Mindset Re-Orientation: A Critical Component of Protection Training


Have not had an opportunity to post this week’s feature article. Reason being, I’ve been asked by the staff at The Executive Protection Institute to come out, an observe their training. So I’m posting a blast from the past, Mindset Re-Orientation: A Critical Component of Protection Training By Rick Colliver. Enjoy!

Having been involved in the training and selection of protection personnel over the years, I have learned that everyone brings something valuable to the table in the way of their professional experience. As a matter of fact, my co-instructors and I learn something new from the students throughout each class, and if we like a particular technique or learned about a new study or process, rest assured it will be included in the next program.

We recognize that many of the individuals who take principal protection training have already completed training in traditional police, military or martial arts subjects and may be eager to share these techniques with the class, or to build them into their professional tactics tool box. We also appreciate that the people who attend protection courses are energetic, involved and ready for action. However, in order to assure that everyone starts from a level playing field we have found that it is important to isolate some fundamental differences between protection work and traditional police, security and martial arts concepts.

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The DBT and Its Role in Protection

By Rick Colliver
In my capacity as both a “consumer” of protection services and as a member of several associations seeking to standardize and professionalize the protection industry, I spend my spare time talking to other security professionals, attending conferences and surfing the internet for protection training programs; all in an effort to identify the competent professionals in this business.

By now, most of us agree that protection is a unique career field that we can’t learn about in college, in the police academy, or by watching re-runs of our favorite crime drama. Depending on where we envision our careers going, we should embark on a never-ending pursuit of training and refinement, hopefully from competent and capable instructors. But, how do we find them?

I have often been disheartened when I have been told by school operators (or worse yet, they advertise this on their websites) that “we don’t waste time on theory…we get people out doing the hands-on stuff”.

Are you kidding me? Do you really consider protection theory a “waste of time”? What is it about the protection profession that would make us different from any other profession out there, where we feel comfortable diving into specific techniques without understanding why we’re performing them?

Would you want someone taking your tonsils out after only having watched it done a couple of times by another doctor? Or would you rather your surgeon had several years of graduate level anatomy and physiology supporting their knowledge of “where to cut”?

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Defense in Depth; Starts in the Shallow End

By Rick Colliver

When we speak of the “concentric rings” of protection, we are referring to the need to place as many physical and procedural barriers as possible between the Protectee and any potential adversary. In military circles, this concept is known as “defense in depth”.  However, as we all know, there are two critical components to establishing these concentric rings: 1) what does a threat assessment indicate is necessary and 2) what security intervention strategies will the Protectee accept?

This has served as a frustrating plateau for many security managers throughout history, who, exercising due diligence, have reason to believe the executive (or dignitary or celebrity) is at risk , but are unable to persuade said executive to consider security enhancements.  Often, the concept of protection is new to the affected parties and requires patient explanation – as well as introduction in stages or phases.

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The Mission of Protection: Part 5

Prevention of Embarrassment

I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough information to complete this series, because our leaders and entertainers never do anything embarrassing. Now that I have your attention, please stop giggling or cursing and continue reading.

When we speak about acts of embarrassment, we tend to think of any action that can publicly demean our protectee.  We have to consider not only acts undertaken by the protectee themselves, but also their family and friends. There is no shortage of examples, but I have plucked a couple out of the tabloids for your reflection.

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The Mission of Protection: Part 4

Prevention of Abduction

When we are hired by or assigned to a Protectee, it is often as a result of a direct or implied threat to the Protectee themselves, or the fear of harm to a family member.  We understand that violence occurs for many reasons including revenge, financial, ideological and political motivators.

We also know that if we strengthen security for our Principal, an adversary might, through a process of “transference”, abandon his or her plans and attack a secondary target that is perceived to be softer, but still yield the same headlines or outcome. Thus, we include as another critical element of protective operations, the prevention of abduction.
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