Legal Testimony & the Close Protection Agent
You are a well- trained, and well educated Protection Agent. You have gone through extensive training, and done everything you can to prepare yourself to be successful in the profession; you are ready for anything that comes your way. With the education, training, and strong work ethic you now possess there is nothing you can’t handle. But what happens when you suddenly find yourself sitting on the witness stand in a court of law testifying in front of a jury?
The protection business is all about preparation. We conduct endless hours of advance work, checking every detail; anticipating all possible threats to the safety and well-being of our client. We check and re-check; we adapt and overcome obstacles. With the precise attention to detail, any agent should be able to handle a simple day in court, right? Although it can be one of the most significant events that we encounter in our careers, many agents are not as prepared as they should be. The good news is that by doing a little “advance” work you can prepare to be your best in court. With your reputation, and possibly your client’s reputation at stake, it only makes sense to be prepared. Just like the advance, there is preparation work that can be done before you ever get a subpoena.
One great “advance” technique is through making positive connections within the criminal justice community. You can build credibility by reaching out to those in the local law enforcement and criminal justice system. Let them experience that you are a professional with a high level of credibility along with sound ethics and judgment. A positive relationship with these systems can benefit you when you find yourself in the courtroom. Joe DeMuro, Managing Member and Lead Instructor/Developer for DeMuro Enterprises, LLC, a very successful and sought after company that provides a variety of training to Police and Security professionals says,
“A Protection Agent needs to develop a professional persona in all interactions with any representative of the Criminal Justice system (Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, the Judiciary, and the Defense). I feel it’s important that those involved in any non-Law Enforcement protective or investigative field have a good reputation among those who may be testifying at some point to either support or critique the work they were doing.”
Your reputation and credibility are everything in the Protection industry. Do not forget that many people, including those in law enforcement and the criminal justice system, may have limited experience with the Protection Industry. Their perception may be the Hollywood version; agents are portrayed as uneducated, and often unethical, hulking buffoons, no different than a guard dog that will attack anyone who gets too close. In fact, the opposite is true. Agents today must be well-educated and highly trained professionals with the ability to interact and operate in any social and business setting; whose ethics are second to none. As Protection Agents we must make every effort to portray the correct image to not only those we protect, but especially to those in the criminal justice system that we will ultimately interact with.
Here are some tips that have served me well over the past twenty years. Let’s begin with the first impression. When you dress for the courtroom, dress conservatively; in appropriate business attire similar to a job interview. You will be observed and assessed constantly while in the courtroom. Also make sure that your shoes are polished, hair is cut, and nails trimmed. Avoid flashy colors, and keep the jewelry display minimal. Remember to think from head to toe! You will be more believable and appear professional when you are conservatively dressed. Do not forget that you could be getting sized-up by the other side while you are waiting for the hearing to begin. Make sure you are calm, cool, and collected at all times!
 DeMuro Enterprises, LLC Law Enforcement Training for Knowledge and Performance http://www.demurotraining.com/index.html