Route analysis can pertain to any situation that would call for transporting a high-value person or asset, but for the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on the transportation of an executive.
When it comes to executive protection, a significant part of the job is ensuring the client’s safety during transport. There is a wide range of threats to consider while the protective agents move the client from point A to point B. Overcoming threats in a client’s home or workplace are often more advantageous to the protective agents as they should have written and tested plans or SOPs to overcome such vulnerabilities with a “home-court advantage.” However, while driving, there are countless vulnerabilities, unknowns, and unplanned situations that can arise each quarter-mile, if not each block.
On Friday, June 25, 2021, armed men attempted to rob a major fashion company’s executive. The attack occurred while agents were moving the client from the vehicle to his home. Vehicles do not offer the same protection as a building with a security room with monitored cameras does. Often incidents occur within two miles of a home or workplace as a well-prepared malicious actor knows that the client will return to one of those places and can prepare accordingly.
PFC Training Instructor and PFC Safeguard Director of Executive Protection Dustin Kingsland expands on the topic. “There are constant challenges to security drivers in their day-to-day activities as it pertains to executive protection (EP) program management. In addition to emerging threats and client needs, most EP teams have the manpower and logistical requirements that can spread resources and agent effectiveness quite thin. It is quite often mistakenly thought that most EP teams or companies have rooms full of agents/ninjas on standby constantly preparing, training, and waiting for a call when in reality one agent is often tasked with countless duties or has prior commitments.”
How can these threats be mitigated?
Senior Director of PFC Training, Chris Fry, adds, “when the client is moving and mobile, they are a harder target than when stationary. Therefore, determine routes with fewest stops to limit potential approaches to the client vehicle.” ESOC offers professional route analysis to ensure certain threats can be identified prior to transportation and travel. Analysts will closely monitor and review every point and turn along the proposed route to find the best course and report out any construction, protests, higher risk areas, traffic, and choke points. Professional route analysis provided by ESOC will relieve the pressure or some of the daily stress from EP teams.
Routine routes can be reassessed on a scheduled basis for proper management and diversity in the client’s daily commutes, though the burden falls on the protective agent to ensure practice runs of the routes are conducted routinely. Routes while traveling can be assessed in the same manner, and ESOC analysts can reach out to PFC partners on the ground for additional information collection as well as a route simulation. Using a wide network of international contacts, ESOC analysts can provide valuable intelligence that may not be available using open source tools such as Google Earth or other satellite imagery.