Protecting the fast-living
Some subjects being protected can be a bit more difficult to protect than others. A long-time client of one firm has a well-earned reputation of behaving like a nut, driving at high rates of speed (no he won’t let someone drive him), and having sex with lots of women, on the spur of the moment. The protection is mandated both by the requirements of his insurance carriers and by his own sporadic common sense. He deals in high-price jewelry for high-profile clients, so the insurance company does not want him to be ripped off, and the he does not want to be kidnapped.
The personality of a person that has made it this far in life is not a kind mild mannered person. They are not a sheep but rather a bull, a bull that is built to take chances and risks and to profit by them. Actually – many of them take risks because they like taking risks – it part of the nature of the beast. So how to protect a Randy beast? Well – it isn’t easy.
An example of a not-atypical day with Mr. X.
Up at 5:30 to get to the store by 6:30. The store opens at 10:00, and during the pre opening hours all of the business in Europe is attended to, along with several meetings with advertisers vying for the advertising dollar. This is approximately 20 phone calls and 6 appointments. The matters discussed on the phone are usually about items of great value and how they are to be shipped. The phones are regularly swept, along with the whole store for bugs and listening devices. Phone numbers are cross-referenced in advance to the persons and/or business they repute to be (or are known sources or clients). All appointments are made at least three days in advance and the people are checked to see if they are with the company they claim to represent or they are known vendors for advertising.
10:00 to 2:00 is spent on the floor and greeting customers. Some customers have made appointments in advance and have been cross checked and verified that it is likely they have the funds to purchase those items contained in the private room (or they are known customers). All customers come through the front door. The front door leads into a dead zone, fondly called a mantrap, and the front door must close before the inside door can be opened. This feature cannot be overridden. All persons coming in to the store have their faces video-photographed and these are kept on file.
2:00 to 3:00 is set aside lunch with a client, friend, supplier, or vendor. Lunch is taken at random from a list of 12 restaurants in the area. Appointments are set in advance for the person to Meet Mr. X at the store and they go from the store to dine at one of the pre-selected restaurants. These 12 were chosen from a larger group for their food, style, and security layout. Other fine restaurants were excluded because of design and access. The restaurants are chosen at random with a 20-sided dice. 1-12: a restaurant is selected. 13-20: roll again.
3:00 to 4:00 is devoted to work on magazine shoot with models. Three armed protective specialists (two visible, one undercover) work with models and displaying the jewels for the magazine layout. All participants are forbidden to take any containers (pocket, a purse, a soda can) into a zone established around the jewels, which includes the zone being photographed.
The model is to change and get ready elsewhere, and when the model is set at the location for the photograph, then and only then are the jewels placed on her. When the photograph is concluded the jewels are removed before the model leaves the zone.
4:00 to 8:00 pm is spent on the floor greeting guests. The client has allowed the model to stay and wear some other jewelry and has invited her out to dinner. Can’t peal model off client.
The store has five security / executive protection people on duty, four visible at all times and one working the video equipment. Stations are rotated every so often, so there is no set schedule.
This is a time of high sales (especially from November 15 until Christmas Eve). Client is meeting and greeting customers. Client is wearing at any give time $500,000 to 1.5 million in jewelry for display, and showing customers how nice it can look. It is an effective display and has sold several pair of $15,000.00 cuff links in the last week.
Store begins tallying daily receipts. Most sales are checks or credit cards, not too much cash. It is all bagged and headed for the night deposit box across the parking lot. All non-cash deposits are made at night at the night drop box. All cash deposits are set in during the day at staggered intervals so as not to have more than $15,000 in cash on site at anyone time. There is no set schedule.
7:30 model gets hungry and rubs against client for food (our cat does that!). It works on him as well as it works on us with our cat. Client decides to leave early with model and go to dinner. Client picks a new restaurant where it is impossible to get a table at the last minute. Staff calls, uses his name, and gets two tables. One-person advance to survey restaurant. One agent to ride with client and guest, and one to follow. Two remain at store and close up. Client throws out new agent from his car so he and the model are alone. New agent has to ride with the chase car. Client has fast European sports car and shows the model how fast he can go. Chase car keeps up, both violate most of the traffic code of the state, and a few things the state has not yet made illegal. Client, model, and two agents in chase car arrive at restaurant. Advance escorts client and model to table. Man ridding shotgun in chase car not breathing at all well – only second night on the job – he’ll get better. Second table occupied by two-person EP persons. EP persons have apple juice in wine glass so as to fit in a little better.
Dinner drags on with model pawing client and client pawing model. Exterior EP man alerts detail that a city bus blocks one of the front exits of the parking lot. One interior man moves from the table to the front door while exterior man goes to see what is wrong with the bus. Bus is ahead of schedule and it waiting for the time to catch up to where he is now on the route. Exterior man leans forward (so all of the wire and shinny metal things can be seen) to say, very firmly, move so you don’t block any entrance here or anywhere else. Bus driver moves 100 feet further down the street, with a smile. EP detail returns to normal stations.
Client and model finish dinner. He suggests a piano bar at a hotel nearby. EP team, as client gets ready to leave, again splits the team into the advance and the chase car. New guy just gets in chase car. The EP team is aware of this location and has scouted it before.
Advance arrives and gets two tables and two adjoining rooms. Client and model arrive, have a few drinks, and they go to one of the adjoining rooms. On the way to the rooms all jewelry is removed from model and Client. Client is not happy but knows the routine, pretends to make a fuss, but also gives EP detail his wallet. EP team is on station in hallway, in adjoining room and out side rooms. Adjoining doors are both unlocked but not opened.
12:00 midnight – two fresh members join Team, and two of the fellows on duty go home.
5:00 am some noise is heard and shortly thereafter the woman leaves the room, smiles at one of the EP men and asks “Is he always so much fun?” EP man answers “I don’t know: He never taken me out to dinner.” They both laugh and he orders a car to take her wherever she would like to go.
5:30 Client is awake and orders room serve for himself and the team.
6:15 Client is showered and dressed from a number of spare sets of clothes that he has in his car, office, home, and other dwellings. Client goes to office and arrives with new EP team for the day.
The client in the above day-in-the-life-of scenario is an amalgam of a few real clients. It is tough work, long hours and you are protecting someone who, while he knows he needs and wants the protection, lives a life style that is larger than life and will not give into curbing his life style. He has bought completely into security for his assets, and somewhat for his person. The protective specialist has to realize that this guy is a force of nature and must alter his methods to suit the client’s behavior as best they can. It doesn’t matter whether you like his life style or his morals (though nobody forces you to work with clients you of whom you don’t approve): The job is to keep him and the jewels secure.