The Need for Executive and Diplomatic Protection Services

The world can be a dangerous place for those in positions of power. From presidents and prime ministers to CEOs and celebrities, there’s no shortage of high-profile targets for would-be assassins. And with the rise of targeted attacks, many are turning to executive and diplomatic protection services for help. One recent and notable example of the need for these services was the assassination attempt of the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, in 2022. As he stood on a small podium giving a speech, a man approached behind and fired shots at him from just a few meters away.

According to Koichi Ito, a former sergeant at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s special assault team, the incident could have been prevented. “If Abe had been protected properly,” Ito said, “it could have been avoided.”

As a leading security consulting business, we understand the importance of providing protection. That’s why we’re about to take a deep dive into the assassination attempt. We’ll examine the possible motivations behind it and the current state of executive and diplomatic protection services worldwide.

The Assassination Attempt of the Prime Minister of Japan

Unfortunately, the assassination attempt of the Prime Minister of Japan was successful. But how did it happen? And how did it happen in a country so strict on gun control? Let’s explore how and why it happened.

Behind the High-Profile Assassination 

In July 2022, the world was shocked by the news of a successful assassination attempt on the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. The attack took place during a public appearance during a campaign rally. According to reports, the perpetrator was Tetsuya Yamagami, armed with a homemade gun.

The Attack

As Prime Minister Abe delivered his speech, the attacker walked behind the small podium. Then, he fired the first shot. There was a loud bang and smoke, but bystanders and Abe’s security team still didn’t know what was happening.

When Yamagami fired the second shot, the Prime Minster’s security team quickly intervened. They tackled the gunman. However, it was too late.

The Chaos

What most executive protection experts find odd about the attack is that there were 2.5 seconds between the first and second shots. During that time, no member of the Primer Minister’s diplomatic security services team moved between him and the gunman.

He fired the shots around 11:30 am. Photos from the scene show police then tackling Tetsuya Yamagami. However, emergency responders weren’t dispatched to the scene until about 11:32 am.

It wasn’t until 11:36 am that a helicopter was requested to airlift Abe to the hospital. While this isn’t necessarily a security error, there was a lot of time between the incident and medical intervention.

The Aftermath

Unfortunately, at 11:57 am, Japanese media reported that Abe was in cardiopulmonary arrest. This was over ten minutes before officials put Abe onto the helicopter for medical transport.

At 5:03 pm, officials pronounced Shinzo Abe dead. The cause of death was bleeding from the wounds he sustained to his heart and the front of his neck.

The Investigation

After the attack, Japanese authorities launched a full-scale investigation. 90 investigators were called onto the case to understand Yamagami’s motives. Additionally, according to CNN, Japan’s National Police Agency reviewed security arrangements for Abe’s widowed wife.

The Importance of Protection Services

The assassination attempt on Prime Minister Abe highlights the ever-growing need for diplomatic protection services. In today’s world, high-profile individuals face increasingly complex threats. An attack like this could have devastating consequences without the right security measures.

Other Prominent Assassination Attempts

Assassination attempts on high-profile individuals are all too common in today’s world. But they are, unfortunately, nothing new. They’ve happened numerous times throughout history.

Many of these attempts could have been avoided if the right diplomatic espousal had been employed. Here are some of the most well-known attempts on the lives of politicians and leaders.

Pope John Paul II

In 1981, an assassin in St. Peter’s Square shot the Pope four times. Thankfully, the Pope survived. Officials sentenced the perpetrator to life in prison. However, the assassination attempt could have been avoided with better security measures.

With the right diplomatic protection agency services, attendees could have been strictly screened to ensure that none possessed weapons. There could have also been better communication and coordination between the protection officers to prevent the perpetrator from reaching the Pope.

United States Presidents

Throughout history, there have been many attempts on the life of the President of the United States. One of the most notable was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. This event shook the nation and the world.

While secret service agents were present, the assassination could have been prevented if better coordination had been in place and the parade route had been better secured. Diplomatic protection services are crucial in protecting the leader of a nation, and better measures could have ensured that Kennedy’s life wasn’t cut short.

Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi

On October 31st, 1984, two of her security guards assassinated Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. The attackers were part of her security forces who were unhappy with Gandhi’s decision to launch an attack on the Sikh Shrine in Amritsar, Punjab. A more robust and professional protection service could have prevented such a tragedy.

What Does a Diplomatic Protection Agency Do?

