What is Executive Protection and how does it differ from hiring a bodyguard? What you need to know before hiring an executive protection specialist.
What is Executive Protection – What You Need to Know – ESS
There is a difference between bodyguards and executive protection strategies.
Executive protection (EP), also known as close protection, refers to security measures taken to ensure the safety of VIPs. celebrities, executives or other individuals who may be exposed to elevated personal risk because of their employment, celebrity status, wealth, associations or geographical location.
Executive protection is its own highly specialized field within the private security industry, and was started by the US Secret Service back in the 1970’s while protecting foreign dignitaries.
What is Executive Protection and how does it differ from hiring a bodyguard?
What is Executive Protection and how important is it? Unfortunately, all it takes is a very bad event to answer that question. And that is primarily where executive protection varies from hiring a bodyguard. While having a bodyguard with an NFL physique open your limo door looks imposing, executive protection requires risk assessment, advance work and lot’s of legwork to insure all goes according to plan.
What is Executive Protection? Mitigating Risk
The assessment of risk probability for any VIP is affected by a number of details. While some truly are industry secrets, there are 3 probabilities we can discuss here, that a typical “bodyguard” would never be trained on.
Specific threats to the principal and his/her family from “persons of interest” need to be perceived and analyzed to keep the principals safe now and in the future. It should be no surprise that those who pose the biggest threats are rarely those who end up making direct threats. This mean that assessing risk entails more than recording actual threats. It should also encompass proactive intelligence to identify both probable and possible threats from persons and groups of interest.
For some reason, crime, terrorism, kidnapping and traffic risks are perceived to be greater in certain cities or countries. A jeweler traveling to Caracas is perceived to be at greater risk than traveling to Chicago. Perhaps, but risk is everywhere. And while we are on the topic of travel, do you know the greatest single risk in travel? Getting seriously hurt in a road accident while driving a car. Secure transportation is a very important component of executive protection.
The third key indicator of risk probability is prominence. The more well known the principal is, the more likely they are to be approached by “persons of interest”. These interactions can range from slight to enormous invasions of privacy. They can be largely innocuous, or incredibly hostile. For celebrities, it can be over zealous fans. For other industries, say politicians, oil executives, religious speakers and other polarizing individuals, the risk of threat is higher.
Executive Protection and Bodyguards are Night and Day
Most bodyguards wonder “What is Executive Protection?” Why? Most bodyguards have never heard such words as Threat Assessment, Advance Tactics, Route Reconnaissance, Embus and Debus plans, Area Surveillance, Movement Safety, etc. These guys usually show up on the day of an event/gig and depend on physical deterrence. The problem with that is, there is usually someone in the crowd that no matter how big you are, they will still try something foolish. Many times purposely, in an effort to get your hands on them and then collect a payday in the form of a lawsuit or out of court settlement/payoff.
In the protection industry, there is no “license”, no testing, and no boards in most states. Executive Protection is usually lumped into the same category as Security Guards or Private Investigation and has little to do with either. Yet we see training to earn your “certified protection specialist credentials” advertised online. Unfortunately, nobody is regulating these schools, training centers and trainers. Meaning, nobody regulates or monitors what is taught and who is teaching it. Anybody off the street could be teaching you false and/or misleading information and you are paying for it. So your “protection credentials” at the end of the day is a piece of paper from the trainer and nothing more.
We Hire From Our Own School
This is exactly where ESS Global Executive Protection School differs. We are licensed and our curriculum and instructors are all regulated and monitored by the D.O.E. And, only a few elite schools are D.O.E. approved and certified for executive protection. ESS has the only Executive Protection School in Florida, that is certified and approved by the D.O.E.
What You Need to Know About Executive Protection
Executive Protection Specialists that are responsible for the safety and security of VIPs, corporate executives, politicians, celebrities and others are facing new challenges. These challenges are created by a shift in how these principals are viewed by society at large. Now, in the age of social media, VIPs can face near instant criticism and scorn for what others may deem a controversial position or statement, and in mere minutes, that criticism can reach hundreds of thousands of people. With a negative message getting vaulted into cyberspace, a principal can be confronted with a serious risk from lone activists and fringe groups who are determined to use extreme means to make an example of corporations, political beliefs, or celebrities which they suddenly perceive in a negative light.
Executive Protection – It’s All in the Assessment
The first step in hiring an Executive Protection Firm is a Risk Assessment. This assessment process gauges the Threat/Vulnerability/Risk issues, factoring in such priorities as the type of industry that the principal is in, the notoriety, and the opposition groups/people they may encounter. This is a time-intensive and in-depth process that should be managed by a professional with experience in VIP risk assessment. Very often, an outside consultation firm like ESS Global Corp, is the best option for managing this process. ESS will give you an objective assessment of the most pertinent issues that your Executive Protection program will need to focus on.
Once the assessment phase is complete a program outline is then developed based on the threats/vulnerabilities/risks that were identified. This program outline will address the identified issues through a spectrum of risk mitigation strategies intended to be cost-effective and proactively efficient. Although every situation is unique, there are mitigation strategies that are common to most all of them, such as the use of trained security drivers, protective intelligence gathering/analysis, embus and debus procedures, plans for public and private events, surveillance detection programs, and executive protection. These mitigation strategies require an understanding of the implications that come with them.
Good protective work is seldom seen, but always present. To learn more about ESS Global Executive Protection and VIP Protection, contact us today.
When it comes to your security and the safety of your family, never accept “security” that compromises your protection by putting you in the hands of untrained personnel. Our close protection personnel are ideal for executives, executive teams, celebrities, athletes, politicians, musicians, dignitaries, and other individuals and families that need protection for an event, a venue, travel, a meeting, or 24/7, to protect privacy, family, careers and overall safety and well-being.