The Presidential Escort Unit (PEU) has, arguably, one of the most arduous tasks in the country — providing security and protection to His Excellency the President.
The security team conducts advance survey, route reconnaissance, traffic flow, intelligence and motorcade formations as well as crowd control all in a bid to secure the head-of-state whenever he is travelling.
However, the task becomes more treacherous during departures (when the president is about to board his vehicle) as any loophole could expose him to a security threat.
And with the likes of President Kenyatta known to have stop overs or meet and greet sessions with people, his protectors know they have to do their best to minimize his exposure.
Here now are four key loopholes that the president's security team must seal whenever the head-of-state travels or attends functions:
Keep an eye on the environment during departures
During departures, the president's security must have their eyes on the environment.
The security team should never be caught up with the pomp of the president boarding his vehicle in order to ensure that he is not exposed to any potential threat.
The protectors must also minimize exposure and, if possible, the president's departures should be from an underground parking or basement.
Rotate the personal escort section team every 5/6 hours
The security personnel must also work in shifts to ensure mental freshness.
A fatigued team member risks losing vigilance or making poor judgement in complex situtations.
A hyper vigilant protector displays intensity of appearance in the name of detecting threats but in anxiety and nervousness, he commits actions that embarrass the VIP and the protection team.
A case in point was during the 2016 Madaraka Day celebrations when a man weaved his way past President Kenyatta's security personnel and handed him a note.
None of the officers noticed and if they did, the reaction was too late.
Proper advance work
The president's personnel must scour through venues, buildings, shopping centers, routes and topographic features where he intends to stop and 'meet and greet' the crowds.
Any haphazard advance work and things could regrettably go wrong.
In some cases, the Kenya police dispatches intelligence officers to markets and clubs to mingle with people and gather some intelligence prior to a president’s visit in a certain area.
Advise the head-of-state
It is quite typical of President Kenyatta to mount on the car's sunroof to address crowds. And he does it quite often as opposed to his predecessors.
However, the role of the Presidential Unit is to advise him not to mount on the sunroof and Mr Kenyatta ought to heed to their instructions in such a case.
Standing on the sunroof is extremely dangerous and only exposes the president to sniper fire/assault fire.
Source: KD Maxwell, Dignitary/Corporate Protection Agent