If anything, overestimate the opposition. Certainly never under-
estimate it. But do not let that lead to nervousness or lack of con-
dence. Don’t get rattled, and know that with hard work, calmness,
and by never irrevocably compromising yourself, you can always,
always best them.
Director, CIA (1953–1961)
In researching over 1000 targeted attacks that have occurred over the past
60 years, I found that in only 305 of the attacks was a protective detail of
some conguration present.
In the vast majority of those, the protective
detail was constituted by police ofcers. During that same time period, 87
police ofcers have been specically targeted by hostile organizations. All
told, of the 1000-plus attacks, the adversary was successful over 81 percent
of the time (the victim was killed and/or kidnapped).
Throughout the history of law enforcement, police ofcers have often
been called upon to provide protective services for individuals believed
to be in danger of physical harm. Most often this service has been pro-
vided to the victims and witnesses involved in criminal cases, but more
and more often it includes mayors, local elected ofcials, prosecutors, and
judges. For a large number of protective operations, this level of training
and experience has and will continue to sufce, as many of those that seek
to kill or harm another will not attempt to take on a police ofcer, let alone
several. However, in those cases where the adversary is dedicated, the
presence of police ofcers may not be enough, as has been witnessed most
recently in Mexico. In these types of attack scenarios, the level of training
of the average ofcer will be far from sufcient.
Unlike protective operations normally conducted by the U.S. Secret
Service and the Department of State or even corporate security organizations,
law enforcement agencies at the county and municipal level are often tasked
to provide protection to a wide variety of individuals. These individuals can
range from witnesses, informants, and victims, to their own ofce leaders
and staff, even local government representatives. Regardless of the protectee
or the nature of the threat, law enforcement ofcers, as is the norm for the
profession, are expected to rise to the occasion and handle the problem.