By Doc Rogers
As bodyguards we are hired to protect our clients from indirect and direct threats, it takes knowledge, preparation and planning. What follows is a summary of activities you are likely to perform when your client receives a direct threat against his or her life, with a appropriate approach to each to address direct threat challenges such as; aggressive individuals, disgruntled ex-employees, clients, mentally deranged persons or even ex-lovers.
The direct threat factors to your client could come in a variety of ways:
• Direct confrontation.
• Telephone threat.
• Letter, email or other method.
• Keep all evidence to turn over to the police (correspondence, telephone records or recordings, etc).
The individual who has threatened or continues to threaten your client may have had some trigger point to cause him or her to take such action. At this stage you are trying to establish the motive of the threats, the trigger points may include:
• Being fired from a job or recent employment trouble.
• Real or imaginary injustice.
• Breakup in a personal/intimate relationship.
• Money issues, etc.
• Remember; your client has no weak enemies.
Upon being hired by the client it is imperative that we quickly orient ourselves to the threat against the client and swiftly start prioritizing security arrangements to prevent physical harm, we need to move and make our protective services happen to avoid potential bloodshed.
If the person who made the direct threat is known to the client an investigation should be conducted into the person’s background as to possible history of violence or mental disorders. Records of past violence are good predications of future violence (violence risk assessment), taking special note of any formal weapon training, possession or past use of a weapon. Take into consideration past assault convictions and homicidal or suicidal tendencies. Looking at the threat and evaluating the validity and ascertain if the person has the means to carry out the said threat.
In any case the police should be notified immediately and a report made. A temporary restraining order (TRO) should be requested against the person, who made the threat and a detailed report should be made on the date, time, place, circumstances and known witnesses, no matter how involved or complicated. In harsh truth we know that the TRO does nothing to protect the client from harm, but it provides a paper trail on the person, known or unknown making the threats. Nevertheless, stay on course and in communication with the police during the entire assignment they are good at catching criminals. Use the police to your advantage and get superior information on the individual who made the threat against your client.
Bodyguards provide the protection that the police and government cannot provide. It is our job to start careful protective planning with good attention to all safety and security considerations. The priorities should be elementary and simplified with an eye towards reducing risk factors against your client in an orderly and expeditious manner:
• Briefing the client on keeping a lower public profile.
• Don’t make it easy for people to target your client. Total bodyguard excellence is required, maintaining the protective bubble at all times (obviously).
• After making your threat assessment, beef up security in the areas found most vulnerable. Any corrections in security must be swift and sure.
• If the person who made the threat is unknown, you must advise the client to tighten his or her inner circle of friends.
• Te client should be instructed to avoid risky environments and be wary of those around him or her, always at the ready.
• Home and office security must be taken seriously. These are highly critical locations to keep secure. Brief the secretary at the office and the guard at the residence about the circumstances and to report all suspicious activities.
• Secure client transportation to be provided and all routes analyzed with secondary routes set. Never becoming predictable, a client who is predictable is much easier to attack.
Keep briefing your client on the “why” things are being conducted a certain way, so it will eliminate any uncertainty and anxiety he or she may be feeling, by using tact and delicacy with your client. Show genuine self-confidence in your bodyguard performance and exude professionalism.
Conducting a bodyguard assignment when your client is under direct threat takes very smart and able bodyguards with stamina and a fearsome level of confidence in their protective operation skills.
There is no question direct threats against clients are bad, however it provides bodyguards the opportunity to work on complex safety and security risks, breaking them down into simple form with good planning. By using these handy guidelines the more likely you will be at keeping your client out of harms way and making it all worthwhile by applying all your bodyguard knowledge in-depth. Keep Safe and God Speed.
Doc Rogers is the author of Corporate Executive Protection – A Manual for Inspiring Corporate Bodyguards and president and CEO of International Corporate Executive Protection Ltd. Doc has earned a Ph.D. in Security Administration from Southwest University and he is SE Asia’s leading expert on executive protection and corporate security. To learn how to make a full time living as a corporate bodyguard visit the websites below for more information.