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.

Know how to spot a worthless certificate (and "training school")


Some say that there are three types of people in the world and they can all be equated to animals; Wolves, Sheepdogs and Sheep.

The Sheep are the everyday honest-to-goodness citizens, who go about their business with little knowledge or awareness of the seamier side of life. Then there are the sheepdogs – the protectors – that is where we fit in. Those of us who have dedicated or wish to dedicate our lives to the protection of others.

Which leaves the Wolves. Wolves are the rapists, child molestors, drug dealers, murderers and of course; conmen/conwomen. In the same manner as a wolf will sneak up on a flock of sheep and single out the young or infirm, a conman will present an opportunity where he/she is most likley to snare an unsuspecting victim.

Today, I’d like to discuss one particular example of how frauds can separate you from your hard-earned money. It involves “training”, or more accurately; “the lack of training’.

Over the years, I have been contacted by students who have sent off money to people they did not know in the hopes that they would either find them a job in Executive Protection or place them in a “great E.P. school”. Just recently, a young guy asked my advice about such a school.

I became concerned after spending little more than five minutes on their website. There were spelling and gramatical errors on several pages. Folks, if you discover spelling mistakes on a website, that should be your first clue that there may be a problem. I have conducted pirated merchandise investigations in the past and misspelled words were always a dead give away that the item was a fake.

Another concern was the fact that they were selling cookbooks on another page. There is nothing wrong with an E.P. training school selling books on Executive Protection on their website, but when they include cookbooks, that tells me that they are looking to take in money by any means possible.

Taking a look at their list of Agents, I soon realized that none had mentioned attending a well recognized school and they all had attended the in-house “training program”. A little bit of digging showed me that the “training program” consisted of a DVD only. Phrases such as; “Learned how to protect my client”, or “available to work overseas” were all cut and pasted and part of everyone’s Bio.

Lastly, a quick Google search of the school’s name produced a number of complaints filed by unhappy students who claimed that they sent off their money, but never received anything in return. The moral of the story; Do your Due Dilgence. Ask trusted professionals for their advice, ask to contact past graduates, find out what State, National or International Associations to which the school belongs.

Don’t be convinced because they tell you how to “learn to be a Bodyguard from the comfort of your living room”, or because they send you a nice certificate with your name on it (maybe not even spelled correctly). You CAN’T learn to be an E.P. Agent at home.

If you want to be a Sheepdog, you’d better start learning how to spot the wolves. Afterall, sheep’s lives are depending on you.

Why a guaranteed passing grade is not a good thing

There is a conversation going on at the moment over on a LinkedIn security site. Since it may be of use to current and future Executive Protection Agents, I thought we would take a look at some of the points raised.

Firstly, I would like to say that if making security is a long-term career goal for you,then you should take the time to research “LinkedIn” as it could be instrumental in your choice of careers (not just security either – with 75 million members, I believe that all industries and fields are represented).

The question was asked last week regarding the failure rate versus passing rate of students undergoing Executive Protection training. If you are new to the field, you may not be aware of the various schools, their licensing, topics taught, scenarios delivered or employment opportunities available.

While nobody wants to fail a course, especially one that you have had to save up in order to attend, it takes away from the value of the certificate awarded if anybody off the street is allowed to pass the training, just because they paid their money.

We do not have reason to fail many students, since the great majority know what they want, have made the sacrifice to attend training and give their all over the 90 + hours of instruction. Every once in a great while though, someone comes along who for one reason or other, is not cut out for Executive Protection and we have to remove them from the training.

We do not let them continue as it is unfair on the other students who are being forced to slow down by this one person, or be otherwise distracted. When we make the decision, we calculate how much time is left and refund them the portion of the remainder of the course.

This is the ethical thing to do. Not only does their attendance interfere with the other students’ training, but by allowing someone to pass and graduate who does not fully grasp the requirements and seriousness of the job, that school is endangering all Agents and Clients who come in contact with that one problem Agent.

Unfortunately, most of us know of someone like this who was “rubber stamped” by some other training school because they either didn’t want to lose the revenue or were afraid of being sued if they turned someone away. Many of us went through training programs and were told that not every one would make the grade, yet all did, even the one(s) that everybody knew did not belong.

Some schools would have you believe that there is no need to fail people since they screen potential students so well. I say; Rubbish. I have seen students with no previous security experience (but plenty of life experience), who make first rate protectors. Screening them or someone else with 15 years of documented security experience, will tell you very little about that person.

The only way a school could be fairly certain whether a potential student would fit into a training program would be to submit them to a barage of tests – psychological and personality testing the likes of which Police candidates experience. I have never heard of a school doing that. Perhaps a proprietory training program would, but only for those they were interested in hiring.

Don’t be afraid to attend any school who are particular about who they train and pass. Embrace the fact that they don’t take their money in one door and send them out the other door with a certificate, whether they deserve it or not.

Students attending our Las Vegas bodyguard training to get a discount

When bodyguards think of “shooting” it is usually the type of shooting involving guns. Not in October in Las Vegas, however! The SEXTON Security Training Academy is working on having their upcoming Personal Protection Specialist Training program filmed for television.

As a result, we are giving all students attending our Nationally acclaimed training in Las Vegas from 10/3 to 10/9 a $350 discount to offset any inconvenience experienced during the shooting. Discounts are also available for our Veterans wishing to attend training.

Class size will be strictly limited to allow for extra room needed by cameras and crew. The intense training week will culminate on the eve of graduation with a gala dinner and the announcement of the top performer of the week being presented with the coveted Sexton “MVP” award.

For more information and to request a registration form to secure your seat in training, e-mail us at; training@sextonsecurity.com.

