Are you ready and trained to deal with a ‘’crisis situation’’ as a close protection agent? Erdogan’s case

We have always supported the need for a continuum of training, qualification, and evaluation for people who work throughout the security industry. Our type of profession requires operatives who can perform perfectly in any number of situations that may require hard physical activities, training in various disciplines, possession of comprehensive knowledge when it comes to security measures, and, most crucially, a sharp mind and the ability to take actions and react fast in a crisis situation. It is we who are required to act calmly and with steadfast resolve when others (civilians) have lost all sense of control. For example, I would like to bring to your attention an incident that took place in Turkey some years ago involving Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an incident that was riddled with many mistakes, one after another, by his Close Protection Team. It was this particular security failure that was one of the primary reasons that lead to major changes in the security details in Turkey.

According to sources, Mr. Erdogan, a few minutes after leaving the Turkish Parliament and entering his vehicle, started feeling unwell and lost consciousness. His chauffeur and his close protection agent panicked. And from that moment forward, a series of mistakes in a sequence began to unfold.

Neither the chauffeur nor the close protection agent had any background or training in First Aid. When they saw their client in the back of the car, passed out, they immediately drove the car, at reckless speeds, to get to the hospital that was in the other part of the town. In hindsight, they should have driven to the Parliament Health Center which was quite close to them. While speeding enroute to the hospital, they managed to lose the rest of their security convoy and found themselves all alone racing through the streets.

When they finally arrived at the hospital, both driver and close protection agent got out of the vehicle at the same time, and found themselves in yet another embarrassing circumstance, putting their client in a potentially dangerous situation, according to the Hurriyet Press.

‘’ Erdogan’s chauffeur, flung himself in a panic from the Mercedes Tuesday morning in front of Ankara’s Guven Hospital, inadvertently leaving the keys to the car in the ignition, which meant the locks on none of the doors, which had shut automatically, could be opened. It took security detail members 10 minutes to break open the window of the armored Mercedes, valuable time, say, doctors, who note that had Erdogan experienced any health problems more serious than a hypoglycemic faint, he could have died during that period.’’

Although this specific incident might work as a valuable advertisement for Mercedes armored cars, regarding how difficult is to break their windows, it certainly placed Mr. Erdogan in a dangerous situation and his security team in an awkward and quite embarrassing position. As their client was laying unconscious inside the car, his security team struggled for about 10 minutes to break the thick window of the armoured car, aided by workers at a construction site near the hospital who brought a sledgehammer and a chisel. 

According to the New York Times, ”the newspaper Hurriyet called it “a security scandal,” while another paper, Sabah, asked, “What if the prime minister was having a heart attack?” 

While we all may offer up a number of solutions for this incident, there are a couple of basic truths that, when followed, will alleviate most of these types of issues. Possessing second sets of keys for our client’s sedans is a godsend in a moment like this. As we are all clearly aware, the driver should NEVER leave the vehicle. If this little truth had been adhered to, there would not have been the excruciatingly long moments trying to break into the sedan. And had the driver kept the convoy together as a unit, there is a good chance that several of the mishaps could have been avoided altogether. This is a prime example of the need for SOP’s that would address many of these issues, and with continued training, could eradicate mistakes that have serious consequences.

Following that incident, some of the crucial changes to Erdogan’s security detail were that a doctor will accompany the Prime Minister on both domestic and international trips, an ambulance will also be included as a part of Erdogan’s normal convoy package, and last, but very importantly, all security Ankara officials agreed that chauffeurs, driving the official vehicles used by the Prime Minister, must go through special “crisis situation” training.

A real-life incident such as this combined with circumstances that anyone of us could be called to deal with illustrates the imperative need to make certain you are properly prepared and thoroughly trained to respond in a professional and effective manner to whatever life may throw in your path. It is always wisest to have skills and training and not need it than to need a particular skill(s) or skillset and not have it or be trained properly in it. Your client will, most likely, never suffer an ill moment or awkward circumstance unless you are unprepared for it. It all rests on you.

Recep Tayyip ErdoganRecep Tayyip Erdogan Photographer: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

Denida Zinxhiria

Protective & Intelligence Services

Founder & CEO

Athena Worldwide

Athena Academy

Nannyguards

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Pub Alone for the 8 years old daughter of British Prime Minister David Cameron

An unbelievable incident took place in Britain on June 11, when British Prime Minister, David Cameron, after lunch with his family and friends in a pub forgot his 8 years old daughter behind after leaving the place.

