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 ‘tactical culture’ had flourished over the last few years, mainly due to the proliferation of video cameras and increasing engagement with social media platforms, which I believe is causing the lines between reality and the ‘tacticool’ entertainment world to become very, very blurred…
It takes very little these days to be a part of the tactical sub-culture that is trending, here’s how to do it. Simply, purchase a gun, where legal, get your hands on some tactical clothing, buy a bunch of ‘black op’ accessories, plug into ‘Soldier of Fortune’ social-media channels and perhaps even take some no-fail tactical training courses, then after a few months, hey presto, you’re an expert! Whereas, in the good old days, the only option, if you wanted this lifestyle, was to join the military – preferably the Infantry!
Who, when initially looking for a close protection course, tried to find the cheapest course and quickest route possible to your badge? Who researched their training provider and checked out all the credentials and qualifications of their instructors?
Who doesn’t intend to do any other training until they find at least some work to pay back their initial training costs? Who, reading this, has attended an ‘accredited’ training course but has actually never yet done a day’s work as a designated protection officer? I could go on, but well… you get the picture!
Signal uses phone numbers to identify contacts, however encrypted messages and calls use a data connection with a secure tunnel between participants. Intervening servers or infrastructure do not have access to the encryption keys, and so cannot realistically eavesdrop on any communications even if compromised. On Android Signal can be set up to replace your default text message client, and will handle unencrypted SMS messages as well.
“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.”
Since I am often employed as the agent in charge (AIC), you generally are assigned to the principal and the duties don’t lend themselves to be the K9 handler. You have a choice, either work the principal of work the K9, but rarely can you do both. However, that doesn’t mean there is not considerable opportunities for K9s and handlers in protective services.
Typically, these dogs fall into one or two categories. There are dogs that are single-purpose dogs, meaning they have one task they perform. While others are dual-purpose, meaning they are trained to perform a variety of tasks. The three biggest categories that they fall into are Apprehension, Detection and Search & Rescue.
With the majority of people now living and working in built up, artificial environments, it is now even more prevalent to proactively seek out opportunities to maximise time in natural surroundings and include adventurous activity frequently. As security professionals we can be away for long periods and do less than favourable hours; having an outlet that allows us to disconnect and recharge our batteries is absolutely essential. Analyse your own unique situation, look to log a typical week and note down the hours you are inside at work and separately in your own time, log the time you spend exercising (at whatever intensity, a walk to the shops is included) and finally the time spent doing adventurous activities outside of a gym environment. The results will highlight where you can make positive changes or confirm a good indoor/outdoor balance.
Catchphrases are good to identify an action; they’re not good in obtaining the Skill of that action. The foundation of the proverbial “head on a swivel” is Situational Awareness.
And just like Head on a swivel, “situational awareness” is a widely used phrase but not a widely understood Skill. It takes time for one to master and understand two phrases, and two actions
The struggle will be experienced by every single one of us, at differing intensities, durations and regularities; it is one of the only true guarantees in life.
I was a seventeen-year old military recruit when I was issued my first rifle. That marked the beginning of what would amount to nearly forty years of carrying firearms professionally. Twenty-three of those were in the military, including nearly twenty years with the SAS, followed by almost seventeen years of commercial security work.
Many industry practitioners understand and embrace that continuing education is a necessity in a highly competitive, rapidly evolving industry such as protective services. Yet, there is a commonly overlooked issue which leaves gaps for most. When selecting training, do you find trendy topics, or do you train to fill your gaps?
Yet, there is a commonly overlooked issue which leaves gaps for most. When selecting training, do you find trendy topics, or do you train to fill your gaps?
Protection officers worldwide who have extensive unarmed combat training will unreservedly answer this question with; “Of course!! How can a protection officer not have any self-defense or unarmed combat training! How can a protection officer not know how to physically protect?”
Developing a morning practice is crucial for starting your day with a good intention and some semblance of control in an ever-demanding world; but what should it consist of and how do you implement it?
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.
It’s the final wrap up of the last day of your Close Protection training course. It’s been a long, and at times grueling, process but ultimately rewarding on multiple levels.
Along the way you’ve met some people you have really gelled with (and a couple that you have no plans on staying in contact with once class ends.) Overall, you enjoyed the experience, feel like you have gotten your moneys worth, and can say that you have some new, “tools for the toolbox.”
Given the nature of close protection and the conditions under which operators are expected to perform, it is imperative for those providing protective services to be highly developed, multi-disciplined individuals. However, beyond the obvious technical skills reqauired to execute well-drilled procedures, modern operators are expected to display more nuanced skills such as emotional intelligence, candour, judgement and resourcefulness to list but a few. So, how can understanding our personality type help us become better in our roles as close protection operatives? To answer this, we need to have a basic understanding of the factors influencing the various personality traits.
Research by the American Psychological Association indicates that as many as 75-80 percent of Americans self-report their stress to be at moderate to high levels. Stress can come in many forms, and sometimes we may not even notice or seem bothered by it. So what constitutes stress? The normal daily routine of work or home responsibilities can cause stress, as can experiencing a sudden major life-altering event, such as losing a job, dealing with sudden loss, or a prolonged illness.
I have many happy memories as a child going to church regularly being with my friends and family. One day however sticks out in my mind above all others. On this day, a man keeled over in the pew in front of me and the havoc that ensued is still clear in my memory… Emergency.
Since there are no guarantees that you will never be involved in an emergency, this article will help you to understand some of the things necessary to properly handle, or ideally help prevent, a crisis situation in a house of worship.
The first step in countering snipers is for everyone to be aware of the threat. This is where a threat assessment needs to be compiled and the realist threats need to be identified, if potential snipers are a threat then procedures need to be put in place.
In general, operational planning for a sniper threat should always be considered to some extent. Not only should counter sniper procedures be planned for but they need to be practiced, your people need to be trained at least in the basic reactions to fire and the use of cover, preferably before they are exposed to the sniper threat.
The insider threat of crime to organisations is always present and can manifest itself in many ways. This has become more apparent because of the recent social-economic climate change within the UK.