Article Index

APD Private Security METL 

1.0 Manage Security Cadre

CONDITION: Under normal operating conditions
STANDARD: Maintain manning and readiness adequate to meet defined threats with minimal negative impact on business operations

  1. Resolve threats successfully.
  2. Evaluate readiness by conducting exercises against each defined high priority threat at least once annually.
  3. Maintain a sufficient number of trained security personnel to fill all identified guard and response roles.
  4. Receive positive quarterly reports from department heads regarding impact of cadre's security duties on departmental business operations.


  1. Recruit and Sustain Security Cadre.

CONDITION: Under normal operating conditions

    1. Incentives and inducements attract sufficient qualified volunteers.
    2. Volunteers meet established standard for selection.
    3. Recruits successfully complete initial security cadre training
    4. Cadre members meet all recurrent training requirements.
    5. Turnover rate of personnel does not exceed the company's ability to conduct initial and recurrent training.

b. Organize Security Cadre.

CONDITION: Under normal operating conditions
STANDARD: Create and staff security organization capable of meeting 24/7 security requirements with minimal impact on business operations.


  1. Ensure that security manning during and outside normal business hours is consistently adequate to meet defined threats, as determined by exercises and analysis.
  2. Receive positive quarterly reports from department heads regarding impact of cadre's security duties on departmental business operations.
  3. Develop leaders.

2.0 Equip Security Cadre

CONDITION: Under normal operating conditions
STANDARD: Select, procure, issue, account for, and maintain all security-related equipment

  1. Select Equipment
  2. Procure Equipment
  3. Maintain Equipment
  4. Manage Security Adjunct program

3.0 Manage Security Training

CONDITION: Under normal operating conditions
STANDARD: Provide effective initial and recurrent training for APDPS personnel and Security Adjuncts

  1. Establish training requirements
  2. Develop training
  3. Conduct cadre training [initial, recurrent]
  4. Conduct Security Adjunct training [initial, recurrent]

4.0 Develop and Maintain Response Plans for Identified High Priority Threats

CONDITION: Under normal operating conditions, given a current graded Threat Assessment, Site Survey, Vulnerability Analysis, and/or management direction.
STANDARD: Current, realistic and actionable plans for all high priority threats are disseminated, trained, rehearsed, and reviewed on a regular basis.
TASK STEPS (for each plan):

  1. Prepare plan.
  2. Assess and refine plan via tabletop analysis, TEWT, and (where possible) force-on-force exercises.
  3. Train security personnel in execution of plan.
  4. Familiarize all managerial and supervisory personnel with the plan.
  5. Brief and drill workforce in their particular roles and responsibilities.
  6. Review plan quarterly, update in accordance with threat intelligence and changing conditions, apprise management of required changes, and implement changes through retraining and drills.

5.0 Obtain And Maintain Proper Licensing And Insurance

6.0 Build & Operate Indoor Shooting Range

7.0 Perform Routine Security Tasks:

CONDITION: Under normal operating conditions
STANDARD: Monitor and control property and building access, and respond to incidents reports of illegal, suspicious, or threatening behavior.

  1. Avoid surprise by early detection of possible threats.
  2. Respond swiftly to reports of illegal, suspicious, or threatening behavior without compromising remaining security interests/requirements.
  3. Resolve incidents in accordance with legal standards, organizational policy and doctrine, and management direction.


  1. 7.01 Conduct Listening Post/Observation Post Operations
  2. 7.02 Conduct Guard Post Operations
  3. 7.03 Conduct Security Patrol Operations
  4. 7.04 Respond to Alarm, Intrusion, or Distress Call

8.0 Defeat Security Threat

CONDITION: A threat is underway or imminent against APD personnel, operations, or facilities. Teams have successfully oriented to the situation through direct observation, communication with friendly elements, mission analysis, and an understanding of their responsibilities and commander's intent.
STANDARDs: Security cadre selects and applies basic small team tactical skills appropriate to the situation, according to plan, as directed, or on initiative as the situation demands.

8.01 Defend
CONDITION: Armed adversary group is active in the area of operations, and use of lethal force is justified. Friendly forces have a requirement to defend a specified area. Mission analysis is complete.
STANDARD: The threat is engaged in accordance with the defensive plan. Control of the specified area or terrain is retained, and the adversary is destroyed or repelled.

