Executive Protection or Bodyguard. It’s a question that floats around here often. Are we a bodyguard school or an executive protection school?
Executive Protection or Bodyguard?
Well, according to the Department of Education, we are a “Protection School” so that seems to place us in executive protection. But if you ask the CEO of ESS Global Corp, Theo Billiris, it is only a question in the student’s mind.
“In our industry, that is, as it relates to the true professionals, we never call ourselves bodyguards. Reason being, is that bodyguard usually brings to mind the stereotype of the big muscle guy that has almost no brain power. These are also the same individuals that have little, or in most cases, no training. These are the guys that usually become a liability to their clients and cause them harm rather than prevent it.”
“But when we advertise training, we need to mention “bodyguard” because most people don’t know the term “Executive Protection” nor do they realize that true professionals actually exsist.”
Mr. Billiris believes the training provides the best definition.
“Most bodyguards never heard such words as Threat Assessment, Advance Work, 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. A lot of times, purposely, in an effort to get you to go hands on with them and then collect a pay day in the form of a lawsuit or out of court settlement/payoff. Just ask Justin Bieber.”
Then of course, how do others view the difference between executive protection and bodyguards?
“Security Professionals who want to bolster their résumé with a certification from a school that meets a standard acceptable to the government (D.O.E.) and to the corporate world and has a reputation in the security industry should call us. We are the only protection school in the state of Florida that is approved by the US Department of Education and only one of a handful in the entire country. So that stands out in a resume.”
What is the biggest problem in the protection training industry?
“What’s frustrating is that if you go to court, your attorney passed the bar. A standardized test. Same if you have open heart surgery. They passed the boards. These people are licensed. 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, online we see training to earn your “certified protection specialist credentials” and they are in “high demand”. Unfortunately, nobody is regulating these schools or training centers. Meaning, nobody regulates or monitors what is taught and who is teaching it. Anybody off the street could be teaching you false information and you are paying for it. So a “protection credential” is a piece of paper from the trainer and nothing more. This is 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. Having a government certified protection school on your resume is a big plus, and a great way to get started.”
So whether you call it executive protection or bodyguard training or even close protection…If you are serious about the Executive Protection Industry, choose a serious school that is licensed and approved by the D.O.E. for protection training. ESS Global Corp. Classes are held in the corporate office in Tampa, as well as Orlando, Detroit, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other locations on an as needed basis.