Diplomatic protection agencies are also often called executive protection agencies. They are security consulting businesses that provide round-the-clock protection and security services to high-profile individuals, their families, and their possessions.

Who uses these agencies? It depends. Typically:

  • Government officials
  • Diplomats
  • Corporate executives
  • Entertainers
  • Other VIPs

Anybody who faces a heightened risk of being targeted by criminals or terrorists can use these agencies, though.

A diplomatic protection agency’s primary role is to ensure its clients’ safety and security at all times and in all situations, whether at home, in transit, or at public events. This involves:

  • Identifying and mitigating potential security threats
  • Creating contingency plans
  • Providing physical security measures

Diplomatic protection agencies also provide risk assessments, security audits, and emergency response services to their clients. They work closely with local law enforcement agencies and other security professionals to stay informed of potential risks and threats and coordinate emergency responses.

In addition to providing physical security measures, diplomatic protection agencies offer intelligence and information-gathering services to their clients. This involves:

  • Monitoring news and social media for potential threats or rumors
  • Conducting background checks and due diligence on potential employees or business partners
  • Analyzing data to identify potential risks or vulnerabilities
  • Providing a plan for risk mitigation

Another key role of a diplomatic protection agency is to provide training and education to its clients and their staff. This includes teaching clients how to recognize potential security threats, respond to emergencies, and train staff members on security protocols and best practices.

Types of Security Services

You don’t have to be a diplomat or government official to require high-profile security services. Celebrities, world leaders, and other high-profile individuals sometimes require enhanced security teams as well.

Here’s a brief breakdown of different security services high-profile individuals can benefit from, whether a celebrity, sports star, or even a Prime Minister. It’s worth noting that this isn’t a comprehensive list, though. The best way to figure out what kinds of services you need is to contact us.

Security Audits

Security audits are like a check-up for your security systems, ensuring everything is running as it should be. At Iron Shield Protection, LLC, we specialize in conducting thorough and customized assessments of organizations’ risks, threats, and vulnerabilities.

We review every aspect of your operations, resources, priorities, and assets to identify and address any weaknesses in your current security program.

Our goal is to help you:

  • Improve your security and safety measures
  • Increase program efficiencies
  • Develop a successful strategy that minimizes risks while controlling operational costs

You can’t afford to take risks when it comes to your safety and the safety of your business. That’s why security audits are crucial.

Risk Assessment Consulting

When keeping people safe, it’s important to understand where the risks lie. Our risk assessment consulting and analysis programs help identify the assets that need protection. That means folks like employees, company secrets, and even reputation.

We use industry best practices and have expertly trained staff who know what to look for when scanning the risk landscape. Our assessments consider everything from money to supply chains and beyond. It’s the best way to ensure your protection services are tailored to your specific needs and that you’re not wasting resources on things that don’t matter.

Think of it as essential groundwork that sets the foundation for everything else. With our risk assessment consulting, you’ll know where the dangers lurk. From there, we can put a plan in place to keep you safe no matter what life throws at you.

VIP/Celebrity Protection

Celebrities and politicians often need extra protection due to the increased threat of violence and harassment. That’s what VIP or celebrity protection services are for.

For example, at Iron Shield Protection, we specialize in providing discreet and professional security services to VIPs and high-profile individuals. We understand that overt and unprofessional security practices can attract unwanted attention, ultimately damaging your brand and reputation.

Our team of highly trained professionals will work with you to develop a tailored protection plan that meets your specific needs and concerns. Whether you need a short-term solution for a special event or a long-term security detail for yourself or your family, we’re here to help.

Uniformed Security

You may have seen them at your local mall or in a hotel lobby, but did you know that security guards have been around since the Middle Ages?

Back then, they were called “watchmen.” Their job was to protect persons and property from harm. And although they might have been civilians with military training, they were serious about their work.

Today, private security firms like ours may offer more advanced protection services, but our security guard service is still one of our most popular options. Our guards are highly trained to de-escalate tensions and prevent threats, making them the perfect solution for businesses and individuals who want a basic and flexible protection plan.

Often, these security guards are part of larger events and can help boost the efforts of diplomatic security services.

Secure Executive Ground Transportation

When it comes to high-profile individuals, normal modes of transportation typically don’t cut it. In these cases, secure transportation services can help. 