  1. Issue warning order to subunits and all security cadre personnel.
  2. Make a tentative plan (or select applicable, prepared contingency plan).
  3. Conduct reconnaissance to confirm mission analysis assumptions and provide early warning of changes in conditions.
  4. Begin necessary movement/deployment of personnel, and other preparations.
  5. Complete or revise the plan based on continuing analysis and received intelligence or reconnaissance reports.
  6. Occupy positions:
    1. Establish and maintain security via observation posts (OP).
    2. Position key weapons and individuals.
    3. Ensure clear and overlapping fields of fire.
    4. Emplace early warning devices and obstacles as available.
    5. Establish communications (or confirm communications SOP).
    6. Maintain a reserve if possible, and be prepared to react to the unexpected.

g. Engage the adversary with effective fire in order to defeat the attack.
h. Consolidate and reorganize, establish accountability, manage casualties, and prepare to receive another attack or transition to another mission.

DISCUSSION: Given adequate force and circumstances, we will defend our area, premises, personnel, and operations against any violent threat. We will have all the advantages of the defense: operating on known ground, fighting from preselected covered and/or concealed positions against adversaries who must move against us, in a scenario we have (hopefully!) addressed in planning, wargaming, and rehearsals.

8.02 Delay
CONDITION: Armed adversary group threatens personnel or vital assets in the operating area, and cannot be stopped or defeated with immediately available forces. Use of lethal force is justified.
STANDARD: Delay or interdict adversary movement or task accomplishment, in order to allow lockdown or evacuation of personnel/assets and accumulation of friendly combat power.

  1. Designate rally point(s)
  2. Divide available forces into mutually supporting elements
  3. Select and occupy temporary fighting positions with covered retreat routes
  4. Delay or interdict adversary with well-directed fire
  5. Move by covered bounds to the rear if pressed

8.03 Utilize Team Formations and Techniques of Movement
CONDITION: During team movement in the operating area, hostile contact is possible or expected.
STANDARD: Establish contact with the threat as directed or on initiative. Minimize delay, unnecessary engagements, and friendly casualties. Maintain situational awareness.

  1. Choose appropriate formation and technique of movement
  2. Move on advantageous route
  3. Maintain situational awareness and 360-degree, three-dimensional security during movement
  4. Use available cover and concealment
  5. Accumulate combat power by linking up with other friendly elements
  6. Make contact from a position of advantage

DISCUSSION: A detailed treatment of these topics can be found in Chapter 2 of this manual. Note that from a METL standpoint, we do not dictate techniques but only define the acceptable outcome, "what good looks like," in the Standard. The Task Steps provide somewhat more resolution and some recommendations, but still do not dictate or prescribe techniques. If a team chose to move in a circus gymnast's stacked pyramid, or crawl backwards in line, and was (somehow) able to meet the task Standard by doing so, criticism would have to be tempered by an acknowledgement of initiative, and success.

8.04 Perform Close Quarter Battle (CQB) Tactics and Techniques
CONDITION: Armed adversaries occupy a structure or complex of structures and use of lethal force is justified.
STANDARD: Clear objective building(s) of all adversaries, avoid unnecessary delay or friendly casualties.
DISCUSSION: These are complex and dangerous tasks, difficult enough for tactical teams which train hard and regularly for their performance. Pulse's Individual Tactics Manual introduces many of the critical concepts from the perspective of a lone operator who has is obliged by circumstances to operate alone. We can provide training across the entire spectrum for motivated and qualified small tactical teams.


8.041 Establish and Utilize Objective Rally Point (ORP)
CONDITION: Armed adversary group is active in the area of operations, and use of lethal force is justified. Friendly forces must attack an identified objective.
STANDARD: Identify and secure an ORP for continued offensive maneuver.

    1. Orient to objective and known or suspected enemy positions.
    2. Identify an ORP that can be reached by covered approaches and is protected from enemy observation and fire.
    3. Occupy the ORP.
    4. Communicate to other friendly elements.

