I want to take this opportunity to provide you with a few comments and to say thank you for the extraordinary Executive Protection Institute (EPI) course experiences I had a few weeks ago. As you’ll note, I give high praise to your courses and people, not because I think it’s what you all want to hear, rather it’s because you and your program have earned and deserve every word of praise given, and probably more.
The exceptional instruction I (we) received, the caliber of students that your program attracts, the type of people I met who work in the field (instructors and students), the feel I got for what it would be like to work in the field of protection, and the incredible network that I feel I now have access to, just by having completed your Providing Executive Protection Program, has not only instilled excitement within me, it has inspired me to learn as much as I can, as well as pursue working in this field,… after having worked as an engineer/investigator for the past 15+ years.
I attended your Providing Executive Protection, followed by Protection Response Tactics, and then the Protector’s Pistol Course. Each course was exceptionally well planned and taught, and provided me, as well as my classmates with an extraordinary learning experience. Your teaching (facilitation) philosophy coupled with your very diverse and highly experienced security operators who taught the course modules, as well as my fellow students, are what made my learning experience extraordinary. I came into your courses with no protection experience, but with a number of years of teaching experience (physical techniques to groups of 6 to 100, and undergraduate and graduate level engineering courses), and without a doubt I can say that you guys rock!
The evolution, distillation, and streamlining of the material and how it is presented, the course planning and logistics of actually putting on the courses, and acquiring the very talented and approachable instructional and administrative staff, all of whom have gone through the 7-day PEP course (I really like that) no doubt have required significant effort and time, both of which are apparent and are hugely appreciated!
Thank you all for what you have put into your program, which truly is exceptional.
Most of us have used certain techniques known or similar to what security professionals call situational awareness, a highly effective tool in crime/violence prevention. The observation skills used and incorporated make us sensitized to something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected (anomalies) within a particular environment. Our security team and protective detail was adequately trained and experienced in these aspects. We found them highly effective and quite successful.
The Incorporation and Integration of Behavioral Analysis:
Behavioral identification/analysis techniques incorporate a different set of skills and mental process. The incorporation of leakage is actively integrated throughout our assessments. The trained and experienced professional will assess the involuntary clues known as (leakage) and gain vital building block information.
The security practitioner who is experienced in behavioral assessments (leakage) understands and comprehends that people tend to reveal certain things about themselves unconsciously and involuntarily, becoming sensitized to these types of aspects enables us to act on the information we assess in a professional and appropriate manner.
A Personal Story That Illustrates Behavioral Analysis and Leakage:
It was a cold holiday weekend and we were traveling to visit family in another state. My wife and I decided to use a car ferry to cross state lines. We really enjoy the scenery traveling across the Long Island Sound. The weekend was great, and it was time to drive back home. As we were approaching the ferry entrance, we noticed several Department of Homeland Security Agents and a Strong Police Presence. They also had several dogs checking vehicles for explosives.
Was there a credible threat?
I pulled into the entrance and
parked my car in a staging area, not uncommon before boarding the vessel. We
were approached by a DHS Agent, while waiting in the staging area. I was in the
driver’s seat, my wife in the passenger’s seat and my young son in the back
seat of the car. I rolled down the window as the agent approached the driver’s
side of the car. The Agent was friendly and respectful. He engaged me in casual
conversation. The questions he asked were not intimidating. “How are you
doing this morning?” “Where are you going today?” Simple casual
questions and yet it caught me slightly off guard.
final question he asked was a perfect example of an aspect of leakage (dress
“Who was in the Marine
Corp?” How did he know I was in the Corp? I asked him why did he ask and
how did he know? I happened to be wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a small Marine Corp emblem inscribed on my upper front left side. I put this on in the morning as a matter of routine, I did it unconsciously. He was using behavioral analysis techniques to clear us or possibly detain us. Of course, we were cleared in a matter of minutes. He assessed and mentally processed the information he needed in a fraction of time, which gave him the confidence to clear us. He was professional, respectful and friendly in all his communications and mannerisms.
I told my wife afterwards; he just
threw me off guard using similar techniques that I am accustomed to
How does Leakage Work?
The more you think about something the closer you come, to doing it.
