Hear the words executive protection and bodyguards may come to mind. Individuals employed as bodyguards work to protect men and women who may be at risk, so it’s understandable why people would think the terms are interchangeable. However, those working in executive protection work in a highly specialized field first started by the United States Secret Service over four decades ago. Executive protection involves the use of security measures to protect anyone at elevated personal risk, and they originally used these measures in the protection of foreign dignitaries.
How Does Executive Protection Differ From Hiring a Bodyguard?
Bodyguards work to protect an individual and often deter people from approaching those they are guarding simply by their size or imposing looks. This is often enough to scare those who may wish to take action against the person being guarded. Executive protection, in contrast, requires a risk assessment and advance work to take place to ensure the client remains protected from various threats. What types of training will a person in executive protection, such as that offered by John Cutter Investigations , undergo to ensure the client remains protected?
A person might receive a specific threat, one involving their family or themselves. When someone makes this threat, the executive protection team goes into action to analyze the threat and determine which steps they must take to mitigate it. However, the team does much more than this. People need to realize that the biggest threats are often those in which the responsible parties have never made direct threats. For this reason, the team must do more than simply record and analyze direct threats. It must also proactively work to identify any possible and probable threats to the client and their loved ones.
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Travel remains an area of concern in keeping a client and their loved ones safe. Certain parts of the country and the globe pose more risks than others. For example, a person traveling to Chicago remains more at risk than someone visiting a small town in Maine. The executive protection team understands this and works to identify all risks associated with upcoming travel, including kidnapping and crime, to ensure the safety of the client and loved ones. However, the biggest risk involves road accidents, as they can occur anytime and anywhere without warning. For this reason, executive protection teams work to provide secure transportation for clients.
The visibility of the client often comes into play with executive protection. Well-known individuals find others approach them without concern about their privacy or wellbeing. Interactions range from innocuous to a significant invasion of privacy, and a calm scene might turn hostile in the blink of an eye. An executive protection team works to ensure the safety of the client in any situation, as people can never predict what others will do.
Which Should Be Hired?
How can a person know when to hire a bodyguard and when an executive team serves as the better option? Bodyguards work to deter others from physically engaging with the client and doing them harm. Sadly, people try things even with this physical deterrent in place, and many individuals do so intentionally hoping to benefit monetarily from the interaction.
An executive protection team works to identify when a person might try these measures to ward off the intruders or overzealous fans before they become a concern. Members of these teams undergo training in threat assessment, debus plans, movement safety, advance tactics, and more. This helps to ensure situations don’t escalate to the point where force must be employed. Nevertheless, in the event a situation escalates, the training team members undergo becomes of great benefit. They handle the situation with ease to safeguard the client and their loved one.
Why Executive Protection Is Needed Today
The world continues to change. New threats appear, as the world has seen with the global pandemic. However, some threats remain the same. Executive protection specialists need to be prepared to handle any situation that arises. Very few people saw the pandemic spreading as it did, and this is only one of many challenges a person might face that the team must prepare for.
Social media, 24-hour news cycles , and the internet allow people access to information at all times. A person might find they receive criticism and scorn for something they say or do, and this could lead to serious risks from certain individuals. The executive protection team understands the challenges people face and oversees the security and protection of their clients. They know how to react quickly when a threat arises, even when they have little notice. The preparation they do allows them to respond in this way.
Assessments help to determine which threats the client faces, where they are most vulnerable, and how best to mitigate these risks. They look at many factors when conducting this assessment, including the client’s industry, notoriety, and groups that oppose this individual and their work. This process takes time, as an in-depth analysis must be done. This ensures they identify all pertinent issues, so the team knows where to focus their attention.
Following this assessment, the team develops a program that addresses the threats the client’s faces and the vulnerabilities they have identified. It outlines risk mitigation strategies and more, so all team members remain on the same page. While some strategies play a part in all programs, such as the use of trained security drivers, each plan differs in some areas. Furthermore, the program considers the implications associated with using each of these strategies.
A successful executive protection team remains hidden in the background. Others aren’t aware of the work that has gone into amassing this team and how they are working to protect the client. The training men and women serving on the executive protection team ensure they blend in with others as seamlessly as possible. Men and women need to consider this option if they have any concerns about their safety and security, as one can never be too careful today.