These days if you travel internationally or work in emerging markets, you are running the risk of being arrested for some reason. Criminals are not the only ones who can end up in handcuffs! It may come as a shock to some people, but many police forces are corrupt. And this is not just in the emerging markets.
The realities of working as a bodyguard in Mexico are quite different, it’s definitely a lot more dangerous and a lot less glamorous than Hollywood would have you believe.
Mexico is a very high-risk environment that most people know very little about other than what they see in the movies or what is scantily reported in the media. There is very little factual media coverage of what’s going on in Mexico as journalists that report unfavorably about the Narcos, and others tend not to live very long.
There are many misconceptions about close protection and private security operations in Mexico. As usual, most of the myths originate from Hollywood movies and fictional T.V. dramas. The realities of working as a bodyguard in Mexico are quite different, it’s definitely a lot more dangerous and a lot less glamorous than Hollywood would have you believe.
We cast our eye over the main stories impacting the security industry. Here’s what’s appeared on the radar since the last issue.
These days many shooters and those in the armed security business shy away from revolvers. I have heard quite a few people brush them off as being old-fashioned, obviously not tacticool enough to post on their social media. But in the real world of protection, there are a lot of revolvers in use for personal self-defense and security duties.
If you are a security professional with significant high-threat worldwide protective services experience, you know that depending on the client, it may not be a matter of if your client or a family member is kidnapped, but when. You also understand that it is likely that you may not even be directly providing protection for the client at the time it happens and unable to prevent it, especially when they are alone and most vulnerable.
It seemed the whole city had turned out to catch a glimpse of Mr. Nixon. The plan was to drive to the ramp of Air Force One, put the president into the car and drive from the airport to the city. The motorcade was all aligned according to standard protocol; police lead motorcycles and escort, a lead car with police and the advance agent, the new presidential limousine, Secret Service follow-up with agents and a doctor; White House staff in appropriate cars, the traveling press, a tail car and tail police car. Everything was in preplanned order, What could go wrong?
My transition was a tricky one. Coming from a field where we are trained to address crime once it happens, mentally it leaves you in response mode. EP is very proactive, as such, we must anticipate what could happen and work to mitigate that. Also, as an Law Enforcement Officer, you have control over almost every situation that you’re in. The law gives you that authority and that luxury. In Executive Protection, not so much. So there’s another shift in mindset that one must have. As an EP professional you don’t have the same authority that LEO’s have, so you can’t bark out commands, stop traffic, block public access, etc., as such, the transition was tricky. The best way I can describe it is, not difficult but also, not “easy,” so to speak.
By now many of you have seen the recent photo of the Dallas shooter outside of the Federal Building. Ask yourself if this was your Office, School, or House of Worship how prepared would your company or institution be to recognize the signs of trouble as those Federal Officers did and deny access and ultimately defeat the shooter?
Did you know: Historically, street crime increases, proportionately, with population growth? Crime in England is accelerating, and according to police figures, the London murder rate has now surpassed that of New York for the first time in modern history. Not only does this place the general public at risk but arguably, it exposes the front-line security operator to even greater danger.
Handguns are meant for close-quarter shooting. Think about it; if someone is going to attack, kidnap or rob you on the street, they are going to be close, within conversational range. Now, look around your home or business and see what the maximum distance is that you would have a clear shot at a criminal or terrorist, for most this will be less than 10 yards/meters. This places emphasis on close quarter instinctive shooting over precision target shooting. As part of your training practice for long distance shoots (for handguns, this means over 25 yards), you should try hitting targets out to and over 100 yards. This will improve your handgun skills and show you your capabilities and limitations, but the emphasis should be on close quarter instinctive shooting.
If you’ve spent enough time around executive protection professionals, you’re no doubt familiar with the concept of creating a bubble around a protectee. It seems simple enough, right? Create the protocols, vet those with which the protectee interacts, and stringently direct the protectee’s activities without deviation.
In reality, of course, creating a safe environment for those elected officials, business leaders and celebrities who require protection by statute, board decree, or simply because they attract unwanted attention is an enormously challenging task that requires tremendous flexibility and innovation from those responsible. Let’s be honest — while many people who require such protection for their own safety understand and appreciate the necessity, they, including some past and current U.S. Presidents, are not always cooperative when faced with security limitations.
Not because there is less work out there, in fact, the opposite is probably true. With global threat levels at an all-time high, there is more work in the security industry now than there ever has been and the security industry is booming, but it’s harder to find work because there are now thousands more so-called ‘qualified’ CPOs chasing after every position. It is a fact that most licensed operators have never actually done a day’s close protection work in their lives. At the time of writing this article, there are over 14,000 valid, UK, CP licences. Yes, over fourteen thousand people in the UK currently have a license to operate as a Close Protection Officer.
“The training is necessary because of the world we live in and the kinds of issues our students face,’’ said Wilson, who travels around the entire county to help students. “We deal with emotional, physical and psychological trauma. You’re always wondering if it’s going to be you or your school next.”
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As security professionals, we must not allow ourselves to be caught up in either politics or hysteria. Our approach must reflect what we have been trained to do: dispassionately apply sound security principles to this security threat.
After every such event, the blame begins. Some blame the National Rifle Association (NRA), gun owners in general, and Donald Trump in particular, and call for banning firearms, or at least banning AR-15-type rifles. Others blame video games, violent movies, the culture, or the Kardashians. And the political games continue.
Over 30 years ago, when I left a failing white-Collar industry in a failing economy in Texas, I did what many in my predicament did. I entered the contract security industry at near minimum wage. What I did that many others did not, was survive in the industry long enough to out earn annually what I was earning in my previous profession.
An estimated 5.9 million CCTV cameras were in operation throughout the UK in 2016, making the British public one of the most surveilled in the world. Only Beijing has more CCTV cameras than London, where the average person will be recorded on camera 300 times in one day.
Global Risk RoundUp – Feb 2020
Our Global Risk partners, Drum Cussac, provide in-depth analysis of global risks via in-house experts, cutting edge technology and through a comprehensive global source network. Here is your summary of the incidents you need to know about from the last 30 days.
First, I prefer placing female CPO’s with female clients or their children for the client’s comfort or peace of mind. Some males are easily suited to this task but the client may simply think that a male does not belong in constant close proximity and occasionally in isolated private settings with the kids or a client’s wife. This can be equally true with female CPO’s and male clients but the concern of inappropriate behavior with the children dissolves when a female is placed with them. Remember, it’s always up to the client.