Who Needs Personal Protection?

While most don’t need a permanent protective presence, temporary security may be necessary in response to a threat.

It’s a violent world out there. Do you need personal protection (also known as a bodyguard or executive protector)? Few individuals need round-the-clock protection, although there are certainly those who require it. These include high-net worth individuals, controversial public figures and celebrities. Far more common, however, is the need for temporary executive protection. Has a threat been made to your CEO, workplace or to an employee? Are you contemplating a high-risk termination? Strategos International can help you determine if temporary personal protection, or even a permanent security presence, is best for the safety and well being of you, your family and your organization. Contact us if we can be of assistance.



Is Your Crisis Response Plan a Paper Tiger?

Simply having a plan in a file cabinet will not reduce your organization’s crisis response liability – or more importantly – save lives.

Strategos International President Vaughn Baker addresses getting a crisis response plan out of the file cabinet and into action so that your organization can prevail over a crisis.



Light the Night: Don’t Let Parking Lots and Garages Become Crime Scenes

A dark and lonely outpost is a great place for an ambush. Do something about it.

Doors locked? Check. Alarm activated? Check. Parking lots and garages? Well … Parking lots and garages are easily neglected when it comes to security. They’re often dark and out of sight. That means they’re soft targets for thieves and bad guys of all stripes. Vaughn Baker, president of Strategos International, shares a tips that can prevent your property from becoming a crime scene.


Strategos is a leading source for intruder response training, active shooter training, executive protection and tactical instruction for law enforcement and military personnel.

• Intruder response training: We equip the true first-responder (personnel already on the scene) to counter active shooters and other threatening intruders in schools, churches, offices and other workplaces.
• Executive protection: We provide executive protection and security for VIPs, CEOs, executives and others high-profile figures.
• Tactical instruction: We provide tactical and SWAT training and education for police, law enforcement and military personnel.

Let us know how we can be of service.


Church Violence: What is the Cost of Inaction?

The head-in-the-sand mindset is misguided.

By Vaughn Baker
Strategos International

An Ohio newscast recently relayed the good news that multiple churches were receiving security training from law enforcement in order to protect their congregations.

“In this day and age, who knows what could happen, who could walk through the front door?” said one pastor. “Bombings and violence in churches – it catches your attention.”

We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we do what we do: Educate and equip churches, schools and businesses to be ready for the “what if?”

However, another pastor interviewed for the newscast said he was not worried and won’t be participating in the training. Why? He believes God will protect him and his flock. The pastor also believes violent acts haven’t “happened in our churches and wouldn’t for the most part.” Finally, smaller churches are less likely to be targeted, he said.

I truly wish that this pastor was correct and that we here at Strategos could close up shop. But we can’t. And here’s why:

It can happen here
There have been more than 1,000 violent incidents at churches since 1999 and a 600 percent increase in the last decade alone. True, the statistical likelihood of it happening to your church is small. But it was equally small for the churches where people were killed by gunmen. Statistics are cold comfort in those cases.

It can happen in rural areas
Over half of active-shooter incidents occur in rural areas. Even as rural as Nickel Mines, Pa. (population 43), where a gunman killed eight grade school girls in a one-room Amish schoolhouse.

God can use our planning to protect us
I’m not a theologian, but the fact that 99.9% of us lock our doors indicates we believe that God expects us to do something to protect ourselves. A verse that lends support to this is Proverbs 22:3:
“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

There are numerous ways to protect a church. Churches don’t have to compromise their mission or their welcoming culture. It’s not all or nothing.

The newscast closed with a rebuttal from another pastor in the community. He spoke out against the idea that “it can’t happen here.”

“I think that it would be absolutely a travesty to take that position, because it can happen,” he said.


We’ll pray that it won’t, but will prepare in case it does.

Vaughn Baker is the president of Strategos International, a leader in training businesses, schools and churches to proactively respond to active shooters and violent intruders. The firm also evaluates facilities and overall organizational security to protect people and property. Let us know if we can be of assistance.


Strategos Security Minute: Enjoy the Game With Eyes Wide Open

Whether you’re at a political rally, a church service or a football game, it pays to be aware. In recent months, people who were shopping or attending concerts were shocked to be interrupted by violent intruders. Vaughn Baker, president of Strategos International, shares how you can enjoy the game with eyes wide open. Contact us to learn more.


Staying Safe at Public Events: Enjoy the Game With Eyes Wide Open from Strategos International on Vimeo.


Beyond Survival: You Can Prevail Over Workplace Violence

Hope is not a valid strategy to counter an active shooter at your church, school or business.

Someone is killed in a U.S. workplace, on average, almost every day. Yet many employers’ only strategy is to hope it doesn’t happen. Businesses, schools and churches can in fact do a great deal to stop workplace shootings before they occur. But some things are beyond the control of even the most prepared leaders. Because of this, we need to be prepared to prevail against an active shooter. Public service announcements and handouts aren’t enough. Strategos International has partnered with Sollah Interactive to create a truly unique and innovative workplace violence training initiative. The goal: saving lives.

Contact us to learn more.


Beyond Survival: You Can Prevail Over Workplace Violence from Strategos International on Vimeo.


Intruder Response: Contrasting ALICE with Get Out, Lock Out, Take Out

Are all training options equal?

With the rise in active shooter assaults has come a corresponding increase in training. But is all training equal? In the second interview in a series, Strategos Vice President Mark Warren contrasts the ALICE training method with Get Out, Lock Out, Take Out – the method developed and taught by Strategos. Questions? Please contact us.



