Political campaigns provide multiple security challenges: not only for the candidate, but also for their families and the information and facilities that support the campaign.
Volunteers and low-level workers can gain opportunities for close access to the candidate with little to no screening, access to potentially embarrassing or damaging information, or the ability to compromise campaign strategies. Speeches and events can be disrupted by protesters, bomb scares and other threats. People who oppose the politicians or their views may threaten the candidates.
AT-RISK has protected high-ranking U.S. and foreign officials, as well as their facilities, during campaigns and other events. During campaigns and political summits, we’ve provided proactive threat mitigation 24/7, around the world.
Our comprehensive approach to political campaign security includes the following:
Risk assessment. We evaluate campaign strategies and design plans to mitigate risks throughout the campaign trail. We then support this effort with an active protective intelligence program that continually monitors and analyzes both online and real-world threats identified from open and closed sources in our Global Security Operations Center (GSOC). Our specialists use the latest techniques in intelligence analysis and behavioral assessment, which allows us to mitigate potential campaign disruptions, protests and other threats before they occur.
Advance planning. Our advance work begins the day a contract is signed, using our three-part Practical Advance Model: Pre-advance, Trip Advance and Site Advance planning. We develop strategies for every “what if” scenario, and continually research potential threats before and during the trip.
Background screenings. AT-RISK offers multiple levels of screenings and background checks for both higher-level workers and lower-level employees and volunteers in sensitive positions. We also analyze campaign facilities and data systems for potential vulnerabilities.
Protective intelligence. We mitigate threats of potential violence by monitoring and analyzing both communicated threats and online activity to assess unwanted behaviors before they escalate. We also monitor and manage nonviolent risks, such as outside forces attempting to infiltrate campaigns or conduct surveillance of candidates, their families, or personal, or business associates.
Personal Protection Specialists. We provide discreet, proactive protection that balances the need for accessibility with the need for safety. Security teams are specially trained to mitigate threats and provide security in four areas: candidate security, event security, campaign office security and candidate family safety.
We protect candidates, their staff and their campaign facilities with a variety of strategies:
Ongoing monitoring and analysis. Because political candidates’ movements are often publicized in advance, they’re especially vulnerable to threats from individuals and groups. A Secret Service study of targeted violence against political and public figures highlighted the patterns that typically proceed violence, and our specially trained security and psychological experts, backed by our proprietary technology, recognize how to identify those patterns.
Proven experience. A high-ranking foreign leader or U.S. senator traveling to an economic summit has very different security needs from a local candidate pounding the pavement or appearing at a fundraising rally. During multiple campaigns and political events in several countries, our teams of multiple specialists have provided the type and level of security and threat mitigation to match the candidate and the situation.
- Presidential candidate Rand Paul’s New Hampshire campaign office was broken into during the 2016 campaign, and computers containing sensitive databases and campaign files were stolen.
- The Spanish prime minister was punched in the head during a campaign appearance, while a German mayoral candidate was stabbed.
- An Alabama mayor was violently beaten with a sawed-off baseball bat by a former radio talk show host, while a mayoral aide was punched, tackled and kicked at a vigil for a shooting victim.
- Protesters have disrupted and shut down campaign rallies in the U.S., France, Austria, Canada and many other countries.
- A congressional campaign headquarters was vandalized six days before an election in San Diego, information on polling places was stolen from a Virginia congressional office and distributed to the wrong voters, and the offices of an influential political consultant and an adjoining congresswoman were burglarized in Oklahoma.