Threat Assessments and a Invitation to Comment

 Between June 19th and the 23rd we have shared on our Facebook page 13 stories from different media sources; each was used as an object lesson about threat assessments, protective procedures or EP training. Each posting asked for the opinions of our peers on that specific topic or comments about the posting in general.   

 From anger in politics to health issues we asked our friends in the EP industry to comment, but surprisingly most reply’s came via a private message as opposed to in the public thread of the post.

 Confused I asked why the willingness to comment in private and not so others could read and respond, and I was told by many of those who wrote they had never received formal threat assessment training and they were not sure how to respond.

 Ok, so if you have never been trained on threat assessments how are you determining manpower needs for a detail? How are you doing your advance work, planning transportation, arrival and departure procedures, and not to mention how are you pricing your services?

 If you don’t know the type and level of threat how are you staffing your team? What clothing are you wearing? What if any weapon is on your hip, in short, are you “using the force” for planning or just hoping for the best?

 Are you just assuming there are snipers on the rooftops targeting your principle or are you doing the work needed to determine the threat and mitigate the risks?

 Here at ISA our operational division doesn’t accept a contract without a full scope of work from the client, and we always complete a full threat assessment. It’s our policy to ensure we staff and equip the detail properly to mitigate the risks, and if the client doesn’t concur then they are free to go elsewhere for services.

 What interests us at the ISA Training Division is how agents and companies in the field are operating without doing an assessment at all. How are you briefing your team or a single agent on what to look for or expect? Are you at least getting a weather and traffic report before you pick them up at home or the airport?  

 Does your client stand out; are they a public figure easily recognized or an unknown business leader whose biggest threat or risk is high blood pressure and a history of heart ailments?  Please explain how you provide services to your client and you don’t have a customized medical kit in the vehicle or an agent with medical training to recognize a heart attack.

 With a solid threat assessment you know during the advance to look for not just hospitals, but ones with a cardiac center, and while we always look for the AED in every building, with this client we need to have an AED in your bag.  We normally ask what medications the client may be taking, but in this case, you may also ask for an emergency supply of the clients’ medications encase he/she forgets. 

 When traveling out of town do you have a HIPPA release and the client’s medical records on a flash drive? Have you asked his/her doctors for a referral to a doctor or clinic in the town you’re visiting, and did you contact them?

 Your principle is hosting an open public meeting to discuss a current topic. Did you do a threat assessment on the topic? Will it enflame anger, cause violence or protests? Is the principle on stage or on the floor with the public? Did you request a police presence or private security? 

 The principle gives the same speech at every meeting, but did you do a demographics threat assessment to determine if that speech will be well received or anger the local attendees? The principle’s speech is anti-ethanol, how well does that play in the cornfields of Nebraska Vs. the oil fields of Texas?

 In every EP course, we conduct, threat assessment is the first topic we cover and the most important.  We look at first and second-hand effects, secondary threats, associated threats,  and we teach how to determine the type of threat, (assassination, assault, Injury, kidnapping, embarrassment and self-inflicted, the level of the threat (high, significant, moderate, low), and the class of threat (lethal or non-lethal).

 We discuss cyber threats, stalkers, workplace violence, the use of drones, and we have the students running multiple exercises doing a threat assessment on their protectee.

 Biographical research, assessment, and planning with a full mitigation plan including formations. Which one will you use and how many agents. Your weapon selection, licensing, training requirements, and caliber, the rate of fire, range and ammo needs. What vehicle for P1, van, suv, sedan, armored, unarmored, single car, multi-car, motorcade, or what are you going to do if the client decides?

Everything we do involves the threat assessment so regardless of your formal training, you’re doing them, you just might not know it. So please feel free to openly comment to any of our discussion posts.    

Visit us on Facebook at