The term "professional Close Protection Operative" should tell you everything about the evolution of executive security details & the industry. Goons or people movers/shirt fillers as I like to refer to them, in black turtleneck jumpers and bomber jackets are fine if you were hitting a nightclub back in the 90’s with those terrible “D” shaped earpieces, but they are not fine for executive or celebrity protection. An effective, efficient and professional CPO tasking has to be based on research, preparation and professionalism rather than sheer muscle.
The difference between a professional and a non-professional is simple; one specializes in muscles and has a gun, or would like to, and the other may be less physically imposing but is much better prepared to identify threats before they eventuate into an unavoidable incident.
A CPO needs to have pride in staying fit and healthy and like it or not, look in good shape. Recently I reviewed a facebook post on a forum where a company posted a list of short requirements for a tasking, one vaguely said "operative should be tall, smart and good looking" after the post in the list of sarcastic comments followed, as one could imagine. Unfortunately this day in age, appearance is everything, in my personal experience a photo is always requested, imagine, a "A list celebrity" in the media spotlight on a daily basis, it is highly likely the members of the protective detail will also be in the photos, do you think it is not of importance to the celebrity how their protective detail look? after all it is them that are representing the client at all times - think about it.
It is very important that today's protection professional is a mirror image of his principal in professional dress, casual dress and demeanor. The key is blending into the executive's life is critical to ensuring their safety and minimizing the impact of a protective detail on their daily life and routine, you can read this on my website home page, it is a statement I stand by religiously.
It is important that the operative is educated, trainable and respectful, dedicated and most importantly, they have plenty of common sense. It is important that the operative blends and adapts into their surroundings and are able to communicate to various types of people and hold an intelligent conversation with anybody and everyone at any given time, often when they have had very little sleep and perhaps very little food.
Many companies hire former police officers and military officers, that has been my struggle for 14 years, I have strong competition, however I am lucky, I have a military mentality. It is possible to find professional operatives now without any former military or services background, but rare, I am one. The physical skills necessary to do protection can be taught, but the dedication, professionalism, discretion and integrity necessary to do the job are without a doubt often harder to find these days.
Professional Close Protection Operatives have to be great communicators. They have to be able to establish a good rapport with their principal without getting too close and the key is knowing when you could be.
When you are in close proximity to one another for a very long period of time, it is easier to let your guard down and become friendlier with the principal. Unfortunately and bluntly in my experience it is a lot easier to keep things on a professional level, it is just that simple.
- Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I welcome constructive feedback always.
Thank you for your time, I am grateful.