Bodyguards on YouTube

A lot of people think they know what a bodyguard does. It is definitely not all about being chased by bad guys at 90 mph or shooting while hanging out of moving vehicles.

It is however, very similar to this YouTube video. This is a typical detail – picking up a client from the airport and escorting them back to their hotel or a shopping trip.

If you happen to be in Las Vegas in about three weeks, you can find out more about working as an Executive Protection Agent, as we will hold our “Introduction to Executive Protection” on 3/20/11.

Anyone who attends the one day training will have their fee reimbursed if they later decide to take one of our Personal Protection Specialist training programs.

Do you have what it takes to be a Bodyguard?

Brooklyn Congressman Hires Bodyguard

The New York Post, carrying a story by Natalie O’Neill, is reporting that the first politician to openly admit to hiring a bodyguard for protection in the wake of the Arizona killings is Congressman Micheal Grimm (R- Bay Ridge), from Brooklyn.

In an ironic twist of fate, all of Congressman Grimm’s Democratic collegaues in Brooklyn are stating that they have no intention of hiring security to ensure their safety. Grimm, a former Marine, is not only concerned for his own safety, but the safety of his staffers who accompany him.

It would appear that the decision for many politicians not to hire professional security is down to two reasons. Firstly, they would have to pay for it themselves and secondly, they are afraid of creating barriers between them and their consituents.

Regarding the first concern, it should not be too difficult or controversial to introduce a stipend to assist elected officals hire professional security personnel when they feel a need and can demonstrate that a potential threat may exist.
Afterall, the government already outsources these types of duties to private security firms for coverage in the U.S. and abroad.

Regarding the public being denied access to elected officals, this does not necessarily have to be the case. Whenever talk comes around to security, it is often linked to phrases like; “big, burly security guards”. The public and media alike should realize that Personal Protection, when conducted in a professional manner, is not as obtrusive as one might think.

Personal Protection or Close Protection, involves protecting a person in a very covert manner. Highly trained professionals remain in close enough contact with the person being protected in order to allow them to take action if necessary, whilst at the same time keeping their distance and allowing the person (in this case politician)to engage with the public.

Much planning goes on behind the scenes to allow for this “free flowing” movement. Professionals have an array of tools and devices to aid them. The days of the “big, burly security guard” blocking people’s path are over (for the more enlightened clients anyway). A professional bodyguard could easily pass as a politician’s aide and nobody would be any the wiser.

For more information on Executive Protection Services and to learn how to become an Executive Protection Agent, please visit the E.P. and Training pages of our website;

Do Bodyguards Scare "Friendly" People?

We are seeing a lot being written following the recent tragic events in Tuscon. An article in The Atlantic makes some statements which are bound to raise many eyebrows from those working within the private sector.

In the piece titled; “How to protect members of Congress”,the writer states that it would be better to use local Police instead of bodyguards, since the Police won’t intimidate “friendly” people from attending the event (and bodyguards would?).

After making comments and an argument for using Law Enforcement, the article then becomes self-contradictory by stating that many Law Enforcement Agencies (including the U.S. Secret Service) do not have the available resources to assign officers/agents to protective duties for everyone who may ask for it.

The article does however, raise some good points and provide relevant information. One example is a quote from Gavin de Becker regarding the benefits of keeping the general public back from the speaker, which allows the protectors adequate time to spot a potential problem person.

My favorite “bad choice” from the article has to be regarding the fact that Police will be able to spot someone approaching with bad intentions. The writer could do well to spend a few days visiting some E.P. training schools in the country in order to get an idea of how E.P. Agents are trained.

I think the writers should receive some feed back from our profession. They don’t seem to have done their homework in their rush to get out this topical article. The floor is all yours, ladies and gentlemen. I think it time to shed some light.

New Anti-Paparazzi Law in California

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 2479 into Law, making it a crime for paparazzi and others to follow recklessly in a vehicle in order to secure footage.

It will now also be against the law for paparazzi types to block a person’s path as they try to get away. Readers might remember that Princess Diana’s driver crashed the vehicle killing all but the bodyguard in an effort to escape from the paparazzi’s glare in Paris.