Officers accompany clients during travel to provide an extra layer of security. This is one top of the already secure fleet of luxury vehicles. With cutting-edge security technology, including bulletproof glass and armored vehicles, our clients can rest assured that they are in the safest possible hands.

Whether it’s travel to a business meeting or a high-end event, our transportation services are customized to meet the specific needs of our clients.

Hire Protection Services

The assassination attempt of the Prime Minister of Japan in 2022 serves as a chilling reminder of the ever-growing need for executive and diplomatic protection services. With the rapidly evolving global landscape, it’s essential to always prioritize safety and security.

Who do you turn to when you’re in need of these kinds of services? We can help.

Iron Shield Protection employs highly skilled professionals dedicated to ensuring our clients’ safety at all costs. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us today to learn how we can help you stay safe and secure. Trust the experts at our agency to provide you with the best protection possible.

Contact us today to learn more! 

Be Ready for Anything: The Benefits of Active Shooter Training Schools

Nearly every day, there is one type of news story you’re guaranteed to spot in the headlines: a recent shooting. In 2023, there have been more shootings than days in the year. Plain and simple, shootings are now a thing of probability, not possibility. Sadly, active shooter preparedness has not kept up with the frequency of incidents. It seems like every article we read has the common theme that security and police were not ready. The outcomes could all be significantly different with one change: attending active shooter training schools. 

Self-defense is about being proactive. If you refuse to be a victim, you can save yourself and many other lives.

Read on as we discuss how active shooter training benefits everyone. Then, you’ll be ready for anything.

Who Do Active Shooter Training Schools Serve?

When we picture active shooting situations, we tend to imagine schools only. There have been 189 school shootings in the past decade alone. Just this year, though, there have been more public mass shootings than all school shootings in US history.

The unfortunate reality is that these mass shootings can happen anywhere. They occur in restaurants, shopping malls, parties, parades, and even film sets. Location is no longer relevant; the only unifying factor is that there are a lot of people in one place.

In other words, an active shooter training course is for everyone. Business executives, office workers, and retirees can all learn important emergency survival skills.

Shooters Are Targeting Leadership

Business executives understand better than most the importance of safety. Deranged and disgruntled individuals often target high-ranking leaders. Getting safely from A to B is critical.

As we’ve said, shootings can happen anywhere now. They are no longer just a concern for school staff and faculty. Recent events, such as the Louisville mass shooting, have targeted critical leadership.

Security is an important first step. Regardless, though, board members, CEOs, and others should prepare themselves for these eventualities. Even taking air transportation presents risks that you should account for.

This risk extends to political leadership as well. The cowards that perpetuate mass shootings want to take out their anger on the politicians they believe have failed them. Whether local leadership or diplomats, the risk of being a target for violence is higher than ever. 

All of this is to say that no one is an exception. Everyone needs to prepare.

Being Proactive Instead of Reactive 

A key component of mitigating the harm from mass shootings is a proactive mindset. In the majority of situations, people react to mass shootings. There are no measures in place, forcing them to deal with these incidents as they happen.

So, it’s essential that everyone adopts a proactive mindset. Being proactive means preventing threats before they happen. It requires the ability to identify security risks and anomalies, and adapt accordingly.

With that in mind, let’s discuss the benefits of attending active shooter training.

#1: Know What to Do if There Is an Active Shooter

There’s a common theme when taking a closer look at most mass shootings. Particularly, when examining the security officers in charge.

Take for example Scot Peterson, the security officer at Parkland High School. During the shooting, Peterson did not intervene or investigate for four minutes while the shooter took down 34 people. Prosecutors took him to court and accused him of negligence

Whether or not Peterson is guilty is beside the point. The point is that by his personal account, he didn’t know what to do. He went into a state of panicked shock and failed to respond.

Following Security Protocol

The most important thing is to memorize security protocols before a shooting happens. Think of it like learning CPR. If you wait until somebody is unresponsive on the floor, then you aren’t prepared for an emergency.

Protocols will vary depending on whether this is a school, office, or diplomatic meeting place. Too often, local security is lax with practice and preparation. A proactive mindset is essential to being ready for the worst-case scenario.

Perhaps there might have been a different outcome if Peterson had been ready. He could have taught children what to do before the event. He might have acted quicker when the shooting began.

The prepared can know how to organize an evacuation, help people hide, and coordinate with law enforcement. Even a modicum of preparation could lead to a drastically different outcome.

