This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Roman Fisher, CPP. Roman is a dedicated executive protection practitioner with a wide range of experience in areas such as: leadership and team management, firearms instruction, security management, investigation, and protective intelligence.
As threats in the world become more resourceful, diverse, and determined along their pathways to violence or to inflict harm, executive protection (EP) practitioners must increasingly shoulder a heavier burden. It is no longer acceptable for protection managers and their consumers (protectees – those being protected) to rely on the reactionary expertise and capabilities of the protector. Therefore, proactive protective intelligence (PI) programs must be integrated as a fundamental and essential part of the EP mission. To accomplish this, two primary problems require resolution. First, protection managers must be able to justify the necessity of PI, quantify the value of the program, and then be able to harness the necessary buy-in from the EP costumer. Second, protection managers must understand how to best utilize and disseminate the products created by the PI program.
There are many experts in the field of protective intelligence who have advocated and written about the benefits and value of a PI program. Literary works by subject matter experts such as Fein, Vossekuil, Calhoun, and Weston study the process of identifying and managing threats. Companies and organizations such as Ontic Technologies, Torchstone Global, and Emergent Risk International publish a steady stream of articles that direct attention to the processes and advantages of PI in the EP and corporate security arena. However, there is little information to guide the EP manager who leads a small team with limited budgetary resources wishing to implement a PI program. There is also a lack of material regarding the most effective and efficient use of intelligence products by the individual EP practitioner.
Although much has been written about PI, its practice still resides predominately in the arena of large corporate security and EP programs; those who can afford it. The purpose of this effort is to identify useful information and provide insight so that EP teams, regardless of size and budgetary restrictions, can implement and utilize PI. The goal is to increase the EP team’s operational effectiveness; to allocate limited resources more efficiently; and to increase the value of EP services provided to the customer.
Protective intelligence is a relatively new practice in the executive protection industry; at least, relative to the reliance on intelligence work in supporting the goals of national defense and homeland security. Protective intelligence has been built on the foundations of national intelligence and law enforcement intelligence but tailored to meet the needs of the executive protection mission. There have been volumes written about every facet of national intelligence and there has been a great deal written about intelligence efforts to assist law enforcement. However, there has been little information published regarding the use of protective intelligence in the executive protection arena.
Protective intelligence within executive protection encompasses, or in some cases falls within, three broad skill sets: the intelligence production process, threat assessment and management, and risk assessment and management. There are many published works on these subjects and to understand how protective intelligence applies to executive protection, one must first study all three. Only after capturing a thorough comprehension of these three subjects will an executive protection manager know how to incorporate the benefits of a protective intelligence program and then how to successfully operate and maintain the program.
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