignitary Protection Division (DPD) provides adequate security to House leadership, other Members, faced with varying threat levels, have limited or inconsistent protection at their homes, in their districts, and while in transit”.
Question: So if Members of the United States Congress are not fully protected in their home districts what is the chance the city public health official or an elections supervisor has a detail?
ISA has been providing law enforcement accredited Dignitary and Executive Protection Training with a specific focus on elected and appointed officials since 2011 immediately after the shooting of Rep Giffords. Our Dignitary and Executive Protection Training (ISA DPP 101) is a fully accredited training program for law enforcement and private security endorsed by the International Foundation for Protection Officers.
This program voluntary adheres to the training standards of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy (FLETA) and provides specialized training to those who will conduct or support dignitary/executive protective service operations as a single agent or as part of a larger protective detail for elected officials, political appointees, members of the court, corporate executive-level leaders, and private individuals of wealth or other risk factors who are potential targets of terrorism and/or criminal acts.
Stressing the basic methodology of “protection in-depth” and covering the latest practices of agencies such as the US Secret Service and the unique methods of the military and corporate executive protection teams, ISA course designers placed a strong emphasis on the threat assessment and mitigation process, the use of technology, resource management and the legal considerations involved with providing close protection services.
Students who attend this seven-day course will be faced with real-world scenarios based on events such as the June 26th, 2018 breach of security of Senator McConnell and Transportation Secretary Chao, and the earlier shooting of House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
All students at the completion of this training course will fully understand the basic philosophy, mission, and objectives for a protective service agent and the protective detail. @executiveprotectiontraining
Graduates will be able to take part in, and complete, the required threat assessment and pre-mission planning process and will understand the threats and risks to their Protectee and have demonstrated the proper procedures and skills needed to provide a safe and secure environment around the client in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws or regulations.
(7 Days & up to 84 hrs.)
Courses; 7 – 100 Level; 8 – 200 Level; 8 – 300 Level; 4 – 400 Level
Total 27 Course Categories
Medical (MED); History (HIST); Sociology (SOC); Philosophy (PHI); Operations (EPO); Management (MGT); Communications (IPC)
104 Course Learning Objectives; 123 Terminal Learning Objectives; 20 Practical Exercises; 5 Facilitated Discussions; Live Capstone
Mandatory Medical Training Certification
ISA instructors will provide AED/First Aid/CPR and Stop Bleed training not just to registered students of this EP program, but also to those who just need to re-certify their basic medical certification.
For executive protection agents, this basic level of medical training is critical as well as required by the DCJS PPS 32E program.
Maryland Police & Corrections Training Commission
Virginia Department of Criminal Justice
South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy
And accepted as part of an officer’s permanent record by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety
Endorsed by the International Foundation for Protection Officers
Approved for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Personal Protective Specialist Program 32 E & 32 I
Approved by the North Carolina Private Protective Services Board for 12 CEUs
Approved by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for CEUs
Although this program is open enrollment restrictions do apply and seating is limited, Law Enforcement and Veterans have first priority for seats. Please review the syllabus on the requirements to attend https://www.eptraining.us/courses-master-list/dignitary-and-executive-protection-specialist-course/ and contact us with any questions at 315-486-7854, Mom-Fri 9 am -7 pm, Sat 10 am-3 pm
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