WPG reported many client threats (clear felonies) over 22 years, and most of the time law enforcement told us to call us when something happened. Our goal is to never have an attack happen.
Over the years, an experienced executive protection team will manage thousands of threat cases. For celebrity clients, this can often revolve around stalking cases with dangerous individuals who develop romantic fixations on the celebrity. These individuals often have mental illnesses and threaten to harm or kill the celebrity if their affections and attention are not returned in the way they demand.
How WPG Handles Client Threats
There are penal codes that have to do with trespassing on private property or trespassing on a company’s property; there are also anti stalking laws and laws against digital harassment. However, these laws are typically not effective enough to prevent threats and attacks.
When these dangerous individuals do not get what they want, they lash out in a manner that causes them to make a threat, which can come in various ways. Many times, clients will receive a threatening phone call that demands the celebrity do something–such as go out with them or speak with them–and if they do not, they will kill them. Immediately, because there is a threat, a penal code has been broken. When that penal code is broken, then the executive protection agent can inform the client that it is time to notify the police, but the client should also be told that it is highly unlikely that the police will actually do anything about this threat. If they do something, it will take weeks before they move in and arrest the dangerous individual who is making the threats.
The report should still be made, though. Often, an incident report or crime report is filed. All information about the violent threat is also given to the police so that they are fully informed of the situation and have relevant information. They will also be informed of which penal code has been violated.
Many people do not understand that life is not at all like the movies where these types of menacing threats are concerned. On the screen, we often see the police or FBI responding immediately to these threats with a sense of urgency and chasing after the bad guy. However, in real life, things are rarely, if ever, handled like this. It could take weeks or even months before the police investigate the case and do a background check on the bad guy in order to find out if there have been previous arrests or criminal activity in his past. Then, when they send a report to the District Attorney, the District Attorney decides whether or not to file charges against the guy.
Gun laws and regulations in America cannot stop mass shootings. This is because criminals do not care about gun laws. This leaves the police low on resources and very busy with large-scale, violent criminal activity. The problem is that when the police are informed of a death threat or a threatening voicemail, their initial response is something like: “Give us a call when something happens”. This is not an appropriate or effective response.
The goal in private security is to manage threats so well that a client is never injured or killed because of a bad guy. Once a threat is made, private security will push and encourage the police to get the investigation moving as fast as possible and get it in front of the District Attorney so that they can get an arrest warrant for the bad guy.
The laissez-faire attitude of many police departments is unacceptable, especially when they are presented with clear evidence that a crime has been committed. They need a sense of urgency to prevent threats from materializing into violent actions.
When you consider the mass shootings across the country, there are multiple people who know about the shooter and have made threats. There are pre-indicators, and these are often all present, and it is clear the gunman will go operational and kill someone. The most frustrating thing for those in the private protection sector is when police officers do not take a proactive and preventative mentality toward threats.
Whether it is for a celebrity client or a mass shooting in a mall, the goal is to be preventative and urgent when handling violent threats. Identifying the pre indicators comes first, followed by sending law enforcement around to do a field interview to understand the threat maker better and give them a warning so that they understand they are being monitored. This is a simple way to prevent violent situations from unfolding, but it requires a preventative and proactive approach to security.
At World Protection Group, we provide the highest standards of security to our clients. To explore whether there’s a potential fit with your security needs, please get in touch for a completely confidential consultation.