Tag Archives: rnc security

The DNC, The RNC & ICON Executive Protection

 

For the past several months i’d been fairly immersed in negotiating, researching, planning, and finally, executing an assignment that was challenging, rewarding, and in many ways, “historic”. Historic because of my participation in both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions at a pivotal time in our nation, but also because I had the opportunity to involve several of the former ICON Academy students in the assignment. For the past 17 days, our agents had the opportunity to interact with all levels of local, state and federal law enforcement, from the United States Secret Service on down. The mix of Politicians, Celebrities, Corporate Higher Up’s and Delegates coexisted with massive crowds, inclimate weather and protesters. The senior Protectors took those with less experience under their wings, and illustrated by words and actions, that every post was an important one, and everyone (including me) got (re)familiar with that EP staple, “Halls & Walls”. In the end, while sore feet, and bags under the eyes were prevalent, the words of thanks and admiration for the work done personally made by the client made it all worth it.

Of course I do not want to make it seem that this was all brand new, in 2008, ICON Services Corporation also played a significant protection role for clients for both the DNC and RNC, and if the positive feedback was any  indication, once again be lacing up the shoes and adding the lapel pin four years from now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Alleges Secret Service Cannot Protect Obama

 

The President on the steps of the Washington Monument
The President on the steps of the Washington Monument

“The U.S. Secret Service has cut corners in ways that may have jeopardized the safety of President Obama, according to a new book by a veteran Washington journalist and author, Ron Kessler.  The book, “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” details instances of “laxness in how they protect” Obama.

Wow.  Powerful allegations.  I’ll reserve passing any judgement until I read the entire book myself.  However, I will say that having had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Obama on multiple occasions (from when he was a rising star Senator, to his current role as Commander in Chief) and liaising with his staff, the agents entrusted with his safety have always appeared attentive and mission-focused.    I did have some concerns during my time the inauguration– the sheer size and magnitude could have been nothing but overwhelming –but was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to bring them up to key parties.  

One thing I will say is that the men and women of the United States Secret Service have a very demanding job and one that allows zero margin for error. Lopsided or not, a book like this will surely light a fire that will make some take a closer look at any deficiencies for the greater good.  

The book is due on shelves August 4th. 

At the Presidential Inauguration
At the Presidential Inauguration

Mexico Reports a 30 Percent Increase In Bodyguards

Mexican daily El Universal reports several indicators of the endless spread of violence in Mexico today. First, private companies are now spending more than ever on private security. The number of business people using bodyguards has increased by 30 percent this year over last, and the year is not over. The old bodyguards are not good enough either: firms are hiring foreign consultants with special military training to create more sophisticated cadres. Click on the highlighted text for the full story.

Mexico is a tough place to operate in, but for those with the skill sets there are increased opportunities in our industry. The world of Executive Protection isn’t just Hollywood and Iraq.

Around the World in 30 Days

From China to the DNC to the RNC to the NFL Kick-off to LA to the Obama/McCain Service Forum in NYC.  It’s been a crazy 30 days.  Thanks to everyone at ICON that kept the plates spinning to make the assignments a success, and keeping all the clients happy. 

Now back to the moutain of paperwork that’s accumulated.  uggh.</p

Guarding The Olympic Stars

“Next month, a delegation of nearly 1,200 U.S. athletes, coaches and support staff will make their way to Beijing, China, for the Olympics games. Behind the scenes, United States Olympic Committee Chief Security Officer Larry Buendorf will be keeping a close eye on the games, making sure that the four years he’s spent making security preparations with local authorities keep the Olympians and their handlers safe.”

Read the full profile at SecurityInfoWatch.com.

~ Mr. Buendorf assisted with foiling an attempt on President Gerarld Ford, moving in front of the then President and his attacker with a gun.

Protester Glues Himself to Head of State

Dan Glass was at 10 Downing Street to receive a charity’s award for his work on transportation issues when he staged the unusual protest.

Just before Prime Minister Gordon Brown presented him with the award, Glass squirted superglue in the palm of his left hand. He shook Brown’s right hand and then grabbed the prime minister’s sleeve.

“I’ve just superglued myself to your arm,” Glass said he told Brown. “Don’t panic. This is a non-violent protest.”

The report said no charges were filed, but you can bet this guy is under close surveillance. Click on the text for the full article.

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W Magazine Covers Bodyguards

Fashion Magazine W presents the Users Guide To Tastefully Getting Around Town With Your Bodyguard. A slightly skewered look at Celebrities and their security staff. For example:

#2: Emulate Government Types.

#4: Start of in a suit.

(P.s., I should probably mention that I contributed to the good *parts* of this article…).

Australian Bodyguard Profiled

“He walked side by side with seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong during some of the most tense and risky moments of the American’s cycling career. But the worst fate Serge Borlee was charged with protecting Armstrong from was not losing the Tour – it was losing his life. “Some people wanted to hit him. Some people want to kill him. We really had a lot of problems and that is why he needed a person close to him,” Borlee, Armstrong’s former bodyguard, says.”

An interesting profile on Serge Borlee, former bodyguard of Lance Armstrong. I’ve worked with several sports figures in my career, but never a cyclist. While I have never met Mr. Borlee, I give him a lot of respect for keeping up with clients who always get to ride while you run!

Click the excerpt for the full story.

An Open Letter to My Staff

Elijah Shaw & Staff protecting 50 Cent

One on the cool things about writing a Blog is that the author’s ideas and thoughts (potentially) reach around the world. For some, sitting in front of a computer and producing content for the subscribers (and casual views) of a Blog is easy, for me it’s a lot of work.

Between working assignments, managing an agency, consulting clients and, oh yeah, trying to have some semblance of a personal life, I barely have time to breathe (much less sleep). But one thing I do want to acknowledge is that the successes I’ve had in the industry over the years has not been a solo one– I have a great team behind me that both supports and motivates me to keep all of the plates spinning.

A lot of gears are in motion to make our little operation a profitable and enjoyable one, and of personal satisfaction to me is I’ve watched people come into the company very green and turn into experts in their fields.

So getting back to the point, I’d like to issue a special thank you to my management staff

Andrea Ffrench – Assistant to the President

Charles Jennings – Operations Manager

Justin Johnson – Assistant Operations Manager (welcome aboard!)

Luvar Ivy – RNSD Manager

These guys, along with support staff Charlie and Tamra, help keep ICON afloat so we can provide the best possible service to our clients. (And also so I can squeak out a Blog post or two every so often).

It’s been an adventure, with no end in sight!

Elijah Shaw
CEO
Icon Services Corporation

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