By Bruce Alexander
Brains over brawn is how Michael McCann, former Director of Security for the U.N. and now CEO of McCann Protective Services (MPS) describes the new trend for Executive Protection in his March 1st article “Brains vs. Brawn – Determining New Trends in VIP Security” (www.securitymagazine.com) McCann stresses “professionalism, experience and discretion” as the defining trends for Executive Protection.
In his article, McCann emphasizes that selecting an EP specialist on size at the expense of professionalism, may create more problems. According to McCann, good EP practices such as a threat assessment and advance work can mitigate potential problems. However that’s assuming the EP specialist has the proper training and experience to begin.
Too often celebrities pay for protection by the pound and risk hiring someone who’s first instinct is to resort to force when confronted with a potential problem because they lack the requisite training and professional expertise to consider and employ other options. McCann does caution that physical fitness is still a prerequisite but physical stature alone should not be the defining criteria.
I couldn’t agree more with Mr. McCann if I wrote the article myself. I still am amazed that celebrities would rather surround themselves by look-alikes from the WWF than professional EP specialists who have the brains, demeanor and expertise that really matters to keep someone safe.
Having physical presence helps, but all the size in the world won’t make a difference against a determined adversary who has already figured out how to defeat any advantage that size might create. Using size to confront an adversary is a reactionary response. When celebrities finally figure out that by avoiding situations where their security doesn’t depend on the size of their protector perhaps then they’ll opt for protection that doesn’t put them in that position to begin with.
I don’t want to give Mr. McCann’s article short shrift here so I encourage you to read the rest of his article. His other points are definitely worth reading.