Executive Protection Training; Graduation Day, Just in Time.


 On February 13th Independent Security Advisors completed over 80 hours of Dignitary and Executive Protection training with police officers from Maryland & Virginia and private sector EP agents from as far as California with a specific focus on elected and public officials.


 These officers and private sector agents will now go back to their departments and companies ready to provide close protection to their own clients and elected and other public officials. 

 None too soon either, because on February 14th, yes valentine’s day 2022, we were reminded why this training is so critical for local law enforcement when we witnessed another example of violence that directly affects the democracy of this country. Not an assassination of a Member of Congress or of the President but an attempted shooting of a candidate for mayor in Louisville Kentucky.

 Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neill often said all politics is local, well the growing threats to elected and public officials and candidates for office at the local level prove the Speaker was right, not to mention the FBI data and DHS intelligence warnings that show the threat to local officials has grown exponentially.

 On February 15th one local media outlet WLKY reported the target of this recent shooting, Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg has as a result of this attack increased his security and is working with an outside private security firm. Nothing like reactive security precautions after the shooting, but better late than never.

  Unfortunately, we have to ask why they needed to reach out to a private firm instead of the Louisville police department. Of course, we know the answer, local law enforcement is not routinely trained or equipped to provide close protection to officials, never mind candidates for office, and the lawyers frown on the department giving advice on security beyond locking your doors at night because of “liability issues”.

See the WLKY report here;

  Now you would think this shooting in a candidate’s office would be a wake-up call to the other candidates, but you would be wrong. WLKY interviewed several of these candidates and Democrat Timothy Findley Jr. said “most people on my staff have been accustomed to gun violence; we’ve been accustomed to these kinds of situations and it’s, unfortunately, a part of the day to day operations”

 Well, no, excuse me Candidate Findley, but an assassination attempt in your campaign office is not the kind of situation you become accustomed to. And allowing this type of event to become the “norm” you get accustomed to is a dangerous and misguided attitude. This wasn’t a store robbery or a gang shooting, this wasn’t “normal gun violence”, this was an assassination attempt of a candidate for elected office, and regardless of the reason behind the attack. we can’t allow this to become something we’re accustomed to.

 Republican David Nicholson when interviewed said “unfortunately when you place yourself in front of the public it’s a risk we take”, and yes, he’s absolutely correct, it is a risk, but with risk comes risk mitigation and that is where we are lacking, and why ISA trains so many members of law enforcement.

The motive

 Due to COVID mask mandates, election conspiracy theories, and just plain old ugly politics, elections, health, and school board officials are seeing an increase in threats that have led to resignations over safety and security concerns, and according to Chief Erika Shield of the LMPD, the motive is unclear, and said, “We’re going to keep an open mind and proceed with an abundance of caution.” This is both prudent and responsible. See her news conference here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3a764VPKtM&t=23s 

 Of course, that didn’t stop one media source from posting a story with the headline “Jewish Louisville mayor candidate: Gunman ‘aimed directly at me” and then incorrectly quoting the candidate as saying the “suspect stormed his campaign headquarters”, when in fact what Greenburg said was he “walked in”. This type of sensationalism does nothing to help and only further inflames tensions.

 This article goes on to highlight that Police Chief Erika Shields said “Mr. Greenberg is Jewish, so there’s that,” insinuating the Chief sees this as a hate crime when clearly we don’t yet know the reasoning for the attack.

The Question

 Why aren’t the Louisville police providing an officer to each candidate’s office, why can’t the candidates use campaign money for private security vetted and properly trained in a public-private partnership with the Louisville police?

Why is local law enforcement still reporting a lack of resources and manpower needed to provide security for these officials?

Why aren’t the public and private sectors working together to mitigate these threats?

The Answer

 Simple, money, liability, and a lack of will.

 Police departments are having enough trouble filling their ranks after retirements, and with officers leaving to pursue other careers, and can’t afford to have a full-time officer with every campaign office.  And it’s unfair to expect local law enforcement to accept the liability of vetting and assisting with the training of private security which is normally state-regulated.

 Even if local law enforcement had the authority, training, time, and resources, and if the private security sector and the Louisville city government were willing to work together it opens the city to all sorts of liability issues.

The Solution

 So what is the solution, well local law enforcement must have officers trained in close protection beyond the driver for the mayor, and a government agency such as the election board or other department should host or sponsor security awareness training for the candidates and their staff.

 Candidates for office should be able to draw funds from campaign contributions for physical security improvements to their office and to pay for close protection, and local law enforcement should be encouraged to host and sponsor close protection training in partnership with the private sector and establish a working relationship with these private details.

In closing

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said, “if this has anything to do with a political race, my God if you disagree with someone you vote against them.”

#executiveprotectiontraining Absolutely right, but as the evidence piles up and DHS continues to issue warnings on threats to officials it’s clear these acts are a growing cancer to our democracy, and we need to put the risk mitigation procedures in place to stop it from growing.

 The ISA Defending Democracy Program and our training cadre stand ready to help any agency or department with accredited executive protection training and will work with elected and other public officials and candidates for office to prepare risk mitigation programs.

 All that is needed is to recognize this isn’t normal, these events are not a part of being in public and we can do something to prevent them in the future with law enforcement and the private sector working together. 

executive protection training; #executiveprotectiontraining
Threat mitigation techniques around vehicles
executive protection training, advance work and site surveys, #executiveprotectiontraining
Advance work and site surveys
Physical security assessments and site survey
Classroom academics, threat assessments, mission planning etc
Case studies and briefings, learn from the past, don’t repeat it.
On the mats, cover and evacuation training

#executiveprotectiontraining, @isa, #defendingdemocracy


















METRO LOUISVILLE, February 14, 2022: Greenberg says he and his staff are ‘shaken, but safe’ after shooting by Roberto Roldan Ryland Barton;https://wfpl.org/mayoral-candidate-craig-greenberg-safe-after-shooting-near-campaign-office/

AGENCIES15 February 2022, 2:11 am;  Jewish Louisville mayor candidate: Gunman ‘aimed directly at me’; https://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-louisville-mayor-candidate-gunman-aimed-directly-at-me/

Louisville Mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg targeted in shooting: Full news conference; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3a764VPKtM

‘Surreal experience’ | Mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg describes shooting at Butchertown campaign office; https://www.wdrb.com/news/surreal-experience-mayoral-candidate-craig-greenberg-describes-shooting-at-butchertown-campaign-office/article_bfdbc43c-8dab-11ec-b7be-97c3032f9bcc.html 

Day after shooting, Craig Greenberg still shaken, but filled with gratitude; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vdAfV5SaUA

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear reacts to attempted shooting of Craig Greenberg; https://www.wdrb.com/news/wdrb-video/kentucky-gov-andy-beshear-reacts-to-attempted-shooting-of-craig-greenberg/video_378756df-52f1-5a03-bb74-29661e2b3309.html

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