If a person believes in something so strong and intense it will begin to leak out.
Fantasy exists before the action; you can see fantasy before the action through leakage.
Let’s Break it Down Further Applying One Aspect of Leakage (Dress Attire)
I used the analogy of jewelry (an
aspect of leakage) during a full day presentation at the Pennsylvania Institute of Criminological and Forensic Sciences. It was a great interactive exercise and tons of fun for all the professional attendees.
Accessories like jewelry are not a
functional article of clothing as are shoes, which are generally worn for comfort, style, protection and the occasion. People wear jewelry for several reasons, but
in most cases, it is not necessary or required to wear before leaving one’s home (unless for medical purposes). Some of the most common reasons for wearing jewelry are for fashion or sentimental value. Less common reasons are simply for attention and attitude. But either way jewelry often reveals a small piece of someone’s personality and may also give a trained behavioral analyst more vital building block information.
Case Example Mass Murder:
The Northern Illinois University Gunman Steven Kazmierczek revealed certain things about himself prior to the massacre on Feb 14, 2008.
His violent and horrific actions came as a shock to many including friends, family members, students and faculty. These are just some of the questions that often plague us in the aftermath of such horrific violence.
Imagery is another form of communicated behavior (leakage):
Kazmierczek was certainly revealing his thoughts, feelings, personal interests and/or passions. They were leaking out in the form of body imagery.
Protective Detail Case Example of Leakage: (Possessions and Non- Verbal’s)
A single white male who appeared to be in his mid to upper thirties
is observed walking into to the church. Most men that attend the Sunday
Services will be well-groomed and dressed in business type attire. This
male was no different because he was finely groomed and dressed in a
business suit and tie which appeared to be clean and pressed. He did not
indicate or possess anything unusual on the surface. Because many men
will enter the building with a small briefcase or
something very similar.
But the cues and nuances he was leaking in his non-verbal’s were
raising some behavioral concerns coupled with the manner in which he
handled the briefcase. We mentally processed the varying different
aspects of leakage and decided to engage him in a friendly casual
conversation. We would quickly learn what we needed to know.
He affirmed our concerns; his possessions (the briefcase) gave him a
sense of importance and great significance, the briefcase made him feel
powerful, something of a higher status. He went on to inform us that he
was intending to take the stage and assume the role of the head
minister. This information allowed us to set boundaries and align
ourselves appropriately. He would go on to begin a stalking campaign in
which our principal became the primary target. We carefully monitored
the situation and involved other supports and disciplines that assisted
us in safeguarding the situation and our principal.
Those who are entrusted with the high calling of providing personal
protection for their clients may encounter certain other type of
stalkers who tend to be attracted to powerful and important people.
Celebrities, high profile political and religious figures are prime targets for identity – type stalkers which are looking for fame themselves, and the recognition they can attain through their acts.
Leakage aspects will help assist the close protection operative during their day to day work, they will become more and more sensitized to behaviors associated to leakage. Individuals and/or groups that believe strongly about something will leak out through one or more of these aspects. The practitioner may also recognize cues and nuances of what is deemed important and of value to a particular individual through various forms of leakage.
Much like a threat assessment… What someone spends their time, money and energy upon is of great personal interest and highly valued:
What one learns in these few seconds or minutes may prove valuable insight and possibly save lives.
It’s Much More Than Book Knowledge:
The ability to be sensitized with the skills to mentally process concerning behaviors varies differently from person to person. Some have thought that simply by reading books or attending training seminars automatically equips us for the task at hand.
All of our team members had been trained in behavioral identification and threat analysis, but not all were able to translate what they learned in the classroom and apply that knowledge into the real world.That means real life application is much more challenging than what we ever realized.
Development through Training & Mentoring:
A good leader must work patently on developing those within the team that are not readily grasping the training and material; here mentoring may be the preferred method. The rewards are huge when a team member begins to grasp the concepts being taught, it produces such a confidence.
Some of our team members began to learn that there are cases that are
truly threatening and volatile and then there are other situations that
require sensitivity, tact and careful interaction, because nothing can
undue a professional (even momentarily) like overreaction or
Those of us who understand the use and effectiveness of applying
behavioral analysis will reap the rewards and benefits. Incorporating
and integrating the knowledge we learn will no doubt have an advantage
in crime and violence prevention.
