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To augment celebrity bodyguards at Art Basel, USPA offers a Security Advance Party



Due to the recent mass shooting in Colorado Springs, USPA Nationwide Security has been asked to assist one-man security teams guarding celebrities with risk assessments and surveys ahead of Art Basel in Miami.

Miami will be the center of the art world from November 29 to December 4, 2022. Thousands of art enthusiasts, collectors, and artists will descend on Miami’s beaches during this four-day celebration. More than 215 galleries from 17 countries will participate in these events, which range from pop-ups to exhibitions, festivals, and parties.

Due to worldwide attention, there is a risk of targeted violence. USPA Nationwide Security provides operational support for single bodyguard units, which work alone and protect celebrities.

“We provide support for these one-man security teams by organizing security advance parties,” states USPA’s Vice President, Brian Fitzgibbons. The purpose of a security advance party, or SAP, is to monitor and inspect a site that will be visited by individuals who are protected. Celebrities attending art exhibitions and parties during Art Basel are protected individuals in this case. This survey is designed to assess the level of risk at a particular site. Also, it is intended to identify the most effective countermeasures that can be taken in order to reduce that risk. Among the responsibilities of SAP are the planning of intelligence and counterintelligence routes, as well as the identification of choke points and the planning of escape routes.

Fitzgibbons explained that Aldrich [the suspect in Colorado Springs] was arrested in 2021 after his mother reported that he threatened her with a homemade bomb and multiple weapons. It is common for mass shootings and targeted violence to occur when these factors are ignored. An intelligence report serves to mitigate a celebrity’s risk when it comes to their safety. Former government analysts at USPA analyze intelligence reports to identify online threats from millions of sources. Also, they can create profiles and pinpoint potential threats from inside employees of hotels, galleries, and other local establishments in the celebrity’s travel itinerary.

The first step in assessing and managing the potential for targeted violence is to determine how to intervene to ensure safety. The protective agent or bodyguard should be mindful of local laws and standard operating procedures outlined with the intention of preserving life and mitigating risk. Fitzgibbons continues, “In the security industry, these drills are referred to as ‘action on contact’ (AOC). Whenever USPA Titanium (their highest caliber celebrity protection unit) works with outside teams, they provide specific AOC recommendations to assist the bodyguard in preparing for the protection of their clients.

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