Friday, December 3, 2010

New Blog Location

With our recent website redesign, we have merged this blog into it. So, no more updates at this location, but you can find our posts and much more on our website at

Thank you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mail Bomb Plot

The recent "mail bomb" plot that was uncovered this past week brings to the forefront an issue most businesses, houses of worship and high net worth individuals don't think much about. That issue is security as it relates to their mail/package handling process.

Let's be really frank...most businesses simply take in their daily mail and deliveries, open them, distribute them accordingly and move on to other tasks. And that's exactly the type of target a terrorist (domestic or international) might prey upon. It's what's called a soft target.

On the other hand, hard targets are those who put into place measures that are designed to mitigate issues arising from a mail or package bomb, or bio-weapon. Terrorists generally bypass hard target and move on to a softer target to exploit.

Here are some things to look for to help identify potential problems with your incoming mail and/or packages:

(1) Lack of a return address
(2) Poorly written and/or misspelled words
(3) Unsolicited letters/packages from foreign countries
(4) Presence of excessive postage
(5) Presence of wiring
(6) Presence of oil stains
(7) Presence of unusual odors

If you suspect a letter or package of containing an explosive or bio-weapon, immediately leave the item where it is...evacuate the immediate area...notify the police.

If your company or entity is in need of a review of your current mail security policies and procedures, or if you need to establish such a plan, please contact Doug Runyon at (800) 270-8343 ext. 711 or by email at:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Campaign Security (revisited)

The recent flap surrounding the "arrest" of a journalist in Alaska by security guards working for Senate Republican candidate Joe Miller has created quite a stir among both security professionals and political campaign directors.

As is often the case when something untoward happens, it would seem that many campaigns are reacting by going to the opposite extreme. Meaning they are doing without security completely.

This can be a very dangerous over-reaction. Cooler heads should prevail and these political organizations should simply do a better job vetting those they contract with for protective services.

Here are some things that should be considered when considering utilizing a private protective security program:

(1) Have threat, vulnerability and risk assessments performed by a professional who is licensed (where applicable), insured, trained and experienced in matters of dignitary and/or executive protection.

(2) Have a professional (same criteria as above) build a custom protection program based on the finding from the assessments.

(3) Contract with a company which is appropriately licensed and insured, and has verifiable experience in providing such services.

(4) Verify everything (licensing, insurance, specialized training, experience, etc..)

If you are a political candidate or represent one in some official capacity, Dignitary Protection Group LLC is available to confidentially discuss your needs and concerns.

For more information contact Doug Runyon at (800) 270-8342 ext. 711, or by email at:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ben's "Bodyguards"

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past several weeks, you are already aware of the incident involving Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback (for now) Ben Roethlisberger. He is alleged to have sexually assaulted a 20-year-old college student at a Milledgeville, Georgia nightclub.

Now the fallout from the incident is taking its toll on two police officers. The pair, a Pennsylvania State Trooper and a Coraopilis (PA) officer, have come under scrutiny for working as Big Ben's bodyguards. The officers' respective agencies are claiming they weren't aware, nor did they approve, of their off-duty work as a private bodyguard.

This brings up a much larger issue of police officers working off-duty as private security guards. You have licensing issues...and ethics issues.

In some states, the officers must be licensed to perform that kind of work. Their status as police officers doesn't exempt them from the professional licensing laws. And in some areas, a police officer's badge isn't a free pass to carry a firearm when providing private security. I won't even venture down the road of individual departmental policies are there are simply too many to consider.

As far as training goes, very few law enforcement officers have formal training in dignitary/executive protection. Sure, they're cops, I get that and respect that, but there are a number of distinct differences between being a cop and providing protective services. Name one you say? Well, the mindset needs to be different. Cops, by their very nature and training, tend to chase down the bad guys and put the cuffs off them. When providing protective services, one can't do that. You have to cover and evacuate your protectee and leave the cuffing and stuffing to someone else.

Finally, the ethics issues can be very complex. Sometimes in the protective services world one will see and hear things that while not necessarily illegal, might be contrary to the values and standards set forth by a law enforcement agency.

My advice: if you need protective services (bodyguard), contact a licensed, insured and trained professional with experience in this discipline.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Political Candidates Beefing Up Security

With the electorate becoming more active and vocal in their questioning of government, incumbent politicians and candidates for public office are starting to take their security more seriously.

Companies such as
Dignitary Protection Group, LLC are starting to field more and more inquiries from campaigns looking to protect their candidates during public appearances and travel. Services such as close protection and special event security seem to be the most popular, but security drivers and threat assessments are also gaining interest.

"Campaigns are starting to see both a need and a value," said DPG Managing Partner Doug Runyon. "Having a protection detail can not only provide the needed security, but can also improve the efficiency of the candidate's travel and movements."

And, as the 2012 campaign cycle draws ever closer, the interest in security will no doubt continue to increase.

If you are in need of protective services, please call
Dignitary Protection Group, LLC for a professional evaluation.

