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.

Similarities between colleges and executive protection training academies

Former New York Giant and Washington Redskin footballer, LaVar Arrington was discussing the benfits of attending a reputable college on his afternoon talk radio show today.

LaVar rightfully pointed out the importance of attending a college with a strong reputation in the field you wish to pursue. He used the example of engineering. If you wish to get a good job as an engineer after graduating from college, you need to consider attending a college which is regarded as one of the top engineering schools in the country.

He also spoke about the importance of networking. Students should be focusing on networking whilst in college to further their chances of landing a job as soon as they come out. As he remarked; if you haven’t lined a job up, then you are competing with everyone else looking for a job.

See the similarities with E.P.? Sure you can go to a school for $900 and get a piece of paper showing that you took training, but who is going to recognize that little school outside of the people who live in that village?

Just like the employer who is looking to hire an engineering graduate who has gone to an ivy league school, or a private institution whose credentails are above reproach, reputable companies who hire E.P. Agents want to know that they were trained to the highest degree.

We get contacted by people who say they are bodyguards, based on the fact that they went to a neighbor’s school. If I have time to play around, I’ll ask them which is their favorite book by Gavin de Becker. The blank stare looking back at me or the silence on the other end of the phone line tells me what I already thought. They did not get proper training, but because they paid so little, they think they got a bargain.

Do your research carefully. Weigh up your options as though you were chosing a college which would prepare you for a life-long career. Ask around the industry. Contact the school and see how helpful they are to you. If they keep asking you to send money, but can’t tell you what they are teaching or the background of the instructors – keep looking.

You will see that I wrote; “instructors” plural. Be suspicious of any person who teaches the whole course themselves. They are doing this becasue they want to save money and are more concerned about what is in it for them rather than how well they can train you.

On the other hand, they may just be egomaniacs. Do your due diligence. Try to find people who actually went through the training. They’ll usually be the best judges.

Teen bomb maker stopped in his tracks in South Carolina.

The parents of Ryan Schallenberger undoubtedly saved a lot of lives when they turned in their son as a potential bomber. Authorities said he had all the components he needed to make several deadly bombs.

Ryan Schallenberger had used E-Bay to order 20lbs of ammonium nitrate from a supplier in Kentucky. The teen has been described as being “mad at the whole world”. In a search of the family home, Law Enforcement officers discovered hate filled writings in which he praised the Columbine killers.

Having just returned from a Threat Assessment workshop at UCLA put on by Gavin De Becker Associates, I was able to identify many of the same characteristics that we looked at when examining other teenage killers who have wreaked havoc in schools across the U.S. Teens like this tend to have a “chip on their shoulder” and feel like they need to cause grave damage in order to “get even” or “teach people a lesson”. Unfortunately, the “copy cat” phenomenon is a common denominator and these troubled teens seem to look up to those who have killed previously.

We all have a part to play in keeping schools safe. More parents need to emulate the Schallenbergers, who were willing to turn their own son in, knowing that he will most likely be locked away for a very long time thereby ensuring the safety of others. Class mates who hear rumors need to alert guidance counsellors and teachers and not be so quick to dismiss their fears and concerns. We need to get rid of any feelings that might suggest:”this could never happen at our school”.

It is a sad fact that this terrible trend looks set to continue and violent behavior is capable of happening in any school where adequate security precautions are not taken. Whether it is from television, video games, broken homes or any other contributing factor, our youth are being exposed to higher and more toxic levels of violence every day. Perhaps we can do a better job at home and help to nip this evil trend in the bud before our classrooms begin to resemble battlefields.