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.”
About Drum Cussac, a GardaWorld company
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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.