Communication between the client and the protection agents is a critical factor in the effectiveness of the team. While on detail, it may be necessary to use either verbal or non-verbal cues - pre-selected phrases or signals to alert the security team to a possible threat or an uncomfortable situation the client would like addressed. Here are a few examples from recent security operations:
“Dr. Pepper” - In this scenario, the client is doing a meet and greet. Initially a small group of people gather to shake hands with the “boss”. However, the crowd begins to grow and the client becomes uncomfortable. Without any fuss, the client turns to the nearest agent and asks for a Dr. Pepper. This pre-arranged code word signals to the agent that it’s time to leave and the agent can quickly advise the team and move the client out of the area.
“Three Fingers” - Here, the client is engaged in a prolonged conversation that has become uncomfortable. The client then reaches up and scratches his head with three fingers. This subtle gesture can be picked up by the security team and alert them to the clients desire to be ‘rescued’ from the conversation without appearing rude.
Aside from the ability to quickly and covertly react to changing situations, these types of cues also keep the client engaged and give the client some ownership of his or her security strategy.