Providing close protection services is a very complex and demanding profession. We all know that all-important statesmen and celebrities always walk around with their bodyguards, but not many people know what close protection services exactly entail.
It`s so much more than being tall, strong, and keeping close to your client every time they go out. So, if you thought that was all there was to it, keep reading on and get ready for few surprises.
Here`s everything you need to know about close protection.
What Does Close Protection Service Entail?
It`s important to know what you can expect when hiring a close protection officer.
These professionals have a lot of responsibilities. Their main role is to provide protection to their clients in case of:
- physical attacks,
- any form of harassment,
- unwanted attention, and,
- other endangering scenarios
As the word bodyguard implies-itself, close protection officers act as human shields, while securing their client to remain untouched when something goes wrong.
These activities are just a small part of a close protection operative`s job.
Their responsibilities start even before the client arrives at a certain location or event. They need to be on the spot several hours earlier to make sure everything is safe: and they need to be aware of any potential threats.
Close protection officers also have to secure the location and make sure all the exits are available and clear. This is a way to get familiar with the space or the building, which allows these professionals to act quickly and provide adequate protection to their clients in case of an emergency.
The most commonly known element of bodyguard`s job is to shadow of their clients. That`s what the public can sees – and it`s also the reason why so many people think that that`s all they do.
Providing protection and 24-hour surveillance is the main, but not the only part of their job.
Not only do they have to secure the place before the client arrives, but their role continues even after the client`s public appearance is over. Operatives have to plan the safest route for arrivals as well as departures. The planning process happens well ahead of the scheduled outing, trip or appearance.
In other words, these professionals need to be ready for every potential scenario, at any given moment.
Who Needs Close Protection Services?
Another widely spread, but not quite true popular opinion is that only movie stars, famous singers, and performers use or need this type of protection services. Even though celebrities truly make up the majority of the clients, bodyguards protect people from a myriad of industries.
Statesman, lawyers, government ministers, famous journalists, influencers are just some of the people who hire bodyguards to ensure their safety. Close protection is an essential part of basic security procedures when it comes to diplomats and politicians, members of royal families, judges and even, in some cases members of a jury, depending on circumstances.
Every person who attracts a lot of public attention, who shares a lot of personal information online, or is famous for any reason is the perfect candidate for close protection services. Even people that are not in the public’s eye can also be in danger. For instance, people in witness protection programs put their personal safety at risk. Also, quite a few extremely affluent people feel exposed and vulnerable, and are more at ease with bodyguards around.
Of course, this is not a definitive list and people from other walks of life also utilize close protection services. The situation becomes even more complex when members of the client`s family enter the calculation.
In some cases, a client’s family member can be at even greater risk than the client and become the main target. Attackers usually come for them because they believe that will provide more pain to the client or use their family as leverage. The person they actually want to harm can feel more threatened when someone close to them is attacked.
See how close protection operatives have a lot on their plate?
It doesn`t come as surprise why they are regarded as a family after working for some time with the same client. The profession requires them to know their client very well, but also the habits and movement of their family members.
What does it take to become a close protection operative?
It`s very clear that not everyone can become a close protection operative.
It takes a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge, experience, intelligence and readiness to improve on a daily basis. These professionals need to attend a large number of initial and on-going trainings to make sure they can maintain operational standards.
First, they need to go through mental and physical special protection training in order to get a license. License is required in every serious security company that hires professionals. That means they need to know how to properly use their equipment and what their responsibilities are. Also, they need to learn a certain way of thinking which allows them to provide professional and competent service.
When working with important and famous clients, close protection specialists have to be highly trained because of even larger responsibility they have.
Often, these security services don`t include just one operative. Mostly, the client needs a team of several officers.
This means that they are also trained to operate as a team, a unit whose goals is to secure their client’s safety. When working in a team, all operatives need to act according to their specific roles. This allows them to use their full potential and ensure service at the highest level.
Continuous learning and the constant improvement of one’s skills allows close protection officers to keep track with newly emerging forms of risks and new threats.
To sum up, close protection is a very old profession, but one that is constantly evolving.
Therefore, all the operatives who provide close protection services have to be ready for new challenges. Close protection is about the need to always be aware of your surroundings and detect even the slightest changes.
So, that is why it’s wrong to think of these security specialists simply as muscle. The close protection industry requires a lot more than physical appearance and large frame is not all that it takes.