DISCUSSION: An Objective Rally Point is defined as ". . . a point out of sight, sound, and small arms coverage of the objective area. It is where a unit can halt and perform final preparations before conducting actions at the objective and where the unit reassembles and reorganizes after completing actions on the objective." [footnote: U.S. Department of the Army, Light Infantry Company, Field Manual (FM) No. 7-71. Washington DC: HQDA 28 August 31, 1987, p. 3-29]

8.042 Conduct Team Movement in Urban Environment
CONDITION: The team must move through an urban environment wherein an armed adversary group occupies a structure or complex of structures in the operating area. Use of lethal force is justified.
STANDARD: Maneuver through urban or built-up area as required. Minimize friendly casualties and delay.
a. Select routes to minimize exposure.
b. Adapt the standard techniques of team movement to urban terrain

    1. Travelling Overwatch: Used for speed, when contact is not likely. Move in a file, avoiding open areas and moving along (but not hugging) walls and buildings. Two men on point, one for forward security, the other for local security and cross coverage. Maintain 360 degree, spherical security bubble. Put eyes and muzzles on each window, door, and danger area as you pass. Take corners with two men, aggressively, but keep moving. Do not stop; maintain momentum.
    2. Bounding overwatch: Used when enemy contact is expected. If possible, move through or behind buildings. Establish two elements, even if these are only one man strong, and cover every movement with overwatch and (if necessary) fire from the stationary element. The support and maneuver roles will shift freely between elements during movement.

c. If you receive fire, seek hard cover, by entering the nearest accessible building if possible, and develop the situation by pinpointing the enemy position(s) and flanking them via covered routes. Do not attempt to fight hardened or concealed adversaries from the street.

DISCUSSION: In urban combat, historical experience indicates that as many as 90% of casualties occur in the streets and open areas, not inside buildings. Your environment should be somewhat less intense, in terms of the density of opposing forces and weapons, and the low likelihood of heavy weapons and indirect fire, but there are still significant hazards to moving in the open while adversaries can observe and engage you from covered and concealed locations inside buildings. If time allows, techniques of clearing and crossing danger areas (streets, alleys, intersections) can be methodical and resemble those used for interior hallways.

8.043 Identify and Utilize Last Covered or Concealed Position (LCC)
CONDITION: The team must assault a structure in the operating area, which is occupied by an armed adversary group. Use of lethal force is justified.
STANDARD: Identify a position as close as possible to the selected Point of Entry, which provides cover and/or concealment to the team, and which can be reached by covered routes or with the briefest exposure to enemy observation and fire. Move from ORP to LCC, avoiding detection and engagement.
DISCUSSION: The intent of an LCC is to minimize the time, distance, and exposure of an assaulting team in its final approach to the Point of Entry. Unless it is entirely hidden from the enemy and the team can reach it without being detected, it should be occupied only very briefly.

8.044 Enter Contested Building through Single or Multiple Points of Entry (POE)
CONDITION: The team must assault a structure in the operating area, which is occupied by an armed adversary group. Use of lethal force is justified.
STANDARD: Move from LCC to POE(s) minimizing exposure and casualties. Get team through the POE to establish a secure foothold inside structure.

    1. Coordinate move from LCC with supporting elements to take advantage of suppressive fire, diversions, screening smoke or other measures to minimize exposure and avoid casualties.
    2. Preserve the element of surprise, to facilitate unopposed entry through the POE.
    3. Consolidate team prior to moving deeper into structure.

8.045 Conduct Team Movement through Hallways and Stairwells
CONDITION: The team is moving through a structure in the operating area, in contact or anticipating contact with an armed adversary. Use of lethal force is justified.
STANDARD: Negotiate hallways and stairwells, reacting to contact with controlled violence of action to preserve team momentum and minimize friendly casualties.

    1. Maintain forward security, rear security, and cross coverage during movement. These responsibilities can rotate among individuals as the team flows forward. Momentary lapses in coverage can occur if forced by team size and the number or nature of danger areas encountered.
    2. Do not stop or linger in hallways or stairwells.
    3. Do not cross danger areas or leave them behind the team unless moving Direct to Threat (8.05)
    4. Maintain noise discipline and minimize verbal communication, in order to maintain the element of surprise.

8.046 Conduct Room Clearing Operations
CONDITION: The team is moving through a structure in the operating area, in contact or anticipating contact with an armed adversary. Use of lethal force is justified.
STANDARD: Clear each room encountered with appropriate techniques, neutralizing any adversary, minimizing friendly casualties and conducting cursory search for hazards, noncombatants, or critical assets,.

    1. Clear methodically from hallway or exterior if time and threat situation allow.
    2. Conduct dynamic entry by at least two operators to complete clearance.
    3. Engage and neutralize, or disarm and restrain adversaries as necessary.
    4. Identify and safeguard noncombatants.
    5. Complete cursory search of room.
    6. Rejoin team and continue mission.