Private Investigator Jesse Martell thinks that the law should be more restrictive, allowing only P.I.s and Law Enforcement Officials to conduct vehicle surveillance. This is how the law is written in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Clients are often surprised and shocked to discover that they can not follow their spouse, significant other or employee in order to catch them cheating or stealing. Clients should always be aware of the law.

If information is obtained in an illegal manner (and sometime even Police and private investigators are guilty of this),that information is classed as “fruit of the poisonous tree” and will be thrown out of court.

It would appear as if there will be less scuffles between Executive Protection Agents and the paparazzi in the future – at least in California. We will have to wait to see if the old phrase holds true: “As does California, so does the rest of the Country”.

Would a bodyguard lie under oath for $100?

This may seem to be a strange question. It is not really something I have ever thought of before. Not until today, anyway.

Over the past couple of months, my firm has been protecting some clients who are afraid of the other party in the case. Fairly typical of an Executive Protection contract.

Since I was the first contact which the client had with the company, I decided to make myself available whenever possible. Clients like it when they are not shuttled from one E.P. Agent to another.

One day the other party decided to bring a bodyguard to the meeting. It was completely a case of “monkey see, monkey do”, right down to the monkey who was hired to do the “protection”.

Recently there was a court hearing in the case. I was attending another court and could not be there when the other side called their star witness – the “bodyguard”. I was however, quite shocked to learn that this oxygen thief perjured himself under oath by telling the court he had seen my weapon exposed on one occassion during which time I was protecting my client.

Firstly, it was a pathetic statement – I am afterall a Personal Protection Specialist, registered/licensed/authorized by the Department of Criminal Justice Services to protect clients. As a concealed weapons permit holder, I am authorized to carry a weapon concealed. Finally, being registered as an advanced handgun PPS expert, I can work armed. Being a competitor, he knew all of this.

So why make such a big deal out of it? The answer is quite simple. His client was grasping at straws to do or say something to make our client look bad. What does that tell you? He was paid off to come to court for 30 minutes to lie under oath in an effort to assist his sleazy client and an unethical lawyer.

How much did they have to pay him to soil his integrity and defecate all over whatever reputation he may have had left? I’m thinking not much. I’d say $100 – tops. It’s quite interesting to find out how much a competitor is really worth.

What happens when the bodyguard is unable to protect?

Because of what we do and the dangerous situations in which many of us have done it,Close Protection Officers/Executive Protection Agents often chose to ignore the question of their own mortality. Indeed, many believe themselves to be immortal.

That does not mean however, that the businesses for whom we work should also ignore the fact that we may not physically be able to complete every mission. Take the case in point of the heir to the throne of England; Prince Charles.

Prince Charles was flying from London to new Delhi for the opening of the Commonwealth Games when his Royal Protector suffered a massive heart attack.

The story reports that some major shuffling had to occur to secure a back-up (which nearly sounds like the successor to the throne only had one Protector and if that was the case, the Special Unit responsible for protecting the British Royal Family, SO14, did not seem to be too well prepared for an unforseen emergency).

People can suffer heart attacks at any age, which is one thing we in the profession should keep in mind. One wonders how often this close protection officer had medical check-ups and if the traditional “once a year” is really adequate.

Which leads to the next question; How many business owners are aware of their Agents’ state of health? Many are probably afraid of the HIPA restrictions, but in this line of work, we owe it to the client to know if our people have high cholesterol or blood pressure, or any other ailment that might cause them to become ineffective.

Modern medical science and advances in technology help to increase longevity, but the idea of taking care of oneself was known to our professional predecessors more than a thousand years ago.

In 9th Century Japan,the Samurai warriors began compiling their wise insights into what later became known as “The Code of the Warrior”, from which the strict Code of Ethics, Bushido derived.

One only has to read a quote from the Samurai in the english language translation and adaptation by Don Schmincke (The Code of the Executive) to understand how important their role of protecting their master was to them; “Executive Warriors who forget about death are apt to take to unhealthy excess in food and wine and ignore exercise, so that they die unexpectedly early from diseases of the liver, heart, and immune system Even when they are alive, their illness makes the useless to anyone”.