According to the British press (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jun/11/david-cameron-daughter-behind-pub) The Camerons were at the Plough Inn, near Chequers, with Nancy and their other children, Arthur, six, and 22-month-old Florence, as well as two other families.

When Cameron left the pub he went home in one car with his bodyguards and thought Nancy was with his wife and their other children in another car. Samantha Cameron had assumed her eldest daughter was with her father. The mistake was only discovered when they got home.

The prime minister drove back to the pub and found Nancy helping staff. She was away from her parents for about 15 minutes.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said there was no question of the Camerons blaming security for the incident. “Sam thought the PM had Nancy, the PM thought Sam had Nancy,” he said. “They take responsibility for their own children. No one is going to face disciplinary action.”

Observing the incident from a security point of view, we could say that a security failure like this could be had a very bad end. It is obvious that a person like Britain’s Prime Minister it is considered as a high risk threat level ‘’client’’ and that also include all his family members. Being a close protection operative you are responsible not only for the person you are paid to protect but also his family members. It is your responsibility to think and act in advance and make sure all necessary actions have been taken to secure all family members. So next time while escorting your client and his family in a pub make sure you do the following questions to yourself while leaving the place: Client? Check, Clients wife? Check, Children?……..

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

www.athenaacademy.com

http://www.nannyguards.com

Maintain good communication and cooperation within your work area

During our career in security industry we will have to work along with people who don’t share the same work beliefs, qualifications, training and experience background with us. So even when we ‘like or dislike’ someone we shouldn’t never allow it to affect our professionalism and make us loose our target, which is client’s safety. If the client is safe then we and our team are safe too.

As we all know Close Protection is a profession that doesn’t have unfortunately until today, professional standards requirements. Each country, even each state has its own licensing requirements and in many times no training is required at all. So with this said, you can realize that you have to work and lock as a team with people who bring with them different experience, skills, training disciplines, standards, professionalism, culture, and ethics.

It is very important each one in the team to promote and maintain good communication and work cooperation with each other, the client, and of course other people who we may be in contact with (house personnel, office staff etc).

Some of the people you are working with may have more skills than you or less, may be younger or elder, so in each situation you must address your inquires to them with respect. Never offend anyone no matter the reason, never correct someone while there is anyone else in present. If you believe he did a mistake because of lack of experience or training you can ask if he/she will like you to give them some tips or advices. Not many people are open to get advices by others. If they refuse, respect it and leave it as it is.

In our work it is very important when an issue occurs instead of loosing time to find out why and how happened or whose fault is, to take immediate action and fix it. Later you can do your research within the team members and find out what happened, why and who is holding the responsibility for it. Finding who did the mistake is not for the reason to be put in the light spot and be blamed, but, inform, correct it and prevent any other similar issues in the future.

Have in mind if you are not the team leader or the supervisor then it is not your responsibility to call and talk with the person who acted unprofessionally or did a mistake. You can inform your supervisor or team leader about the fact of the incident, make sure you leave out ANY PERSONAL CHARACTERIZATIONS for your colleague who did wrong.

The main focus should be how you can operate as an individual within a team but also as a team member who its main target is clients and teams safety.

It is sad but very true and we see it almost every day in online networks or forums, people who hide behind a pc screen and a ‘’nickname’’ accuse colleagues or talk bad about them. First not professional at all, second it is not fair to accuse someone whose identity you have make sure is open and yours remain hidden and most important not able to be verified (your skills, experience, professional stand).

Personally I consider security industry forums, mostly as places for people who like to behave like crying babies, have plenty of free time (cause they are not working) and fill their lives with blaming others. Yes, definitely there are un-professionals and there are professionals as well, but a forum is not the right place to show who is who.

Be careful when you come to juxtaposition with others online, no matter the information or names they are using in networking places still you don’t know with whom you are talking with. Try to avoid those kinds of situations, and if not always try to be polite and not lose your temper. When someone is attacking you online have only one motivation, to break your inner self. Either is an ex colleague, a competitor or someone who want to fill his empty life with causing harm to those who are successful, always try not to feed them by reacting or responding to defend yourself. You, your colleagues and your clients knows who you are.

 

Closing one of my favorite sayings: IF YOU CANT CREATE IT, RESPECT IT

 

Denida Zinxhiria

Athena Academy Founder

CPS