Make sure you can confirm what your resume says about you

What is the “job” of a resume? To show people how much you know….to make yourself irresistible to an employer? Think again.

Your resume is your “foot in the door” of an opportunity to interview. Think of your resume as an appetiser. Your resume should “whet the appetite” of a potential employer, making them want to see the main course (you).

Now, what if your resume went overboard in describing your qualities, training and experience? Have you ever read a description of a dish on a menu and picked it just because it sounded great? What was your reaction when the meal arrived and it did not live up to expectations?

I’m guessing you complained, sent it back or re-ordered. If you accepted it and said nothing, chances are you were resentful, maybe left a miserable tip and decided that you would never go to that restaurant again. Am I close?

Do you see how a potential employer may feel if you come across as something you are not? We regularly receive resumes from security personnel looking to work for us and claiming to have E.P. experience. Yet when we look at the resume, we often see that their experience involved Bail Bonds, Bounty Hunting or Repossessing vehicles, but not E.P.

SEXTON is currently advertising their Executive Protection/ Personal Protection Specialist training program to be held in Las Vegas at the beginning of October. We have received several resumes from people who have seen the announcement and then decided to send us their resumes for work.

If you can identify yourself in this, stop this practice immediately. Firstly it shows us that you have poor powers of observation. If you had read the announcement properly, you would have seen that we were not looking for resumes. Secondly, if you have no formal training, why would we want to hire you?

It would be much better if you asked about the training, then you would see that you would be taught a world of new information, techniques and team building skills, the likes of which you probably never experienced previously.

Companies are receiving thousands of resumes for only a handful of jobs these days. It is said that there are approx. 33 million resumes in circulation today. Hiring personnel are getting battlefield experience like a M.A.S.H. unit and as such, can spot fluff and rubbish a mile away.

If you don’t have what you say you have, don’t say it or write it. Go find it and do it. Then later tell a prospective employer what you can do for them today.

Why waiting for work is not a good idea for Bodyguards.


I was talking to a graduate of the Sexton Executive Security E.P. training program today. He lives on the West Coast and went through our California class in 2008. He was fortunate to have attended the class where Tom Taylor guest lectured about high profile clients and assignments.

When he went through the training, our graduate was running his own company, but was thinking of changing careers. As we do in all classes, we went into the importance of networking and discussed various business and social media sites it would be advatageous to join.

We also introduced the attendees to buisness owners who were our associates and who would be eager to call them when assignments came in as they knew the level of training these Agents would receive.

Fast forward two years and the graduate has left his other line of business and is now in urgent need of employment to pay bills which don’t stop because one’s lease agreement has ended. This graduate was one of the stars of the training week by the way, and all of the instructors were confident that he had what it took to succeed in this business.

I reminded him today why he should have followed our advice and made the contacts – even if he only did part-time work here and there, he would have started to build the foundation of his network. He realizes now his mistake. Of course I couldn’t leave him to starve, so I gave him contacts and assured I would drop them a line and tell them to put some work his way. That’s what you have to do for your folks.

The morale of the story? Don’t wait until you are in desperate need of work to look for work. Have you ever heard that you don’t go out shopping when you are hungry? Same idea. Sow your seeds today, but give them time to germinate and mature.

Jack and the Beanstalk was a make believe story.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

I have spoken in the past about the art of resume writing and submittal. Here is an example of what to “never do”…..

I received a resume from a person who was looking to join our company as…..something. Bodyguard….Private Investigator…Corporate Consultant…I don’t know.

His resume was not accompanied by a cover letter. Usually, I do not have the time to respond to such a request, but I was headed over to Ireland and wanted to clear out my current e-mail before I left. Also, he stated that if we hired him, we would soon realize that he was our best asset. I was intrigued.

I called our “future best asset” and asked about his training. It was minimal at best. I then asked where he was currently working. He was unemployed. I asked what registrations he possessed. He informed me that whatever he did have, had expired.
He was what you might call – a “legend in his own mind”.

In real estate they say; “location, location, location”. In security we say; “training, training, training”. Professionals do not allow licenses and registrations to lapse and expire. They also never claim to be something they are not.

That other person’s name is now prominently displayed on our; “never-call-in-a-million-years” list…and we won’t.

Going to Pakistan on Business? Better Bring Security with You

It would be difficult to think of any industry or profession with greater growth potential – especially in difficult times as this downward economy, than Private Security.

No matter what country you think of; Saudi Arabia, India, China, United Arab Emirates…I have visited all of these countries over the past two years and an overwhelming need for security is the one common denominator that they all share.

That is why I find it amusing everytime our training academy announces a training course such as; Executive Protection Agent and people ask; “after I am trained, can I get work as a bodyguard, or private investigator?”.

This story written by Hasan Mansoor for Asiaone News, speaks about the exploding need for private security in Pakistan – a country with a population of more than 170 million, but a Police force of less than 400,000.

Many of the people who graduate from our academy ask us about working overseas. Overseas pays very well. If we had a client wishing to take some E.P. agents on a busness trip to Pakistan (we would STRONGLY advise on bringing your own professionally trained security to a violent country such as Pakistan if it was absolutely necessary to make the trip), we would pay those agents anywhere from $500 – $800 a day with all expenses included.

Now I ask, where else can you make that kind of money during a recession where layoffs and downsizng are the order of the day? Not even lawyers can be guaranteed to earn that kind of money when many of them being laid off from Law Firms all over the country.

The tougher times get, the more need there is for security. Train today for that high paying assignment tomorrow and count yourself lucky that you are in a field that is as about recession-proof as can be found.