Completing threat assessments, threat analysis and response, and covert action plans are not as loom and gloom as one might think. Often there is some visual perceived of a small group of people decked out in black, leaning over a table, drawing equations and mapping areas of safety and danger, contrasting plans, and being all pale and tragic. It’s funny because the majority of work that gets done in our team, is actually done at Beer Parties. Beer parties are essentially a type of house/beer/dinner party. They run for just under 24hrs, and they are typically at a house, accompanied by a few kegs, beer on tap, full service bar, take-out, and pot-luck style meals, and more. The last get together we had, I co-hosted with a buddy and we made bacon potato soup, shepherds pie, garlic and cheese bread with jalapenos, and onion rings. Another guy came over and made mini-sliders, complete with delicious fried onions and mushrooms. Our other cohort proceeded to order in a boat of sushi and brought some rare kraft beer. And Ze German brought pie. The rest of the people to come over would either drop in, being in desperate need of a good meal and some debriefing, or come equipped with a small snack or bottle. Everyone is welcome to come and go as they please, crash at the house, or whatever. But the rule is that dinner is served at 7pm, everyone sits around a large table, we say grace (it’s not about faith, it’s about respect, tradition, and providing stability and structure that’s familiar to everyone), and we eat. God help you if you miss dinner, it’s just expected that you show at least for that. The table we sit around is something of a story in itself, and I will write about it in another post. At the house, you are safe, fed, surrounded by people who are like you, who are in a similar type of work, share a similar life, and you can receive debriefing support, and be among your own. The battle capers chit chat, and the stories flow as free as the beer, and the planning and case discussions begin. It’s super productive to have people from various backgrounds gathered who all work in the same field. There’s therapists, counsellors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Lawyers, Mental Health Professionals, Addictions Workers, Business Professionals, Strategists, government workers, Human Resources, Operations Managers, War Vets, and the Engineers, not to forget the tradesmen as well. And we all have 1 thing in common that bonds us for life, we work in PSP. A lot of case discussion gets done around the dinner table with a beer in hand, or even while watching an atrocious movie. Last time we got into a debate about the best disguises. So next time, everyone is getting together with their best disguises on. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun!
On what feels like the other side of the world, some hours away, there is what we refer to as “The House”. The House is a large home circa 1880, 3000 sqft, built far back on a lot, you must walk in through the property. There are no cars, transit, or anything that can get close. It is fully covered by surveillance and guarded a hell of a lot better than Charles De Gaulle. The house hasn’t really been properly cared for, but it’s beautiful none the less. There is a modern loft style cottage off to the side of it, a shed with super secret hiding spaces (yes you read that right), and an outdoor kitchen. The House is a sketchy and strange place. This is where people go to meet their addictions. This is where the front line workers dwell. When you work in PSP, there’s three types: Runners, Trainers, and Team Leaders. A Runner is the guy who gets you out of your predicament on the spot, throws caution and morals to the wind, and does any dirty work necessary to keep the client safe and get them to a good place- they plan the get-up and go. The Trainers prep the clients for close quarters combat, provide counseling, and map out the best plans to resume a life in a new location. Team Leaders plan everything from resettlement, to getting employment, ID, references, and do investigative work on the trouble makers- including creating red herrings and falsifying leads and so called “evidence”. The Team Leaders are the primary support and counsel for the other two. At the House, it’s all Runners. People with morally skewed realities. They are some of my favorite. Their dark sense of humor, quick wit, and laid back nature make them super easy to get along with. They’ve seen it all. I used to be a runner, and have made my way into being a TL. I never really got into hanging out at The House though. At The House, they feed their addictions and stress. There’s drugging, alcohol, sex, and weird shit. I remember talking to one of the prostitutes in the kitchen about why she and her friends kept coming back. She told me because the type of work the men did, they didn’t want to see harm to anyone, so they were trustworthy and safe in bed. Not to mention the fact she got a good meal, a warm bed, and now that she was a regular caller, half of her time there was just consoling and soothing the conscience of the men, sex was secondary or not at all. Apparently one of the guys helped her get away from her pimp and start her own business in the sex trade that was non-oppressive. Huh. Imagine that. It’s funny who you run into at the house- the people who are not Runners, and the people you never expect…. like myself, or other TL’s. The House, unlike the beer party, is open 24/7. You can go anytime. But there’s no planning here. It’s purely to self soothe, and meet your addictions. There’s some permanent residents, and there’s some that come and go, and then there’s others who drop in once or twice every few years.
Our work is a strange and funny thing. You meet the most extraordinary people, and hear the most ridiculous stories. The work itself is done in an unorthodox way, but it gets done to some pretty damn high standards. Everyone is safe, sound, fed, clean, and has a warm bed, and companionship. Mapping work is by far some of my favorite because of this.