1. The last two years have challenged the status quo in a number of industries across the globe. How has the provision of executive protection services in the US been impacted recently?
Executive protection services in the US have definitely faced a new era, especially with the incorporation of safety mandates and vaccination compliance for travel depending on the jurisdiction. Just as an advance team, surveillance, and retention of updated documents, (i.e. passports), are still very important, many US entities are requiring vaccination and proof of such before entering certain areas and establishments depending on the prinicpal(s’) agenda.
Furthermore, executive protection teams have an increase in strenuous compliance with regards to proof of vaccination.
2. Sadly, it seems that trust in the police and confidence in leadership is at an all-time low. Would you say that this influences or changes the threat landscape in the United States?
Any entity or employee of that entity who has the power to restrict movements or take away one’s freedom will face negativity. Law enforcement in the United States has indeed suffered a tarnished reputation due to the poor and unethical choices of those who are a disgrace to the uniform.
However, this MUST NOT be the overall vision of the men and women who put their lives on the line daily to serve and protect. Influential leadership in law enforcement and a no-tolerance system are critical to gaining back some of the trust that communities once had for their local law enforcement.
3. Statistically, violent crime levels are rising, with murder rising by 30 percent in 2020 compared to the year before. Are we likely to see growth in the security industry and the demand for executive protection services in the US?
Absolutely. The security sector has/will see an increase in security opportunities, especially the private sector. People are scared: and combined with a global pandemic and increase in violent criminal activity, such as murder, is a catalyst for people wanting to be safe.
Executive protection, specifically with the C-Suite principal(s), is starting to ease out of virtual meetings and make more public appearances. COVID-19 has put a freeze on most variables in American society, (and around the world). However, as the adage goes: “Crime does not take a holiday.”
4. Considering these turbulent times as well as evolving technologies and a changing work culture, which service, in particular, is likely to be in higher demand in the following period?
Society was inevitably headed for a virtual platform in the near future. COVID-19 merely accelerated this process. Information Security has and will continue to see an increase for IT Security positions.
Cyber-aggressors are not dormant, they are sharks just waiting to pounce in a sea already filled with vulnerability. Just as new cyber security techniques and mitigation efforts are being developed, cyber-aggressors are trailing closely.
5. In terms of local expertise, what sets apart EP companies from the US from their counterparts in Europe or Asia? Is it a matter of culture or methodology?
Executive protection details are as diverse as the requirements of those being protected. Close protection companies in the United States are starting to phase out to offer more boutique security services.
For example, a private security provider who staffs security officers, physical security solutions, and now safety compliance officers, currently have or have added an executive protection component to the organization. Proprietary/in-house security teams are starting to phase out due to high costs and benefits payments, and starting to lean in the direction of security contractors, which merit lower costs.
Furthermore, and especially with virtual footprints in different organizations across the globe, geographic counterparts have turned into competitive partnerships. Culture and methodology have become married in executive protection because as business and opportunity grows, so do expanding markets to leave both local and global footprints.