Skip to content

Protective Operations: A Handbook for Security and Law Enforcement

Protective Operations: A Handbook for Security and Law Enforcement. By Glenn McGovern. CRC Press,; 204 pages; $79.95.

Author Glenn McGovern introduces the concept of protective operations as a continuum, ranging from situational awareness, at its most basic level, to protective details, safe houses, and new identities, at its increasingly complex levels.

Written as a “reference for law enforcement and security organizations tasked with a protective role, but with limited resources and training,” the author focuses on “training to deal with…the worst-case scenario.”

The reader will appreciate the case studies that highlight and underscore relevant topics and concepts. Readers will also gain valuable knowledge and insight from the in-depth discussions of assessing risk and managing threats, conducting protective advances to prevent attacks, and operational security.

Unfortunately, the book expands beyond its stated or intended purpose by introducing the use of weapons and sophisticated equipment, as well as defending prolonged attacks, knife fighting, and using counter-sniper teams, for example. As a result, the reader might be overwhelmed by content, rather than benefiting from the author’s intended focus of making the most out of scarce resources. Some content would have been better to reserve for a second volume on advanced protective operations. Regardless, the book appropriately focuses on the concept of preventing attacks, which is central to any protective operation.

The author’s writing style can make it difficult for readers to fully comprehend text without a second read, and the small type doesn’t help. In the end, it is a good resource for private-sector protective operations, but a better resource for law enforcement agencies newly engaged in protective operations.

Reviewer: Ross D. Bulla, CPP, PSP, is president of the global security risk mitigation firm, The Treadstone Group, in Denver, North Caro­lina, and is a member of the ASIS Physical Security Council.