Protecting the Protectors: How Head of Security Secured the IACP’s 2019 Chief’s Night

Museum Security Team
Private security team protecting the IACP event

CHICAGO — Protecting the protectors. Here is how Head of Security secured the IACP’s 2019 Chief’s Night.

On the 28th of October, 2019, Head of Security and our security partners coordinated and protected one of Chicago’s most high risk events of the year. The event was the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s, or IACP, annual Chief’s Night at the Museum of Science and Industry in downtown Chicago.

Chief’s Night

Police Chiefs from all over the world converged on the city of Chicago for 3 days to learn and discuss from each other as well as subject matter experts. However, Chief’s Night was the night for the leaders of protectors to relax and let their guard down for just one night.

Due to the high risk nature of the event security was already tight. But, there was another factor thrown into the mix that made things a little bit more complicated: President Donald J. Trump.

There was a lot of talk and the very real possibility that the president of the United States was going to stop by Chief’s Night. President Trump was already scheduled to speak at the closing of the event on the 29th. However, due to the president’s unpredictability there was speculation he would make an appearance at Chief’s Night.

So, security went into overdrive.

The Chicago Police Department came in and took over perimeter security for the event. SWAT Sniper teams were strategically positioned on the roof of the museum. The museum’s security team was all hands on deck to handle the interior security. Our private security team went from 20 to 40 officers to handle the interior security cordon of the exterior. Bomb sniffing dogs, mounted police, police helicopters and beefed up police patrols made this event the most secure spot in the city for about 8 hours.

But, there was just one thing missing: Where was the Secret Service?

Luckily, for everyone, the Secret Service did not show up. This was due to the fact that the president did not have time to attend Chief’s Night with his busy schedule although he voiced his want to do so. But, alas, it was not in the cards.

Why was this lucky for everyone?

Although we would have loved to work with the Secret Service on this event, the event was already crowded. Adding the president and his security team would have made things quite congested. He did, however, give a speech the following day at the McCormick Place, which went off without a hitch.

How did we do it?

The success of this event did not happen overnight.

We were contacted by our client, an event management company in Chicago, back in January of 2019. We had 10 months to prepare, which is exactly what you want for this size of an event.

First things first: Survey. This is where the Head of Security project management team came in.

We went on-site to the museum and took measurements to determine how many barricades we needed to ensure a safe and efficient pathway for the Chief’s and their guests. These pathways led to checkpoints where they would be checked by our security teams.

Next, we needed our barricades. For this we went with United Rent-A-Fence based out of Addison, IL.

Then, we needed to get the private security team together.

Head of Security partnered with the premiere tactical security team in Illinois, S.O.S. Private Security headquartered in Westmont, IL. S.O.S. Private Security is led by a former U.S. Marine and current CPD commander with 30+ years of experience. They hire primarily former military men and women, off-duty and retired law enforcement officers as well as highly experienced and trained private military contractors.

Time for the implementation.

Now that we have our barricades, the private security team and we have coordinated with CPD and CFD, it is time for the implementation.

First, we setup the barricades to corral the crowds and ensure a safe and manageable flow.

On top of corralling the crowds, the barricades served a dual purpose. At the end of each segment of barricades, the guests would be met by security.

From there they would enter the museum and be met by the museum security staff. Once inside the Chief’s and their guests were able to enjoy their night worry free.

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