Organizations, institutions and corporations will also benefit by the professionalism and preemptive measures employed by a trained practitioner:
These are some of the follow-up measures that skilled practitioners may choose to implement:
When I first received the invite from Executive Protection Institute (EPI), I must admit… I was very excited, absolutely honored and a little bit worried. I was excited because I’d only heard of these guys out there in the executive protection game as one of the two top schools in the industry. Based on all the conversations I had been part of up to this point Executive Protection Institute (EPI) and Executive Security International (ESI) were referred to as the Harvard and Yale of the executive protection training cadres. Unfortunately however I have had some negative experiences with training like many other agents and I was worried that maybe this world-renowned and much respected school had fallen into tradition or even dogma to the point that it’s relevancy may have faded over the years. My primary mode of learning when it comes to the executive protection industry had simply been on the job training for the most part. I got my first security detail right out of the Marine Corps at age 21 and didn’t go to my first school until I had already successfully conducted executive protection operations in over 60 countries and seven years later. Much of what I heard was being taught in classes and things I’d seen were not necessarily relevant to what I was seeing in the private security industry. Many things were very State Department centric rather than being private security centric with regards to techniques, tactics and the amount of agents present in the drills for moving principles. If in fact my experience at EPI was not positive then I simply wouldn’t say anything about the school either way publicly. However Executive Protection Institute far exceeded my expectations and opened my eyes to many things I had not yet seen in our beloved game of executive protection.
I cannot express the amount of appreciation and respect I have for the teaching cadre at the school. They all did such a fantastic job. They all came a crossed as very professional, very thoughtful, inspirational and genuine. You could tell that they deliberately created an environment that would foster learning. Everyone was held in high regard, well-respected and encouraged to ask questions. This deliberate positive environment made it possible for us to more easily digest, comprehend and retain the very intense and extremely high volume of information they presented to us daily. A day at this course started promptly at 8 AM and continued beyond 12 AM into one or two in the morning. As a military guy I was expecting them to bring out the stress monster just for kicks but they never did and I relax because I realized it wasn’t their way of teaching… I think it really truly helped me learn better.
They trained us on virtually every component and sub component imaginable on and around the subject of executive protection. Topics such as emotional intelligence, financial management, health and mindset were not overlooked. There were courses around both hard skills and soft skills during this 100 hour journey. The volume of information was so intense and the time we spent so high-quality but rigorous that it honestly felt like I had just done a detail with these guys on the road by the time the course was over. You get close to people you work next to and I must admit this felt like a little family by the time it was our turn to leave the classroom and go back out into the world.
This course didn’t only teach techniques and tactics for executive protection but also gave you an extremely accurate understanding of what it’s like to be on the job as an executive protection agent. This is one of the primary reasons I would recommend this course to anyone getting into the game. Many courses you go to may teach you the right techniques and tactics but you will leave there was no concept of what it’s really like to do the work. I had a hard time not saying amen to so many of the statement’s instructors made about how the real world works because the content was so relevant to how things are on the job. Because you get to learn from such an assortment of different instructors who are all operating at the top of their respective game either in the government or private security industry. There’s something for everyone to learn from this school no matter where you are in your private security career.
Beyond all of this you will become an alumni of the “Nine Lives Associates” if you graduate. The Nine Lives Association (NLA) is a special brotherhood of alumni who are committed to delivering a special kind of professional service. This membership and brotherhood widens the agents sphere of relationships and thus their opportunities also multiply as a result. There are NLA members also known as “cats” in many very high places all throughout the private security industry so it is an absolute honor and to be considered a very prestigious achievement to join our ranks upon graduation.
It has been a very long time since I had experience this feeling of family after training with anyone or any group and it was a beautiful thing to experience on graduation day at EPI. I came out of this course not only feeling in my heart but knowing in my mind that I am definitely going to perform at a higher level as a private security agent moving forward as a result of my time at this learning from this fine institution.
Special thanks to Mr. Jerry Heying for being such a fantastic industry leader and the many contributions he has made to the private security industry as a whole and future generations to come.