Not all convicted felons are sex offenders

This week’s blog which asked the question; “would you hire a convicted felon”, received so many comments that we decided to do a follow-up blog instead of answering each comment individually.

The first thing that stood out, was that all of the comments revolved around sex offenders. That was unusual since the theme of the blog was not about sex offenders, but advising would-be employers to be careful about pre-judging job seekers.

It would appear that the topic of sex offenders is one which requires additional attention. I would like to mention at this time, that due to the one-sided nature of most of the comments, it would appear as if most, maybe all of those making the comments had either been convicted of a sex crime in their past, or were closely connected to someone who had.

So then, what did we say that caused so many feathers to be ruffled? It would appear that much of what was written was taken out of context. Nearly all of the comments spoke to the nature of the sex offender’s crime. It should have already been very clear, I was not investigating this guy, therefore I do not know what his exact charges related to, other than being a sex crime.

Unlike those of you who commented though, I would not automatically jump to conclusions that it was “mere mooning” or a “he said, she said” situation. Do those of you making these comments really believe that all sex offenders are guilty of nothing more than a “technicality”?

By the same token, do you succumb to the notion that nobody in jail is actually guilty of any wrong doing? Who do you think commits bank robberies and murders, or rapes and child molestations?

If you believe that you got a raw deal, by all means discuss it. By all means, educate the readers. I am sure that the greater majority of people do not realize that one can be convicted of a sex crime for mooning a urinating in public. Use the forum to enlighten.

If, on the other hand, your purpose is to get people to feel sorry for you, then you are doing yourself and the readers a grave diservice. Know that we will publish your comments and reply to them openly. We are not afraid of controversy and do not have to worry about satisfying an Editor’s demands or pissing off our advertisers.

Speaking of replying to comments, those of you who claimed that I was using sex offenders to promote my business are giving way too much credit to the power of blogs. For the record, I have not done any business relating to sex offenders since the last blog was published. If I had, I would state that I had done so without hesitation.

It is the nature of business to engage in self-promotion. Ever heard of a car dealer running ads on television and in newspapers? If we “drum up” business as a result of a blog, that is considered a bonus. It is not however, the main purpose of writing. I write to educate and inform.

There are over three hundred blogs here. Take a look through them and you will see that they give people tips and information on how to safeguard themselves, protect their employees, business and other assets. You will also see that we give professional advice to investigators and bodyguards.

To the person who wrote that I was riding the sex offender gravy train….is there really such a train? I will say that some of your comments did have some merit. For instance, the person who said that the employer would not fire this sex offender based on heresay – yes I agree, nor should they fire him based on rumors alone.

As for the person who doubted that the sex offender said anything inappropriate – what planet are you from? Are you the same one who thinks that jails are bursting at the seams with innocent people? The fact that some of his female colleagues are afraid to step forward and drop a dime on him, does not make him innocent – it just shows that they are afraid.

Most of you making these comments should not be surprised that they have not stepped forward. Didn’t you step behind the veil of annonymity to voice your opinion?

The next time, think about how you can state your case in a fair and balanced manner. I’d also advise you to read and understand what was written before rushing to comment.

You just might find that people will be more inclined to see your point of view if you are capable of seeing theirs.

When a bodyguard looks like a lost sheep.

There are people out there who think anybody can be a bodyguard – especially if you are big and/or look like you know what you are doing. Some of these people are called Clients, whilst others are called “colleagues”.

I can forgive the clients. They know no better. Our “colleagues” however, can not be forgiven as they should definitely know better. Would you like an example?

I’ll actually provide two(real)examples. There is a security company who provides security to embassies. They began by providing just uniformed security personnel, but discovered quite soon that providing Executive Protection could be another revenue stream for them.

One day a Middle Eastern client requested E.P. agents to accompany female Principals around Washington D.C. The company did not have any personnel properly trained in Executive Protection (may still be the case), but seeing the potential for extra billing, they dispatched two uniform females.

The females had no clue what they should do and to their credit, advised a supervisor of this fact. They were told; “put on civilian clothes and just walk behind the Princesses”. This was told to me by a staff member.

More recently, we had a large team of Agents involved in a celebrity red carpet event. I had been in contact with the promoter for days before the event and was appraised on possible threats – both known and anticipated.

