Bodyguards have not always had a good reputation – too often they are portrayed as hulking men with limited technical ability and dubious communication skills. Their thuggish approach of intimidation to gain control, not to mention their sometimes questionable backgrounds have meant that the bodyguard profession has been seen as less than professional. The last thing any security company wants is to appear in a newspaper article like the one in the Dominion Post in December 2012.
“The mark of a good bodyguard is that he keeps a level head in a crisis, reassesses the situation, and then embarks on the correct next course of action.”(James Brown, author of The Bodyguards Bible)
So how does a security company like Recon Security change the perception of bodyguards and regain the public’s respect and confidence that a personal protection officer is a skilful role that requires personnel who possess greater training and expertise?
For a start they ensure that their guards receive comprehensive and specific training. Not only is it important that guards look professional but also to trust that they know what to do in any situation. Ultimately we want to know that they will protect the safety and reputation of the VIP. That kind of selfless approach doesn’t come without careful preparation and coaching. After all, personal protection officers are public officials for their clients. Their behaviours reflect on their clients.
Before any close protection officer is deployed to a protection role there are specific and essential components they need to know and understand to a level of automaticity. Threat assessments require the guard to be able to analyse potential security weaknesses. Guards learn how to remain in a constant state of assessment as all situations can change at any time. Other skills include walking drills, approaches to stairs, lifts and doorways, physical restraints, deterring attacks, emergency extraction of the VIP and first aid. Most often VIPs require transportation so driver training is critical. Offensive driving tactics, optimal parking decisions and safe routes are paramount in the protection and safety of clients.
However it is important to know that along with comprehensive training a lot of personal protection services take place behind the scenes by skilled and experienced personnel in the security company. Planning the guard’s deployment for the client is the most crucial thing a bodyguard does. He has to know where the client will be, what he will be doing, who the audience will be, as well as run through scenarios of possible threats. It takes a lot of work and concentration to be able to plan a day of personal protection.
All close protection officers at Recon Security ensure optimal service by:
- carefully studying a client’s schedule;
- visiting locations to determine access to facilities, layout, emergency evacuation routes etc;
- anticipating potential threats to the client’s safety;
- strategically planning the details of the security operation;
- respectfully ensuring the client follows safety procedures;
- discreetly monitoring the safety of the client at all times;
- staying alert to all people and surroundings; and
- remaining attentive so as to respond appropriately in an emergency situation
The changing face of body guards or personal protection officers can only happen if security companies take a serious look at how they train their guards and have exceptional expectations of presentation, conduct, and of course delivery of services.