So Long, Security

From nearly the beginning of his term as governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford has tried to ditch is his security detail, and even talked about cutting them completely out of the state budget.

He said early on, “I think we can find better uses for these guys. My wife doesn’t need a guard, and I don’t either.”

Now we know the real reason that the disgraced governor wanted to give the security boys the slip. It wasn’t the expense, but the fact that they were cramping his independent style.

Sanford, it seems, wanted the freedom to be able to disappear for a week at a time to do his own thing, including taking off for a week’s pleasure trip with his mistress in Argentina.

Author and former Ohio police officer Timothy Dimoff said it perfectly, “A person as important as the governor just can’t tell the head of security, ‘I’m disappearing for a week. I’ll see you later.’” Believe it or not, there have to be some parameters set for his protection.

Even though state law does not require Sanford to have a security detail or keep the State Law Enforcement Division informed on his whereabouts, it seems rather unusual for the governor of any state to disappear off the grid for an extended length of time. When Sanford tried his disappearing act, he apparently jumped into a SLED vehicle and told his security detail to stand down, failing to let agents know his whereabouts.

Going out of country without security is a bad idea for a governor in this day and age. The more important person is, the more desirable a target they become.

Sanford has stepped down as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association and it behooves him to step down as governor, no matter whether it’s the easy way out or not.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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