#2: Identify the Signs of a Potential Shooter

Active shooters all tend to fall under the same profile. They are social rejects and loners with an ax to grind against society. Many people these days fall into that spectrum, muddying the water of potential shooters.

That said, there are still very clear signs of an active shooter. They may include a person exhibiting the following:

  • Shifty, fidgety, nervous behavior
  • Carrying an abnormally large bag or bags
  • Wearing uncommon clothing (such as a mask or tactical gloves)
  • Being in the wrong place and/or at the wrong time
  • Entering the premises in an unorthodox way
  • Giving the impression that they are concealing something

Reporting to Proper Authorities

Time is of the essence in an active shooter situation. Shooters may only have minutes at best to do their horrible work. That means anyone with active shooter training cannot delay.

A training course teaches you who to report to, and how to do so. Someone who is preparing to carry out a shooting is going to be hyper-vigilant. If they realize you’re onto them, you could become their first target.

It’s important to report an incident to the proper authorities. Not just the police, but the security officers on site.

It’s also key not to spark panic. Spreading conjecture can make the situation much worse. People will freak out, which will make it much more challenging to reduce the loss of life.

#3: Better Prepare a Space against Shooters

Shooters use the building’s layout to their advantage. Take, for example, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the perpetrators of the Columbine shooting. They originally planned to bomb the school cafeteria, forcing students out to the parking lot where they would gun them down.

A layout without the proper exits can quickly become a death trap. Victims may discover themselves in the shooter’s path with no hiding place or escape.

After an active shooter training course, participants can better prepare a space. If they can’t change the space, then they can understand it better. Knowing its weaknesses and strengths helps when lives are on the line.

Small measures such as security checks at the door can go a long way. The security theater also makes potential victims more confident, and shooters less confident.

Identifying Chokepoints and Exits

Many places, especially offices, have a single chokepoint. This is a bottleneck that limits entry or exit. For example, a reception desk with a single entry door into an office.

Shooters will use this to their advantage. They allow people to run into their line of fire, or use it to keep them back. By limiting escape, they give themselves an advantage over everyone behind the chokepoint.

Security guards can mitigate the risk of a chokepoint by improving security. They can create additional exits, or limit obstacles to those exits. Simply acknowledging that there is a chokepoint prepares people mentally to account for that barrier.

Mental Mapping and Planning for Shootings

Security experts know the importance of mapping a room for exits. Take for example bodyguards and executive security. Before entering a room, they always know how to exit it safely.

An active shooter training course can create a mindset that always accounts for exits.

For example, say you enter a movie theater. Automatically, you should take note of doors. Usually, there’s one emergency exit next to the screen and the entrance to the theater–two potential avenues of escape.

If an incident happens, you know where you can escape to. You will be better equipped to guide people to those exits.

Plus, it trains you to anticipate a shooter’s plans. You have to ask yourself where they would enter, and how they would do it. Then, you can prepare for a theoretical escape.

#4: Mentally Prepare for a Shooting

It’s impossible for a person to know their reaction during a shooting. It may be entirely unlike your typical fear reaction in other situations.

Fight or flight, freeze or fawn, everyone has a different response. However, one thing is clear: these are typical reactions to the unanticipated. People are more likely to react poorly if they don’t expect something to happen.

Given how likely a mass shooting is to happen, everyone needs to be mentally prepared. They need to imagine, fully, what the experience might be like. This provides a helpful template for if that situation were to actually occur.

An active shooter training course teaches you to understand your unique stress response. Some work well under extreme pressure while others do not. If you know how you are likely to react, you are better prepared than someone who doesn’t.

Saving the Lives of Others

It’s our duty to help those around us. If one person is good under stress, they can help somebody else who may freeze. You can save a lot of lives if you help helpless people during a shooting.

Take inventory of the people around you. If you know them well, you can make an educated guess on their reaction. Then, you’ll know who needs the most help during these situations.

#5: Understanding Weapons

It’s important to understand the weapons as much as the shooters that use them. Many Americans are ignorant of the basic principles behind most weaponry. This is understandable, given how the media misportrays them.

Shooters have access to a wide arsenal. Some may arrive on the scene with two AR-15s, such as the Uvalde shooter. Others may only have sidearms, such as the Virginia Tech shooter. 

All of these weapons have different properties, ammunition counts, and ammunition types. An active shooter training course won’t exactly teach you gun mastery. But it will teach you some important essentials during these events.

