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World Cup security: Preparing for the unexpected

Security vet Bill Besse details the complex planning that goes into protecting a client at the world's largest sporting event

By Joan Goodchild, CSO
June 07, 2010 03:13 PM ET

Page 3 of 3

If a security team hasn't done adequate advance work to ensure they have a ticket to the venue with access to seats, they may not even have access to where their client is watching the event. So that is a challenge and something that has to be worked through, because they will only allow so many tickets.

When you are in charge of private security for a client, do your plans sometimes bump up against the plans of event security?

Sometimes. You can't walk up there the day of the event and expect that will be workable. You have to open a line of communication ahead of time and have a partner that is South African. You also have to be sensitive to cultural issues. There are also linguistic issues.

Having someone on the ground ahead of time to work through those things, and who has the professional contacts to work through those things, is an absolute necessity. [Editor's note: see the book excerpt Conducting a Protective Security Advance.]That's what makes it successful so it blends into the background and it can be present but not obtrusive.

Sometimes if you're in the government, it's real easy to have gates closed and open, streets blocked. In the private sector, it is more challenging. You have to make these arrangements ahead of time so what you do compliments what the event venue security has planned.

If there is something glaringly missing, I would want to work with the venue organizing committee and with the arrangements they've made for security. And it's much better to work that out ahead of time.

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