There are many types of security services available, and arguably the most intriguing is that of the close protection officer – also commonly known as the executive security officer or bodyguard. These individuals are tasked with ensuring the protection of individuals in the public eye, including celebrities, politicians, executives of companies in various industries and much more.
The role of the executive security officer is very complex, and generally very different from that of a regular security guard. As a result, these individuals are required to undergo special training for their role that makes them particularly suited to the job. Many of these types of guards are also Special Forces trained and can have backgrounds in policing or the military.
Some of the main jobs that the close protection officer is tasked with include protecting their clients from the threat of physical violence. The officer will accompany their client on business trips, social trips, and even their morning run outside. The guard will remain close to the protected individual at almost all items to ensure their safety.
The role of the officer does not just stop there, however, as they will be responsible for the checking of venues and locations for threats in advance of the client arriving there. The guard is well trained in the perception of potential threats, and will, therefore, carry out this risk assessment of physical locations in order to further protect their client.
They may also be tasked with residential security, being present at their client’s home so that they do not face any dangers here either. They may also take on the role of a dedicated chauffeur for clients, and will be responsible for the checking of the vehicle if left unattended, and have to train in evasive and defensive driving techniques.
Another important aspect of the job is travelling with the individual in question. Examples of this include when an important executive has to travel for business or a politician is going abroad as part of his or her job. These environments can be very high risk, and can, therefore, require the accompaniment of a trained security professional or even several executive security officers.
Lastly, another important role of the executive security officer is to install and monitor surveillance equipment, including hidden cameras. This further adds to the level of protection afforded to the client that is hiring this kind of close protection.
Of course, no two clients are alike, and close protection officers will be required to undertake different tasks specific to their clients. These can include surveying the area for very specific threats, more or less frequent travel, dealing more or less with the public, and taking on rigorous physical work depending on the level of activity of the client.
In addition to this, close protection officers may be required to work in very hostile environments, including foreign countries where there is political or civil unrest that could threaten the life of the client in question. For this reason, the job is a highly specialised role that requires a considerable number of hard and soft skills.
Some of the attributes of these types of professionals include having a high level of physical fitness, being adaptable and able to integrate with their client’s lifestyles, good teamwork in order to liaise with other security professionals when needed, excellent use of the senses including vision and hearing, a decisive nature, and the ability to react appropriately and with confidence.
Good close protection or executive security officer will also possess excellent observation skills in order to perceive potential threats to their clients. Although this is a challenging role, it is no doubt one that protects the lives of many individuals in the public eye, and the specific tasks undertaken will all depend on the unique needs and requirements of each and every client.