Tuesday, February 5, 2013

ATRL: Discussion: Gaga's security guard explains duties

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Discussion: Gaga's security guard explains duties
Feb 6th 2013, 04:18


This Time Was Different

As our motorcade approached the stadium, we could hear the roar of thousands of fans. Even though we have had done this countless times before, all over the world, this time was different. We had a direct threat on our client’s life. Out of the thousands of people there, it only takes one to do the unthinkable.

Prior to our arrival in each city, my team will do an advance. The advance will encompass many things such as airport, hotel, route, venue, and potential threats. In this particular situation the city was Dallas Texas. Compared to other shows we have done internationally, this one would be considered fairly easy. I soon realized that wouldn’t be the case.

As I performed my usual threat assessment I came across an individual that had tweeted “I’m going to shoot the bitch in the head at her Dallas show”. I have come across threats in the past but this one in particular got my full attention. I began to scour the internet in an effort to ID this individual. All I could find was a name. I reached out to Twitter headquarters and explained my situation, but due to their user privacy rules, they couldn’t even tell me where this individual lived without a court order. The show was less than a week away and there was no time to acquire one.

I was left with two choices. One was to request that we cancel our show in Dallas, which would have been a major issue, or pool the appropriate resources to mitigate the risk. I chose option two. After meeting with my security team, we decided to reach out to our contacts in the FBI, Secret Service, and local law enforcement. With only a few phone calls we had dozens of under-cover and uniformed officers with two bomb dogs to supplement my team.

Another issue we face is whether or not to tell a client about certain threats. Some want to know and others may not. I made the decision not to tell her. I felt that we had enough support to go on with this show safely. As the security detail, we get paid to worry about these things—the client had enough to worry about. This client in particular loved her fans and wanted to be as accessible as possible, which creates other challenge for security. How do you protect someone who insists on engaging with the potential threat. It’s like walking a tight rope at times.

On the day of the show the bomb dogs swept the building prior to our arrival. Venue security were on high alert as they searched concert goers. I had the ticket office run the name of the individual to see if he had purchased a ticket, but that came up negative. Either way, everyone had their game face on. Thankfully, nothing out of the ordinary happened that night. The show went on without a hitch. In the world of personal protection you must always do anything and everything to prevent harm to your client. You only get one chance.
Really interesting to read what's involved in protecting huge stars :eek:

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