JC: You and I know each other on a personal level, but for those that don’t, can you give us an insight into your background and how you broke into the private sector?
DT: All my life, I wanted to go into Law Enforcement, I wanted to be the closest thing to a superhero. possible. Sounds funny, but it’s true. I started working in loss Prevention at 19, and after graduating from the reserve police academy, I started working the night clubs, eventually leading my own team at 21. Soon after, I was introduced to Executive protection, and I thought it was something I could be successful in and decided to jump into the industry with both feet.
With that said, I still have every intention to work in Law Enforcement as a reserve police officer.
JC: You’ve worked security in different capacities, which one is your favorite and what would you recommend for those new to private security?
DT: Nightclubs. I believe everyone should spend at least a year working the clubs on the weekends. You will develop your self-awareness, situational awareness, verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and overall confidence. It’s controlled chaos. The perfect training ground.
JC: If you could retrace your footsteps, what would you change or do differently?
DT: That’s a difficult question because we really put all our energy into that operation to make it the best we possibly could. But if I could change one thing, I would have tried to do more to de-escalate some of our tougher incidents. We did what we could, but there was room for improvement.
JC: The private security sector has many options for one to grow, Executive Protection being the most popular goal. Which area would you like to specialize in?
DT: Right now, I have a huge passion for training and instructing others in self-defense, situational awareness, de-escalation, and overall safety. As I grow in this business over time, I would like to travel and train various security teams that directly impact public safety. Whether it be hospital security teams, mall security, city safety ambassadors, houses of worship safety teams, nightlife, etc.
I want to give them the tools to effectively execute their jobs with confidence which in return will hopefully bring confidence to their clients and patrons, making the environment a hard target and a safer place overall.
JC: Who are some mentors that have helped you in your career thus far?
DT: I’ve got so many that have helped me. Eric Parker invited me to train with him for FREE, and now I’m a proud graduate of Select International and a member of the Select Few. Adam Jarrell has been like an older brother, mentoring me in different aspects of this business. Brian Leek of FAM International funded registration and hotel room for the IPSB Close Protection Conference, and in my short time of having a relationship with Elijah Shaw, he’s given me a tremendous amount of his time and energy advising me on branding, marketing, and entrepreneurship. The list goes on and on with the individuals who have helped me grow in this business, all I can say is that I am truly blessed.
JC: Continuing education is important in this industry because it allows one to grow, whether it be mentally or physically, constantly. What are some continuing education courses you would recommend?
DT: That would all depend on the niche you’d like to enter. I attended a training course on advanced threat assessments and workplace violence that I found a lot of value in.
It’s also not a bad idea to seek a college education if your finances allow it. I learned a lot in the courses leading to my Associate’s degree, I look forward to learning a lot more in my courses to obtain my bachelor’s degree in Security management.
JC: What are some vital books that have increased your knowledge and overall abilities when it comes to this industry in particular?
DT: The books I found a lot of value in that contributed to my growth in this business, were actually not industry-related books. Those books are :
- Think and Grow Rich
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Extreme Ownership
- The 48 Laws of Power
These books helped me develop as a man, and that trickled over into my professional life and gave me a bigger return than I ever expected. Everyone should do themselves a favor and read all of these books. You’ll be glad you did.
JC: Doing this type of work requires some level of physical fitness, I know you currently hold a 2nd-degree black belt rating in Hapikdo. What martial arts would you recommend to someone who needs to be physically fit while at the same time obtaining some self-defense knowledge?
DT: I have a very long answer for that. But I’ll give you the short version.
Pick a system that has a good focus on street-applicable techniques that also affords you the opportunity to spar and compete. That can be both traditional styles or modern. Do not buy into the whole “these moves are too deadly for sparring ” thing. Go out and compete and know what it’s like to get hit by someone who trained just as hard as you and wants to win. It will level you up in more ways than one. The martial arts are just as much about mindset as they are physical techniques, try to pick a school that upholds those traditional martial arts values.
JC: You currently started up your business and are offering a variety of classes, What inspired you to start your own business?
DT: My father and brother are both entrepreneurs, so they have been huge inspirations to me. I’ve always liked the idea of building something that I can leave for my children and the generations to come. I also like the grind of working to obtain the income goals I’ve set for myself. Entrepreneurship is hard, but I think it’s the real American dream.
JC: Thank you for sharing with our community of protectors, Devon, so many valuable gems.
Foot Steps Episode 3 Devon Taitt
By: Jose Casillas
Jose Casillas is a Los Angles-based Executive Protection Agent specializing in red carpet events, movie premiers & estate security. He teaches martial arts and works as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).