8.047 Consolidate and Reorganize in CQB
CONDITION: The team is moving through a structure in the operating area. Use of lethal force is justified. Team has engaged adversary, suffered casualties, or interacted with noncombatants or protected personnel. There is a lull in the action.
STANDARD: Check and confirm status of all team members through communications, observation, and buddy check. Reload, clear stoppages, recover and/or redistribute all needed equipment. Provide essential casualty care. Communicate with higher command and supporting elements.

8.05 Move Direct to Threat
CONDITION: Armed adversary is active in a known location in a structure and use of lethal force is justified.
STANDARD: Neutralize adversary, ensure safety and security of noncombatants, and avoid unnecessary delay or friendly casualties

  1. Identify threat location
  2. Select advantageous route
  3. Do not methodically clear en route to threat location
  4. Move direct to threat, ensuring 360 degree security en route
  5. Facilitate casualty care and lockdown or evacuation of noncombatants without slowing movement toward threat

8.06 Escort Principal(s)

8.07 Exfiltrate and Escape
CONDITION: An armed adversary group is active in the area of operations, and use of lethal force is justified. Friendly forces are unable to provide security in place for protected personnel or other critical assets, and a decision has been reached to evacuate the area.
STANDARD: Extract all identified personnel or critical assets from the area of operations and deliver them to a final or interim secure location.

  1. Select destination.
  2. Select and ensure availability of secure route(s) and means of escape.
  3. Engage adversary (ambush, defend, or delay) to cover movement of protected personnel/assets to and along escape route(s).
  4. Provide forward, rear, and flank security during movement.
  5. Provide reaction force for response to unexpected developments

DISCUSSION: Under extreme conditions, it may prove impossible to defend successfully in place, and when cognizant authority makes the decision to evacuate the area, security cadre must identify and clear escape routes, manage the movement, and provide security.

8.08 Conduct Hasty or Deliberate Ambush
CONDITION: Armed adversary group is active in the area of operations. Contact has not occurred. Use of lethal force is justified.
Select an ambush site that is tactically sound, properly established and secured.
Destroy the adversary when he enters the kill zone.
Minimize friendly and noncombatant casualties.

  1. Select a site that the adversary will enter, and that has terrain favorable to the ambusher.
  2. Post security elements and establish an Objective Rally Point (ORP) and routes to it.
  3. Establish linear, L-shaped, or other ambush formation with assault and support elements, suitable to the terrain and the expected adversary.
  4. Initiate ambush.
  5. Assault element sweeps through kill zone to confirm casualties, secure prisoners, weapons, and sensitive items.

DISCUSSION: An ambush is nothing more than a friendly force initiating contact with an adversary force, using the element of surprise. A hasty ambush is one that is set and then initiated swiftly when an approaching adversary is detected first; the task steps shown may be compressed, abbreviated, or ignored depending on the time available. A deliberate ambush is used when there is adequate time, confidence in the route(s) that adversaries will use, and adequate friendly forces and terrain. If the adversary appears too strong to be defeated, a well-concealed ambush may not initiate.

8.09 React to Ambush
CONDITION: An armed adversary group is active in the area of operations, and use of lethal force is justified. A friendly force is surprised by an ambush (heavy, concentrated fire in a pre-selected kill zone) while moving.
STANDARD: Ambushing force is defeated or driven off; friendly casualties are minimized.

  1. Team members in the kill zone get down, utilize any available cover, and return fire immediately, constituting a base of fire.
  2. Team members not in the kill zone maneuver against the flank of the ambushing force.
  3. The team leader directs the team to continue its attack against the ambushing force, or break contact, depending upon his assessment of the situation.

DISCUSSION: A common traditional counter-ambush IAD against a near ambush (closer than 50 meters) is for the entire friendly force to conduct an immediate frontal assault through the ambushers' position. Although sometimes this may be the only option, training this as the standard response would ensure that most operators will attempt to do it regardless of whether it is the only recourse, or even a remotely viable one. Frontal assaults without the element of surprise or overwhelming suppressive fire support, against prepared, alert defenders, have a very poor track record of success. The approach recommended here is in fact not an IAD, because it cannot be performed automatically in response to a stimulus, but requires thought and decisions by individuals and team leaders. It is the same response that most traditional sources recommend against a far ambush (from beyond 50 yards).

