By Angela French
Special agents in dark suits and sunglasses drive black Suburbans through the city streets while unknown VIPs are hidden behind tinted windows. The men in black could be Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) special agents protecting foreign dignitaries, but not this time. For the third year in a row, the DSS Greensboro Resident Office, with support from the Diplomatic Security Training Center, provided dignitary protection training for police officers from several North Carolina law enforcement agencies.
The weeklong training allowed state and local law enforcement officers to practice the skills they use when supporting DSS and Secret Service for dignitary visits in the state of North Carolina. The training is the type of collaborative work DSS conducts throughout the year with law enforcement and security partners domestically and abroad.
“These types of liaison activities are just a starting point for developing strong relationships that help DSS fulfill its domestic mission,” said Greensboro Resident Agent in Charge David Monroe.
Monroe noted that the training has led the Greensboro Police Department, one of the participants in the protective detail training, to explore new opportunities to share their training facilities with DSS. The North Carolina Highway Patrol, which also sent officers to the training, invited special agents at the Greensboro Resident Office to attend a high-speed driving class they were conducting. Another participant, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, assists DSS with locating and capturing fugitives.
The training culminated in a two-day exercise that allowed the law enforcement officers to practice their skills. The trainees were divided into protective details for two stand-in protectees, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Martin and a local newspaper editor. The protectees conducted their regular business around the greater Greensboro area, which provided the police officers with a more realistic training experience.
Angela French is a public affairs specialist with the Diplomatic Security Service.