As anyone who has read my books knows, I was fortunate to have been a part of the creation of the protective intelligence practice within the State Department as a young special agent. As we raced around-the-world delving into attack after attack, we learned the hard way that guns, guards and gates could be defeated; bad actors seemed to be one step ahead. When we started unpacking the threats and attacks, we realized that the attack plans always began with pre-operational surveillance. So, in an effort to stop the attacks, we became the surveillance hunters, looking for operational acts of surveillance. In the 1990’s, we brought our unique protective intelligence and threat detection methodology to the private sector and you would be hard pressed not to find a Fortune 50 with some variant of the program in operation today.
When Luke and Tom asked me to join the Advisory Board of Ontic about a year ago, I jumped at the chance, because Ontic has built something truly special for practicing the art of protective intelligence. At the Ontic Protective Intelligence Summit earlier this year, I was overwhelmed with the turnout, energy and focus. Years ago, it was difficult to find protective intelligence as part of any corporate security program; now the room was full of security officers and analysts recognizing the need, discussing the challenges and benchmarking threat cases. I came away thinking that the future is very bright for protective intelligence analysts and that this proactive approach to security is the new frontier of threat mitigation.
Rarely in life do you get a chance to focus on a topic that you are passionate about and have studied for almost forty years. Threats to people and property, active shooters, school violence, and stalkers, have not abated I’m sad to say. But, you can do something about lowering the probability and mitigating the risk. After a lifetime spent in the field of protective intelligence, my next journey is to become the first Executive Director of the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence and I’m honored to spearhead the efforts to deliver strategies and best practices, share insights on current and historical trends and explore lessons learned from physical security peers and industry experts.
Please reach out if you would like to contribute with articles or ideas. We have many plans in the works, to include webinars and podcasts, laser focused on protective intelligence.