Over the years, the executive protection gear list has only become longer. Thus, the rapid accumulation provides little reason to support the claim that the security professional’s toolkit will reduce in volume any time soon.
So, what can you do about it?
First off, most industry connoisseurs are well aware that no agent can or even should use all the executive protection gear all the time. That is why we want to distill them and focus on the necessary. Thus, we will investigate the best tools for proficient and up-and-coming practitioners alike.
This article draws on the experience and knowledge of some of our industry’s most well-informed specialists to explain how they go about this ever-evolving subject!
In fact, we have asked them the following three questions to get a better sense of where they stand:
- What are your favorites from your executive protection gear list, and why?
- How often do you use this equipment, and in which situations?
- Brand-wise, which recommendations would you give to the undecided regarding EP tools?
Let’s get into it!
Caleb Gilbert, Director of Security
On the road to building a successful EP program, we often look at the traditional tools of the trade that have survived the test of time. We are often preoccupied with the guns, guards, gates, and the gear we carry on our persons (and in our vehicles) and focus less on tools that can enhance our effectiveness as EP practitioners.
We are often tasked with managing various projects within the EP sphere. But, it can be easy to overlook simple project management tools when developing our favorite tools of the trade. However, a quick internet search can produce a valuable list of project management tools than can be an invaluable force multiplier… if implemented.
Not all project management tools are salient to the needs of the EP practitioner, but all successful EP practitioners should be able to develop and maintain competence in managing projects.
Not everyone in EP needs formal project management training. Yet, developing the ability to successfully navigate the inevitable real-world curveballs can be significantly enhanced by using project management software, project management techniques, and simply developing the mindset of a project manager when presented with the inevitable curveballs.
Byron Rodgers, CEO at Bravo Research Group
The creator of the Executive Protection Lifestyle brand, Byron Rodgers, addressed EP Wired readers through a short five-minute video jam-packed with actionable advice on his executive protection gear list. Check it out:
Daniel Weil, CEO at SCS – Security Crisis Solutions
For EPAs, I recommend using a smartwatch to reduce the number of times you take your phone out.
First, a phone creates disturbance from the primary task (securing the principal and staying alert to his/her surrounding). Secondly, it doesn’t look professional from the principal’s perspective when seeing his protector with his head on his cellphone the whole day. (The principal doesn’t necessarily understand that the EPA may be doing it for things related to the task.)
As for brands, I would recommend the Garmin brand. I use their smartwatch for every task. In fact, I saw people using smartwatches on the one hand and tactical/regular watches on the other.
A portable power bank is a must, in my opinion. The last thing you want is to be unavailable because your cellphone battery is dead. A portable power bank can save you. No specific brand. Just make sure it’s a reliable company and comfortable to carry.
I always have a power bank with me. For the EP team, I recommend having it in the vehicle.
As for other items on my executive protection gear list, I recommend having a portable car jump starter, pack booster charger, and battery power bank.
That way, if something happens to the vehicle’s battery (and I saw this happen with brand new cars), you can start it without relying on another vehicle.
Make sure it’s portable and strong enough to start a minibus (or the largest vehicle you usually use).
I carry it with me to every task. I use Noco Genius, but then again, just make sure you use a reliable brand (rather than the most economical).
Christian West, EP Architect and Entrepreneur, EP Access
You always got to think everything through… and there are things like:
- What are we doing?
- Is there anything special that I need or, even more importantly, could need?
- Where are we going? Are there metal detectors? Even if it’s legal and can be carried, will it slow us down or draw attention to my clients or me?
- Is it just me, or am I part of a team, and can I bring a backpack? Computer back or, like many people do today, a sling pack or Fanny pack?
But there are a few things that I like to have all the time. And I am sure many people will mention the obvious, like a med kit or a trauma kit, so I will talk a little about the other small things I carry.
First off, Tale of Knives, a multi-tool and flashlight holder. I always try to carry a multi-tool flashlight, and what I like here is that it has a holder for car keys and a pen. And you can get it, so it’s easy to clip on and off your belt.
I usually have a sure-fire flashlight (with two levels 1. Really powerful 2. low level for more discrete stuff).
Letterman multi-tool. For me, it must have a scissor, a small Philips head screwdriver, and of course, pliers. The key holder, car key, or the extra car key should go without explanation. If possible, get the one that holds a sharpie. So you always have one to mark hotel keys, etc.
As for other executive protection gear, always carry a “hotel door lock.” I have been carrying this for a long time, and it’s more than securing the hotel door at night. If you need to block an entrance to the venue, or if you have to hide a principal, etc. We even use them as part of the tool that we have in our active shooter preparedness gear! (If the last option is to hide somewhere, I like that I can secure the door without standing and holding it.)
The last thing is a homemade small “coveines kit” that includes single bandages, tissues, tide cleaning sticks, mints, and safety pins.
Of course, we always have med kits and trauma kits, etc. But a small kit with badges and over-the-counter medications packed in singles or tows does wonders. You can go as crazy as you want with this. But believe me, if you are with the principal and they ask: “Hi, do you have Zyrtec or Ibuprofen, etc.” and you do… you get a lot of brownies points.
We hope this article dug deep into what some of the most prominent industry specialists have to say about their executive protection gear list.
To wrap it up, we present you with a few takeaways:
- Use smartwatches instead of checking your phone,
- Bring portable power banks and a jump starter,
- Make use of the numerous project management tools out there,
- Be aware that traditional means of the trade won’t cut it,
- Curate what you bring with yourself depending on the detail,
- Dress casually and inconspicuously if the team leader doesn’t say otherwise,
- Get a multi-tool and flashlight holder, and
- Don’t forget to bring a hotel door lock.
We know that there is plenty more executive protection gear that one can use during a detail. That’s why we rely on you to tell us more, dear EP Wired readers.
Please let us know in the comments about your favorite tools of the trade!