By Doc Rogers
The following are a few bad habits that take place on bodyguard details around the world, which can lead to disastrous consequences if left unchecked. No one is perfect, we are all guilty of bad habits from time-to-time, but we must make a conscious effort to avoid them.
Hands in Pockets Hands in your pockets look unprofessional. Instructed your agents not to put their hands in their pockets except briefly to remove or place items. The agent must always be prepared and therefore his or her hands should either be at their sides or behind the back. If it’s an issue of the agents’ hands being cold gloves used be worn in inclement weather.
Text Messaging In the presence of the client texting on cell phones should not be allowed. You can’t scan the area when looking down directly at your phone texting. Holding a cell phone, typing a message, taking your eyes away from the client can lead to tragic consequences.
Not Keeping “Gun Hand” Free Don’t keep objects (keys, cell phones, flashlights, etc) in your dominate “gun” hand. Doing so will slow you down in the event you have to draw your weapon. Do not become complacent keep your dominate hand free at all times.
Out of Alignment While on foot movements we deal with many variables and need to be fluid in how we align ourselves for best client protection. Never let your guard down when it comes to your protective positioning. A threat can occur when and where you least expect it. Do not let obstacles or people get you out of your protective alignment. You know where you are supposed to be positioned; do not take directions from anyone outside the executive protection unit.
Looking at the Menu Looking down directly at a menu when in a restaurant with your client should be avoided. You should know what you want to eat ahead of time and just tell the waiter. I was once in a restaurant with a client when a 3-man detail came in, seated their client and took a nearby table to eat and conduct discreet surveillance. When the waiter provided them with menus each agent studied their food options with extreme focus. While unbeknownst to them their client was being disturbed by an autograph seeker. Complacency is not an option.
Not strapped down I often see executive protection agents with pockets full eyeglasses, sunglasses, passports, wallets, cell phones, small flashlights, notepads, and plane tickets, etc. These items not only cause a constant distraction for the agents, but in an actual client evacuation these items will going flying all over the place and may cause the agent to pause or even attempt to retrieve some of the airborne articles. Don’t keep unnecessary objects in your pockets. Strap essential equipment on your belt under your suit coat or carry a low-profile shoulder bag to keep important gear and documents in. In our business distractions and hesitation is a liability. 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.
Really best articles for to learns about it…thanks Doc…
Hi Rick: Hope you are doing well. Very important EP agent survival skills. Thanks for the good advice. All the Best.
All good points, Doc! On the texting thing, I’d encourage protection personnel not to get focused on the device more than the client, but on the other hand, if you’re following a Protectee around a department store, a guy who’s texting doesn’t draw as much attention as a guy who is overtly scanning for threats. Learn to scan with your head down and make it look like you’re doing something else.
If you do decide to text or carry luggage etc, I’d recommend that you incorporate “object release” into your firearms and DT training. Have a drill where you have to drop a grocery bag, briefcase, phone etc and simultaneously move the Protectee off the X whilst drawing your firearm.
Stay safe out there!!
Hi Mel: Absolute professionalism! Keep safe.
great article on bad habits1 i have long preached your points. i go a step further, i will not carry clients luggage or packages for obvious reasons!
i will not be an errand boy by securing women,drugs etc for my client. my focus is always on the clients safety,and i do not hesitate to let the client know if he or she is placing themselves in a dangerous or compromising situation.
keep up the great work.