The Many Faces Of Close Protection

By Samuel R. Hayes, III

Following the events of September 11, 2001, the private security industry has seen a dramatic change in the way it does business. No other discipline within the industry has seen as dramatic of a change as close protection services.

No longer are these services the exclusive domain of the Ultra High net worth individual or high ranking government figure. The industry has seen an incredible growth spurt in those desiring and needing close protection services across various segments of society and has benefited tremendously from the lack of manpower capabilities of law enforcement agencies and government entities.

Along with this increased need has come an increase in qualified training and career development at different levels. It’s been my observation that these segments can be broken down as VIP/Celebrity Protection, Executive Protection, Dignitary Protection, and High?Threat Personal Security Details. The fundamental core principals may seem to be the same but when a closer look is afforded it becomes obvious that each segment is faced with a unique set of challenges.

This segment of the industry is unique in that oftentimes we are called upon to protect our clients from threats that stem simply from them being well recognized due to having attained celebrity status as an actor/actress, sports figure, musician/entertainer, etc. Sometimes these threats to your client can be their own poor judgment and behavior (T.I., Lindsey Lohan, Charlie Sheen, etc).

These threats, more often than not, come from the swells of adoring fans that would go through great lengths just to be near their idol. These fans, individually, rarely pose a danger or threat to your principal or mean to cause them harm, but when you multiply them by hundreds or even thousands at public events and performances, the threat level becomes real.

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