Squad goals: Melania Trump and female dignitaries protected on Japan trip by all-woman police team
Expert: It's not uncommon for foreign countries to assist with protection while president is overseas
Japan's female unit wearing sleek black suits instead of uniforms
The Japanese police department in Tokyo has put together an all-female squad of officers for specific assignment to first lady Melania Trump and other visiting female dignitaries, including presidential adviser Ivanka Trump, according to a report. The first lady arrives in Japan on Sunday for a two-day visit with President Donald Trump; Ivanka Trump landed in Tokyo on Thursday.
The female police unit, dressed in smart black suits with white button-down shirts, practiced their moves in front of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace for the media on Wednesday, brushing up on defensive maneuvers and drills.
“Typically, by providing this sort of unit, law enforcement is trying to be respectful and not too intrusive,” explained CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Wackrow, a former agent with United States Secret Service who was assigned to the presidential protection unit. “They think it’s more welcoming to have an all-female crew, and it’s not uncommon.” Wackrow recalls visits to Asian countries during his time on then-first lady Michelle Obama’s detail where all-female units were also deployed.
The Japanese unit used for this trip was initially put together as part of preparation and training for the 2020 Summer Olympic games, which will be held in Tokyo.
“Operationally, these support forces are minimal to the actual security program of the United States Secret Service,” Wackrow said. “They aren’t relied on for any emergency action.” In other words, should anything happen to a principle protectee, such as the first lady, the Secret Service detail assigned to her is the primary line of defense.
Wackrow, however, notes that local law enforcement on the ground does a great service for large travel operations such as the one Trump is undertaking next week in Asia. “They provide an essential role in helping gain access, for help with language barriers and for general support,” Wackrow said.