For the students of dignitary & executive protection specialist class 05-10 it was a normal course. 80 hours of accredited training over seven days including certification in AED/CPR/First aid. Covering 30 plus training objectives and requiring completion of three full threat assessments and online intelligence exercises, the students also completed 9 graded or evaluated practical exercises, a live capstone, and had fun times in the dojo for action on principle (AOP) drills.
The whole time students were in class or on exercises they were under various pressures meant to add stress and strain to both individuals and the team. Class leadership was changed, information limited, last minute changes etc, all carefully designed to add real world stress we see and experience on the detail.
But transparent to the students were the unique opportunities they had to complete advance work, site surveys and mission planning exercises across several venues including two outstanding museums, the Lawrenceville Female Seminary & Isaac Adair House complex which is also home of the Gwinnett History Museum, and the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse which houses the Gwinnett Veterans Council War Memorial Museum.
But the museum advances as outstanding as they were with their limited parking, steep stairways, tight hallways and corridors, public access, and GPS fails. These exercises were preceded by a visit to the Aurora Theater, a 100-year-old former church and now a $7.5 million theater complex. Students were able to complete an advance and site surveys of the complex to include the two performance areas, the VIP seating loft and plan around the one way streets, limited parking, limited access, open floor plan and hidden nook and crannies you would expect from a historical building.
But not stopping there, the students also received a guided tour of the Gwinnett Aero LLC private air terminal located at the Lawrenceville/Gwinnett County Airport which included an operational briefing as if a VIP was due in. And this was a significant learning opportunity because prior to the 2018 Super Bowl this location was a major hub for VIP private flights.
And last but not least was a two day advance/site survey of a 118-acre multipurpose campus which included the 13,000-seat arena (Infinite Energy Arena), and the 21,600-square-foot grand ballroom (Infinite Energy Forum).
Not only did the students visit the Infinity center for an advance, but they received an operational briefing and tour of the facility by Neal Humphreys the Director of Event Services for the Arena & Lisa Dominguez the Senior Security Manager. But Mr. Humphreys and Mrs. Dominguez did more than give a tour and a briefing; they walked the students through a typical operation involving previous VIP visits from celebrities, elected officials and diplomats, and provided copies of previous operational plans so the students would have a template for their capstone and future operations.
Students walked the venue, tested communications, toured the green room, planned and rehearsed their arrival, staging and departure plans, and working with our hosts planned out the emergency procedures. This was a real world advance with all the planning considerations, and a true test of the student’s interpersonal communication skills.
On test day three role players, Mr. Jacob Christner, professional actor; Mike San Fratello, local business leader; and Ms. Jacqueline Isabella, local actor and role player coordinator provided real world scenarios and feedback for the students to handle, including a medical emergency, a stalker/domestic violence scenario, and various itinerary changes.
This course was hosted by the Gwinnett County Sheriffs department of Lawrenceville Georgia, co-hosted by the D.P. Protection Agency, and sponsored by the Center for Security and Anti-terrorism Training and the Principle Intelligence Agency.
This dignitary and executive protection training program has proven the private and law enforcement partnership model can be successful, and we want to give special thanks to Sheriff Butch Conway for allowing us on campus, and to Alan Andrzejewski and Deputy Luke Catoggio of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Training Division. Their efforts made this course one of the best we have conducted for private security and law enforcement this year.
Class 05-10 and the ISA charity program donated $100.00 to the Shriner’s children’s hospitals and the same to the Gwinnett County Sheriffs supported program Dogs in Jail.
These donations are in keeping with ISA’s stated goal of giving back to our community with every training course we conduct in 2019.