Run, Hide, Fight? Or Lock Out, Get Out, Take Out?

Mark Warren of Strategos says training has consequences.

“Run, Hide, Fight” is a popular approach to intruder response training advocated by the federal government. While something is better than nothing, Strategos International believes this approach has serious flaws that could lead to confusion, injury or even loss of life. Strategos has developed an alternate approach: Lock Out, Get Out, Take Out. Vice President Mark Warren explains the differences between the two approaches and why they matter.

Contact Us to learn more.


If a shooter invades your world, what would you do?

The attacks on Virginia and California highlight the difference between safety and security.

By Mark Warren
Vice President
Strategos International

The shootings in Virginia and San Francisco again demonstrate the need for all of us to be prepared for our individual safety and security.

First things first: Safety and security are not the same things. Safety refers to procedures, techniques and training that prepare us for emergency situations such as a tornado, fire or flash flooding. It could even refer to safety guards on machinery.

Security, on the other hand, deals with manmade emergencies, such as the twin shootings on Virginia and San Francisco on June 14.

Who is the first responder? It could be you.
When a crisis of any kind occurs, the people directly impacted will be the first responders. Since they are the ones caught in the crisis, they will determine their response.

If you are caught in a tornado, you may determine that your best response is to head to a lower level away from windows and wait for the danger to pass. This response is based on your level of training and knowledge. If the structure is damaged or demolished, you may have to self-rescue and extract yourself from the building. You may have to treat yourself with first aid and figure out how to get yourself to a medical facility. But what if the hospital was destroyed during the same incident?

A massive tornado in Joplin, Mo., in 2011 was an example of this. People self-rescued, then assisted their neighbors, creating teams that continued rescuing others. Because a local hospital was destroyed, the proactive response of these citizens made a huge impact on life and death.

If you don’t have training and don’t fully understand the significance of weather-related dangers, you might stay outside to watch the tornado – to devastating results. But because you (hopefully) know better, you take action to limit your exposure to the threat.

What if you were the young man in 2003 hiking in a remote area of southeast Utah? While navigating a narrow canyon a boulder shifted and trapped his arm. He was unable to move the 800-pound boulder and was trapped for five days. He finally realized that his only hope for rescue was dependent on him. After running out of water he decided he would have to cut off his own arm. He was successful in freeing himself, rappelled 60 feet to the canyon floor, and walked five miles before being spotted and rescued by a helicopter. He was the first and only first responder. If he had been unwilling to take on the role of first responder, we would have likely found his body sometime later and held a nice memorial service for him.

It’s up to us to act. Are we trained?
In a manmade disaster where a suspect causes a crisis, it will be dependent on the people on the scene – the true first responders – to react. Without training, people don’t really know how they will react. Many times we revert to our basic instinctual response – fight, flee or freeze. Any one of these responses may or may not be correct. Doing the right thing at the wrong time could end in tragedy.

Typically an untrained person will suffer from being startled and afraid, followed by the onset of normalcy bias (attempting to rationalize the crisis away). This delays response and leads to denial. Once the true impact of the crisis is understood, people are so far behind the response curve they are often frozen, leading to panic and helplessness. This delay in response, due to a lack of training, are the crucial moments that could mean the difference between life and death. Said another way: Stop staring at the tornado!

In a trained response, the true first responder will still suffer from startle and fear. But because they accept the crisis, they will begin making decisions that lead to a better outcome.

  • They enter the crisis with a healthy sense of awareness to their surroundings. This, in and of itself, may prevent the crisis before it breaks out.
  • If the crisis occurs, they accept that it’s real and do not lapse into denial.
  • They recall their training and respond immediately, preserving seconds that can save lives.

By responding faster, they lessen the exposure to the threat and decrease the likelihood of injury or death. In other words: They saw the tornado, accepted the potential for loss of life and removed themselves from harm’s way.

The attack on members of Congress
The attack in Virginia against members of Congress at a baseball practice is a good example of what we’re discussing. There happened to be police present when the attack started due to Rep. Steve Scalise’s protection detail on the scene. But even though police were there when the crisis started, there were still at least two people injured by the shooter in addition to two officers who were shot.

During the crisis, the police focus is on stopping the threat and ensuring there are no secondary threats. In this incident, we saw the people caught in the crisis providing care for the injured and applying tourniquets to wounds.

This “tornado” had the ability to move and direct his attention and anger on the innocent people he was targeting. If the police had not been present, how bad could this have been? What procedure or practice would you follow if you found yourself caught in a crisis like this?

Strategos International is prepared to assist you in your preparation for these types of incidents. We also provide assistance with high-risk terminations, investigations, threat assessments, facility security assessments and training, including crisis casualty care.

Contact Us


Strategos trains Danville, Va., employees in crisis response

Critical topics included severe weather events and intruder response.

Strategos International provided training to more than 150 city employees in Danville, Va., this week, equipping them to effectively respond to a crisis.

“It was a privilege to partner with the city and we appreciate their proactive approach in getting employees ready for the challenges that come with public service,” said Vaughn Baker, president of Strategos. “Whether the event is a prolonged power outage or an active-shooter, preparation is key.”

Strategos International is a leader in training businesses, schools and churches to proactively respond to active shooters and violent intruders. The firm also evaluates facilities and overall organizational security to protect people and property.

Contact Us