Dignitary Protection Group, LLC
(800) 270-8342 ext. 711

Thursday, February 11, 2010

When Security Isn't Security

An incident in Seattle, Washington is an unfortunate example of ineffective security.

Check out this video for more on the story.

In this case, the three security officers shown in the video reportedly work for a private company who has a contract with the transit authority there to provide security. Their job is to observe and report...not to take action.

That's all well and good and probably makes some legal staff feel all warm and fuzzy, but why bother? It's certainly not security so why call it that.

All too often businesses (and municipalities) do this so they can give the public (and their own employees) the appearance of caring about the safety and security of both people and property. If they truly cared, they'd have professional security personnel (not the $10 an hour fast food rejects so often seen) working and give them authority to actually do something useful. In the case mentioned above, that would be to intervene and stop the attack altogether.

Here's some free advice to companies who are just going through the motions when it comes to security: Stop! Get serious about it before it blows up in your face and costs you far more (both financial and image) than you can imagine.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Here's a term you might not have heard before, but if you're a business owner or manager you might want to take note.

It's called "Bossnapping". Kind of like kidnapping, but with a twist. Bossnapping is when employees of a business take their boss hostage. The ransom? Usually better pay and/or benefits.

It's not necessarily a new phenomenon, but it's just now starting to come into public view given some recent incidents. Luckily for U.S. businesses the incidents haven't been on American soil, but that's no reason to ignore the trend. In fact, given the tumultuous economy, it's likely just a matter of time when we see such acts in the U.S.

So, make sure you have a plan to prevent and/or mitigate such an effort. If not, you might very well fall victim to these tactics.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Earthquake Raises Questions for Businesses

I've been monitoring the crisis in Haiti as they deal with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. While Haiti isn't a mecca of business, it does make me wonder if businesses in the United States are prepared for such a natural disaster?

If you are a business owner, I would invite you to answer the following questions:

(1) Do you have a formal continuity of business plan?
(2) Do you have plans to get key personnel to a functioning facility?
(3) Do you have backups of your records/data...and if so, are they stored offsite in a safe location?
(4) Do you have alternate facilities identified?
(5) Do you have an alternate communications plan identified?
(6) Do you have a security plan in place?
(7) Do you regularly test your continuity plan and update the plan based on the results?

If you didn't answer yes to all of the questions, then you need to sit down with a professional and develop a plan. Without one, a catastrophe could wipe your business out. Don't wait until it's too late. Plan now so you'll be ready.

More Workplace Violence

Another day and another instance of serious workplace violence. This time in Kennesaw, Georgia, where a disgruntled former employee returned to a Penske truck rental facility and shot multiple people.

While details are still few, I have to wonder why a "disgruntled former employee" was allowed access to the property. Was there no security in place to prevent or minimize such an attack?

At what point do businesses start to take security more seriously?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

NCAA Final 4 & Indy 500 Security Services

Now that we are into the New Year, Dignitary Protection Group is planning for a busy Spring in Indianapolis. With the NCAA Men's Final Four Basketball Championship in April, followed by the Indianapolis 500, DPG is starting to work with client's to fill their security needs.

It's not too early to plan. If you are in need of professional security services, contact Dignitary Protection Group now!

Dignitary Protection Group, LLC
(800) 270-8342 ext. 711

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Workplace Violence

As I sit and digest the news of yet another workplace shooting...this time in St. Louis...I have to wonder when businesses are going to start taking security more seriously.

While it's too early to comment specifically on the St. Louis incident, acts of workplace violence have been on the increase and it seems businesses are slow to react to that trend. Frequently, businesses have little to no physical security that would prevent, or at least minimize, these often deadly incidents. The potential liability of such inaction astounds me, yet businesses seem willing to roll the dice.

Background Checks

An effective program would start in the hiring process. While not foolproof, properly performed background checks can frequently identify job candidates with a potential for problems. But the vast majority of businesses do very limited, if any, screening.

Workplace Monitoring

Another problem lies within most businesses not paying attention to what is actually going on in the workplace. In many cases where violence has erupted, there were telltale indicators that could have and should have been noticed.

False Sense of Security

When it comes to physical security, some businesses do attempt to put security measures in place, but often times they are too little and too late. And more often than not those measures consist of low wage security officers with little to no training and insufficient equipment.

Style Over Substance

We often hear from businesses who talk a good game. They want the latest and greatest in security personnel and technology. But when they get the estimate for what it is going to cost they quickly backpeddle and settle for something far cheaper and virtually ineffective. Their only concern is the appearance of security, rather than actual security that is pro-active and effective in minimizing and/or eliminating violent acts.

Friday, January 1, 2010


As we begin a New Year, Dignitary Protection Group is expanding its horizons even further. We'll be delving deeper into the the social networking scene as well as starting this new blog.

Bear with us as we tweak the look and layout, but please stop in periodically to check us out as we'll be offering expert analysis and opinions on current events as they relate to security.

Thank you!