In the context of close protection work, the use of firearms is often an all or nothing proposition. In most cases, you are either armed, or you’re not! There is a whole host of things that play into that, be it where you are, your level of certification, or the demands the client puts on you. All of that aside, I wanted to take some time and dig into the finer things, often overlooked when we talk about “strapping up.” Ammunition!
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.
Surprisingly, many people who took part in the thread commented, saying that they don’t find anything wrong with it. Some of them even named their own old clients. Others tried to justify the practice of name-dropping by saying it was a former client, or that they didn’t reveal anything personal about the client, or that they had the client’s approval to post that picture or to name the client. And finally, some said their client is already pretty well-known and paparazzi are always getting pictures of them together so why hide it? Essentially, they are good guys, and how dare we criticize people we don’t know. These were a number of the comments from individuals who either work in the security industry as operatives or own companies and hire agents to represent them.
The terms float off our tongue just as easily as “hello” or “goodbye.” They are vernacular words used to describe, discuss, or formulate plans for our primary concern: our client.
Having said that, what happens when there is more than one primary client? What happens when the “primary” becomes two, three, four, or more? What happens when your client instructs you that their two-year-old, is the primary “client” on a particular day or outing?
Well, there really isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with this approach, after all, as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The trouble is if we continue to do the same thing in the same way we’re in danger of missing opportunities to improve, and surely that’s what we all want to do, become better, more efficient and smarter at what we do.
That’s undoubtedly the maxim I’ve always tried to apply to communications. We embraced digital radio enthusiastically when it first came on the scene 15+ years ago, even though doing so was detrimental to us in the short term, it paid off in the long-run. Many saw it as ‘revolution’ rather than ‘evolution,’ but eventually, it eclipsed its analogue forbear, and those naysayers had no choice but to evolve.
What are some traits and soft skills that you have acquired from working in inner city Philadelphia that has helped you In your line of work today?
I think the number one skill I’ve learned was the ability to talk to people to get the desired outcome. In the streets, you have to have the skillset to deescalate a deadly confrontation or you have to be able to get information from an individual who never intends to speak to you. That skill does not come overnight, and there’s a lot of trial and error, but the truth of the matter is, it’s all predicated on respect for the other individual. Also, being intentional and understanding what’s at stake are major factors for success.
Recently, I was having a conversation with a fellow member of the clergy about his goal of becoming a Navy chaplain. To my shock and amazement, he told me that the Navy turned him down. When I asked ‘why,’ my friend admitted that it was because he had failed to meet the Navy’s physical fitness […]
One memorable occasion was the visit by President George W. Bush to Manila, the Philippines, in October 2003, when he on his way to Thailand, where he was to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. This visit served as a great example of how much of an asset you can be for the protective elements if you know and apply protective operations principles.
Consider this, when broken down to its most basic components, the vast majority of traditional self-defence courses only teach defensive responses to an attack once it has begun.
I am of the opinion that’s not only a bit late, it’s also certainly not enough to survive a Mass Casualty Event in these days and times. In light of that, I have found that Reality-Based Self Defence (RBSD) systems take things a bit further by teaching pre-fight tactics such as: creating safe distance; using non-aggressive body language; reading pre-fight indicators; and applying verbal de-escalation techniques. Yet all of that is still not enough to effectively survive a terrorist attack in a public space, especially if you’re with family or friends.
We cast our eye over the main stories impacting the security industry, including, Kanye West’s former bodyguard is calling the rapper a “bully” and is threatening to sue for damages after West accused him of breaking a confidentiality agreement.
It often comes as a surprise just how much is available, and the nefarious uses it can be put to. OSINT can be applied towards defensive purposes, but we will be looking only at malicious purposes. One of the biggest challenges of OSINT is not merely recognising it as a threat, but encouraging the behavioural change needed to protect against it widely enough. It is not enough simply for a principal to stop posting Instagram pictures of their travels in order to hide them – their colleagues, friends, family, and employees also need to be aware of the need to take care with information which could be misused.
From an operational perspective, CPs need to go back to fundamentals and apply the golden rules of protection planning and risk assessments to medical scenarios. For instance, from a strategy perspective, many HNW bought ventilators only to later discover that they would never be delivered due to shortage. So, it’s important to think how do we improve our planning and strategy from the outset to account for the unexpected? Scenarios and risks should be assessed as always in a well thought out threat matrix.
It was the height of British military and government involvement in the ill-fated NATO-led effort to crush the Taliban, and Kabul was inundated with people needing close protection services. From diplomats attempting to build infrastructure and civil institutions to corporate honchos sniffing out potential business opportunities, there was no shortage of clients for security firms to pitch. As my conversation with the in-country manager progressed, I broached the subject of IBGs – individual bodyguards. I told him in no uncertain terms that the idea of having an individual effectively carry out the functions of a close protection team was utter and absolute flannel. His response: “Maybe, Bob. But it brings in the dollars!”
Spend any significant amount of time providing protection for entertainers involved with stage performances, and you will likely encounter one of this segment of the industry’s biggest headaches, the stage crasher.
The motivation for these individuals comes in various forms, some are “super fans” who see getting on the stage with the celebrity as the ultimate form of expression of their loyalty and support. They often refer to it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and despite common sense, the threat of ejection, arrest, or sometimes worse, they still needed to make the attempt.
Connecting your device to the World Wide Web isn’t an issue when you’re at your place. It’s relatively safe, simple to do, and free of crowded traffic. When you leave the safety of your home to a public area, the story changes. When you connect to public Wi-Fi in different places, making certain you can still connect with people, read online news, and work remotely, are you aware of the risks?
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.
Celebrity protection is in some ways a unique market, however, in marketing, the more specific you can be, the more successful you will be in finding customers. This means that it’s helpful, sometimes necessary, to research, develop, and define a niche, carving out a select piece of a bigger industry to specialize in.
You might be forgiven for thinking that a life on the frontline is exciting, even glamorous. And on occasion, it is. But for the most part, my job is nothing of the sort. It’s dangerous, it’s far from well paid, and it’s stressful. And I mean, stressful. Nothing focuses the mind more than the sight and sound of a guerrilla army and its arsenal of fully-automatic weapons. And nothing destroys the mind more than the sight of women, children and innocent civilians lying dead or dying at one’s feet.
I want to start this article by saying that it is sad to have to write an article about the many concerns about the use of guns in church.
Whether it is from the standpoint of someone coming to cause a problem with a gun in a church or those called to protect the church from these types of situations, we are clearly talking about something new in the area of everyday church life. As I do church protection seminars in different parts of the country we cover a vast number of subjects dealing with church safety. Everything from aggressive friendliness to zero tolerance. There is always, however, one subject that people want to talk about to which I cautiously comply and that is this subject of guns and churches.