Due to the existence of certain incidents which occurred just days before the event, we discussed the need to increase the number of agents and provided literature and intel to all of the agents involved. Based on the information we had, we increased the level of security in certain areas where we anticipated problems.

The Director of Security for the venue walked our team around the facility and pointed out emergency exits, doors accessed only by his staff and any area that might be considered to have a weakness. He even “loaned” us four personnel from his department to assist us in our efforts.

Shortly after the event began, one of my Agents came to me and informed me that two of my employees were downstairs at the entrance. I immediately racked my brain trying to think how two agents would have arrrived at the venue.

The only reasonable explanation I could arrive at was that a couple of the guys who had been contacted, but who were not able to work had changed their schedules and were now reporting for duty. I went downstairs to thank them, but send them home.

One of the agents I had assigned to the front entrance of the venue pointed out two guys in suits as “my employees”. The problem was, I had never seen them before. I went over to the men and introduced myself. They appeared lost. They told me that they had been told to show up in suits and wait for a Limo. Apparently, the Limo would contain their Principal, whom they did not know.

As I walked away from them, I was questioned by one of the promoters who seemed anxious. I had to tell her that they were in no way connected with us, but that they claimed to be there to escort one of the celebrities. This left the promoter even more concerned, as this was “by invitation only”.

At that time the person in charge of the events for the venue came over. He too wanted to know who the men were and suggested that their presence may be a problem. My Agents kept a close eye on them and it eventually worked itself out when the Principal arrived and the “bodyguards” were told that this was the person they were hired to protect.

The “bodyguards” in this incident were so hopelessly lost and out of their element that it was not just glaringly obvious that they did not know what they were doing, but they actually had to be considered as a possible threat due to their inability to convince all concerned of their legitimacy.

I think we all know the moral of the story. Two words; Due Diligence. The least you can do before taking an assignment is to know who you are working for. No professional E.P. Agent should be so desperate for a night’s work that he/she would respond to a request to “show up in a suit” and wait at event for a limo.

If all you know about your “employer” is that he is somebody called “Bob”, shame on you. Don’t compalin when you don’t get paid, or you are involved in a Police investigation because you are working for an unlicensed company. What if Bob is a convicted Felon?

We won’t even go into the ethical dilemma of how it is possible to properly protect a Principal if you have no idea where the emergency evacuation route is, what threats are known to exist and the identity of other protectors who may be able to come to your assistance if needed.

Executive Protection is about Protection. A clown can take off his make-up and put on a suit. At the end of the day though, he’ll still be a clown – albeit a well dressed one.

Congratulations to our new Personal Protection Specialist graduates

We apologize for a lack of blog postings these past weeks, but we were busy training a new Executive Protection class and then assisting them to find jobs and interviews.

The current economic climate is still pretty dire and those looking to enter the workforce or transitioning into a new career need all the help they can get. That is why it is important to get to know and understand the power of Social Media marketing. If you do not have a business to market, then you can market the service you provide.

I was following a discussion on LinkedIn (great business tool which allows you to build a professional profile)today and an interviewer was writing about interviews he was holding for a position. Believe it or not, but a number of the interviewees had to be asked to put away their IPhones/Blackberrys as they were not paying attention to the questions being asked of them.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can get you noticed and can allow people to find you and view your skill set, but do not forget that your main aim is to make it to an interview. If you disrespect the interviewer by having to be told to refrain from “surfing the net”, in the middle of an interview, you can bet that you are not going to be receiving a welcome letter from that company anytime soon.

Will more bankers turn to bodyguards for protection?

The Huffington Post carries the story of a bomb expolding at the offices of JP Morgan Chase in Central Athens, Greece today.

The story makes no mention of who may have claimed responsibility for the bomb, but it does mention that a warning was called in prior to the explosion. There doesn’t appear to have been any injuries.

This is the last thing that Greece needs right now when the world attention is focused on them as their economy is set to crash. With all of the banking crisis seen in the U.S. this past year or two, one wonders if American Bankers will start to take a closer look at their personal security.

Thebulletproofblog will closely watch the industry in the coming weeks and months and will report any trend that may appear to take shape.