Choosing Cover or Hiding Places

Many people falsely assume that they have chosen a hiding place that is bulletproof. For example, behind a standard wooden or metal door. They assume that this locked door can keep the shooter out–bullets included.

However, this presents little barrier to a shooter. Most bullets–full metal jackets and hollowpoints–can penetrate wood or metal. They lose some velocity and mass, but can still pass through with killing potential.

Same as before, a person should know potential hiding spots and cover around them. Cinderblocks and concrete walls make for a good cover in most situations. A desk or cubicle, on the other hand, would not protect against gunfire.

Identifying Gunfire

There are a lot of sounds that are similar to gunfire. For example, a car’s muffler backfiring or fireworks. People wouldn’t want to mistake these things for a person with malicious intent.

It’s important to be able to identify the sounds of gunfire. Knowing what is gunfire and what isn’t prevents false alarms–or, gives you time to escape.

Additionally, a person can benefit by knowing how gunfire echoes in enclosed spaces and campuses. Many present during shootings report the difficulty in pinpointing the gunman. It may echo in a space in such a way that a shooter may appear closer or farther away than they really are.

Train with Iron Shield Protection

Active shooter situations have become an unfortunate reality that we all must accept. Preparation is key, and that’s why active shooter training schools are a must-have for everyone. They teach you life-saving skills that can prepare you for the worst-case scenario no matter where you are. 

Iron Shield Protection helps you prepare for an active shooter situation at your business. Take a look at our training courses so you and yours are ready for such an emergency.

Preparing for the Worst: Why Practicing an Active Shooter Drill Is Vital

Preparing for the worst should be on the minds of everyone. At Ironshield Protection, we teach you why practicing an active shooter drill is vital.

You’re at a fast-food restaurant waiting for your take-out order. An irate person bursts into the restaurant with a handgun and starts shooting. Panic ensues, with frantic patrons scurrying in all directions. You freeze, unable to move. 

You hear about such events in the news, but you thought it would never happen to you. 

Most mass shootings occur at educational facilities and businesses. But an active shooting scenario could happen anywhere.

The most common reaction is to run and hide. However, recent guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security suggest that you should confront the shooter if you have no other alternative.

This article will show you the best and worst ways to deal with an active shooter situation. Read on if you wish to remain prepared. 

Your First Option

If you’re in the presence of a mass shooting, run to the nearest hiding spot. If you’re in the attacker’s line of sight, run away in a zig-zag fashion to avoid the bullets. Active motion of any kind makes it harder for shooters to hit you.

Also, be mindful of nearby exits and escape routes. When practicing during a drill, create an escape plan that you can rely on during a genuine emergency.

As you run to safety, be familiar with the following threat zones:

  • Hot Zones
  • Warm Zones
  • Cold Zones

In law enforcement terms, hot zones occur when the shooting is taking place. Warm zones happen after the shooting supposedly ends. Under warm zones, police officers also remain with first responders to protect them.

You’ll find first responders and medical equipment in the cold zone.

Your first priority is to get out of the hot zone at all cost. 

Ideal Hiding Places

If you’re far away from cold or warm zones, look for empty rooms. Close the door and lock it.

If possible, barricade the door with anything you can find. If you’re unable to find enclosed shelter, avoid the following errors:

  • Getting down
  • Hiding under desks and tables

Remaining still in the open makes you a prime target. Rather, look for any barrier that can safeguard you from the bullets. The most prudent option is to find the nearest exit and search for the cold zone. 

Engaging an Attacker

Engaging an attacker should be the last resort. It’s also worth noting that law enforcement officials should be the primary aggressors when engaging an active shooter. However, preparing for a mass shooting also means using nearby objects as weapons if you find yourself cornered.

  • Example: Throw a laptop at the shooter if you’re too close. Any other nearby item could be a worthwhile projectile. 

Additionally, groups of people could pile on and confront the shooter. The number of people attacking could overpower an assailant and disrupt his rampage. In most cases, a shooter doesn’t want to engage in a physical confrontation. 

What Else Can I Do in the Event of an Active Shooter Situation?

If you encounter an active, shooter scenario, run and find the nearest escape route. There’s no full-proof way to deal with an active shooter. But planning ahead will help you prepare. 

There are other security steps you can take to preserve your life during a mass shooting. For more information on security, contact us today so we help safeguard you from potential threats.