As Gunnery Sergeant John Poole (USMC) points out:
"When shot at unexpectedly, human beings react instinctively – they get down and crawl behind cover. If the personnel in the kill zone are not allowed to follow their natural instincts, their lives may be further endangered. . . Unless the ambushers are only a few steps away, the friendlies must get down. . . if squads train to conduct upright frontal assaults every time they get ambushed from less than 50 meters, they are inviting disaster." [footnote: H.J. Poole, The Last Hundred Yards: The NCO's Contribution to Warfare (Emerald Isle, NC: Posterity Press 1994), p. 153]

8.10 React to Chance Contact
CONDITION: An armed adversary group is active in the area of operations, and use of lethal force is justified. Friendly and enemy teams are both moving, and the friendly team detects the adversary first.
STANDARDS: The team defeats the enemy force by a hasty ambush (task 8.06) or a hasty flanking attack.

  1. Team member(s) who first spotted the adversary communicate direction and distance, continue to observe and maintain readiness to open fire upon command or if detected by the adversary
  2. The team leader either deploys the remainder of the team into ambush positions IAW Task 8.06, or may decide that there is insufficient time to establish a hasty ambush before the team is detected by the adversary force.
  3. If the team leader chooses to perform a hasty flanking attack, he will leave the team members who have visual contact in place as a base of fire, and deploy the remainder of the team stealthily toward one enemy flank, utilizing the most advantageous terrain. He will position himself so as to maintain visual contact with both elements, enabling them to coordinate fire and movement without voice or radio communications.

8.11 React to Non-Violent Protest or Demonstration
CONDITION: Non-violent protest or demonstration is underway within (or affecting) the area of operations. It may target our protected assets/activities or be coincidental, and not targeted directly upon us. Vandalism, sabotage, or other property damage may occur, and there is potential for escalation to violence against persons. .
STANDARDS: Maintain security and safety of protected personnel and assets, and protect integrity of grounds, structure, personal and organizational property by all legal means.

  1. Detect protestor/demonstrator plans and activity at the earliest possible moment.
  2. Adjust activities, schedules, routes, and movements as possible to avoid or minimize direct contact or interaction with protestors/demonstrators.
  3. If contact cannot be avoided, communicate with leaders/organizers to de-escalate tensions and reach a mutually acceptable resolution.
  4. Request LEA response for crowd control, detention, and arrest if necessary
  5. Interact with media as necessary.

DISCUSSION: In the era of flash mobs and social networking, protests can coalesce with great speed, so that prior detection and preparation may not be possible.

Particularly if your organization, property, or personnel are the targets of the protest or demonstration, direct contact can compromise security by focusing your attention, personnel, and efforts on the protest, creating gaps elsewhere which might be exploited by other potential threats. Security personnel are likely to be outnumbered and there may no legal justification for use of force.

Organized protests often have a leader or leadership cadre on scene. If contact is unavoidable, select a spokesperson with good communications skills, and attempt to contact the leader or organizer of the event. Protestor goals can differ, but media attention, video footage, or simply making a statement may satisfy them and create an opportunity for resolution of the situation. Seek a resolution that will de-escalate rather than escalate the situation, and restore normal conditions as soon as possible.

Media response is likely in the event of a large demonstration, and "the media" can range from cell phone video recording by individuals, to "new media" bloggers, to traditional media like newspapers, radio and TV. Media attention is usually a primary goal of any demonstration or protest; if that goal is met, the protest may disperse. Ignoring the media will seldom work to your advantage; treating the media in a hostile or adversarial fashion will result in bad publicity and may encourage the protestors or advance their cause. Be prepared to interact with the media; consider in advance who in your organization is comfortable and competent under these conditions and use that person as your point of contact.

8.12 Utilize Less Lethal Weapons and Techniques
CONDITION: Under normal or off-normal (emergency) operating conditions, security threats may occur that do not justify the use of lethal force.
Security personnel meet specific, legally defensible certification standards in the use of impact and electroshock weapons, chemical agents, restraints, and empty-hand control techniques.
Security personnel demonstrate mastery of force spectrum concepts and all applicable rules and legal requirements for the use of force.
Threats which occur are resolved with minimal impact on operations, and with minimal injury to suspects and friendly personnel.