COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Next year, some big names will be coming to the Carolinas when the Republican National Convention comes to Charlotte.
With those big names comes an increase in security. For the past week, five different law enforcement agencies throughout the Carolinas have been training in York County.
Officers go through scenario-based training on professional protection, bringing together international private sector protection professionals and U.S. law enforcement officers.
WIS safety expert Karl De La Guerra took our Jenna Cisneros behind the scenes on a protective driving course.
“The one we’re most familiar with in the public is the U.S secret service. Protecting the president, protecting other dignitaries,” Karl de la Guerra, Team KDI said. “This is taking that same training and experience and bringing it down the local level to better prepare our law enforcement officers to be able to provide specialized protection for those who need it.”
Thursday morning, WIS watched as officers across the Carolinas trained on basic motorcade operations, to help make the movement of a client very efficient.
“One of the techniques you’ll be seeing is called a three-point road turn,” de la Guerra said. “What it’s used for is if a threat is noticed ahead of the motorcade, ahead of the vehicles that are traveling this gives the entire motorcade as you’ll see in unison the opportunity to very rapidly change directions, and very quickly exit out of the area.”
The course, in general, teaches law enforcement on how to be bodyguards to protect dignitaries.
“The world is getting smaller and our enemies are getting more sophisticated,” Jonathan Wallace, an instructor, and president of an executive protection firm from Indianapolis said. “It’s not just simply following the person around as you might see in like a movie, there’s a lot that goes into it, a lot of intelligence gathering.”
In the driving course, officers learned how to stay together in close intervals at high speeds, as well as make turns and shift together as a team.
It’s a course they say is not taught in a police academy, and instructors say learning these skills will become beneficial training with the RNC coming in 2020.
“There’s a lot of dignitaries coming to town, the RNC is coming 2020 so this training will help,” Corell Anderson, a student said. “We’re trained in taking them out of a mall, going to the movies, or going inside of a store and this training incorporates all of that from in and out of the car to seated inside of the car.“
De la Guerra tells WIS the skills “can be used in a variety of different areas, it can be used for the police officers in judicial security, it can be used by the private sector for VIP protection, protecting dignitaries.”
In all, it’s a seven-day course, with over 70 hours of training.
Students will graduate on Saturday with a certificate that shows they have completed the course.
“Everything we’ve learned, everything we do, and how we train has been based off of some sort of tragedy that’s happened in the past,” Wallace said. “The whole idea now as we’re trying to innovate so that we can actually get four or five steps ahead of our enemies.”