There are many effective executive protection tips and tactics that those seeking to pursue a career in security need to know. In a time when many industries are shrinking, security is one area predicted to continue to boom.
Among other things, roles in EP can be extremely varied so it serves those already working in the field to further their understanding of useful protection tips. Books, magazines, and online articles provide the most up-to-date information regarding security equipment, strategies, and technologies supporting protection agents to remain knowledgeable about changes in the profession.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the top executive protection tips for the EP professional.
1. Gather Intel
Executive protection is all about including contingencies to circumvent any harm that could befall the principal. As such, agents need to consider how attackers go about choosing their victims. Firstly, a person, i.e., the principal, is placed on a list of possible targets. After this, a feasibility study is carried out to make sure an attack is logistically possible. In other words, they use surveillance tactics.
Conversely, employing anti-surveillance strategies helps ensure a successful operation with the aim to defend the principal. Security operatives must maintain a heightened level of alertness to spot threats and plans. Hence, they minimize the risk for those carrying out anti-surveillance efforts and the client.
In this case, close protection agents will limit communication to only the information that serves the mission. That refers to the notion of confidentiality needing to be on a need-to-know basis. Similarly, keeping an accurate evidential log that details all acts of harassment, suspicious telephone calls, etc., supports in maintaining accountability.
2. Establish the Weakest Link
Contracting executive protection providers to cover 24-hour security for the principal usually includes the protectee’s private home, office, and travel. That is because a potential attacker is most likely going to look for alternative routes to ambush the client. Close family, friends, and entourage will be first on their radar.
For this reason, it’s beneficial to extend the full coverage to include the spouse and children, and other immediate family members. If anything, this will help mitigate weaknesses in the protective ring. And hopefully, decrease the number of potential attacks, as well as eliminate possible mistakes when under attack.
Considering that humans are often the weakest link in a security chain, simulating adverse scenarios that allow participants to rehearse anticipated reactions can only prove beneficial. Additionally, other executive protection tips involve utilizing red and blue teams to help eliminate mistakes and prepare employees to react more appropriately in stressful circumstances.
3. Maintain Physical and Mental Readiness
When attempting to ensure the physical protection of a person, group, or enterprise, what’s more important — brawn or brains? Regardless of what some may perceive, the executive protection industry is not filled with big, muscular meatheads blocking access while waving a weapon around.
Believe it or not, being a security professional today has little to do with sheer strength. Instead, an operative’s best weapons include their:
- Mental capacity,
- Attention to detail, and
- Situational awareness.
Furthermore, professionalism, personality, and discretion are ideal qualities that make an executive protection detail. Still, protection security is a defensive job.
So, what other executive protection tips and advice should a protection agent keep in mind? Well, maintaining both physical and mental readiness helps EP agents perform their duties at the highest level. Because protectors must focus on ensuring the client is safe and secure. And work diligently to save them from embarrassment or otherwise compromising situations.
4. Be Alert, Be Aware, Be Suspicious
Competent operatives think through every single aspect of what they do. Likewise, by approaching security work from this point of view, you learn to recognize patterns of behavior that are more likely to occur and prepare against these contingencies.
For example, anytime a vehicle the EP detail is responsible for is taken out of their immediate control (i.e., for a service, etc.), the vehicle must be subject to a thorough search prior to returning it to general use. As mentioned, vulnerable points are possible at any time. Therefore, any sign the car has been tampered with or forcibly entered, the EPA must refrain from touching anything and obtain professional advice.
Likewise, it may serve to be cautious and question attending social engagements that may present a risk due to other attendees, the location, or the nature of the event. Especially during periods of heightened risk, close protective operatives must be pre-examine public appearances from a security perspective.
5. Instill Close Protection Barriers
Imagine a gate within a perimeter wall left open or unsecured. Similarly, think of a door to a safe left ajar; the valve and its benefit as a barrier are hence, given away. That’s why instilling close protection barriers is vital. So as not to expose or increase threats posed to the protectee.
The relinquishment of personal barriers increases the threat posed to an individual. One way to place close protection barriers between the client and those who would cause them harm is to maintain a low profile. Another tactic involves avoiding activities that may bring your principal to notice.
Nevertheless, once a potential attacker’s plans are uncovered, actions to disrupt them must follow. In particular, this raises the chances for the enemy to abort their mission. Not to mention, the best advice for protective personnel is to detect and vary reoccurring patterns.
Because if the first time you see the attacker is when they strike, something went wrong.
6. Understand Use of Force and Firearms
Use of force and firearms are policies that must comply with the rules and regulations of the jurisdiction under which the security organization and operative are subject. For example, in the United States, some policies limit the types of weapons and ammunition private security companies (collectively PSCs) may use.
On the other hand, use-of-force policies do not interfere with an individual’s right to employ necessary and appropriate force to defend oneself against imminent harm. This comes under the use of reasonable force in accordance with The Criminal Law Act, 1967.
Moreover, it isn’t necessary to use typical weapons, like a gun or knife, to be a human weapon. Knowledge about how to use your body as a weapon prepares you for most challenges that confront you. EP professionals are there to protect life through advanced threat detection, together with hard and soft skills. That means never escalating the situation beyond the minimum necessary response level. Excessive force is not always needed.
7. Choose Consistency Over Complacency
Anyone in the EP industry can benefit from refreshing their knowledge constantly, especially for those for whom the job has become second nature, and routine operations lead to complacency. Ordinariness and sameness stimulate mistakes and make it easy to overlook slips and blunders.
EP professionals aim to avoid managing too much with minimum resources only to have that bite them later because they stretched themselves too thin. Or, allowing the circumstance in which they’re asked to do something irresponsible from a security perspective. It helps to constantly re-evaluate positions and improve them if necessary, or even possible.
After all, there is an array of material for seasoned close protection specialists to expand their security awareness or reinvigorate their dedication to the principles of EP.
So, what tips and advice should a protection agent keep in mind? The question speaks volumes for those wanting to know what it takes to make it in the executive protection industry.
For one thing, a successful executive protection operative thrives in their line of work by maintaining a high standard of work. The agent may spend most of their energy and intention anticipating a problem they never go out of their way to look for or cause them.
In a nutshell, here are the main executive protection tips for the EP operative:
- Gather vital intel,
- Establish weak links,
- Maintain physical and mental readiness,
- Be alert, aware, and suspicious at all times,
- Instill close protection barriers,
- Understand how to use force and firearms, and
- Be consistent, not complacent.