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“Youtube is a treasure trove of these cases we use for WPG training.”

Many of the images we see of executive protection agents and security agents are from photos of celebrities and high profile executives walking public with their security detail in tow. Chances are you are familiar with big and bulky protection agents who flash their muscles and guns in order to look tough. Just because Hollywood has made us familiar with these images does not mean this is what a good executive protection agent looks like or acts like.

What has caused this phenomenon of Hollywood opting for the worst types of security agents? Well, it probably comes down to appearances and trends. Hollywood celebrities and billionaires might be after the look of having giant bodyguards and security agents who look intimidating and have guns obviously strapped to their bodies.

They may think that this type of protection agent or bodyguard will deter dangerous people from approaching, but in reality these types of agents are more likely to be ineffective and actually put their clients into harm’s way.

What is ‘Bad’ Security?

Bad security comes down to one thing: training. Some protection agents and security guards will not have enough training while others have the wrong type of training. Either of these can leave the client open to risk and vulnerable to harm and injury.

Many celebrities and high profile executives will choose the biggest protection agent available, but these agents can often just flash their muscles and guns and not actually understand how to keep their client safe. There are videos on Youtube showing horrible failures by these types of guards all the time. They do not understand the necessity of staying aware of their surroundings and keeping their client out of danger because they may be too focused on their own appearance and simply acting the part.

Another incorrect type of protection agent is known as a ‘buddyguard’. These are the protection agents who give the rest of the industry a bad name. They are security and protection agents who have gotten too close to their clients and crossed the professional boundaries. Sometimes this is when bodyguards slowly become friends with their clients, but at other times romantic relationships develop and this can be even more messy and dangerous.

Why is it so dangerous for a protection agent to become a buddyguard? Well, for one thing, rather than focusing on their job and keeping the client safe at all times, the buddyguard could just be socialising with the client and hanging out, which means that their guard is dropped and sense of awareness and instincts lessened. Another possibility is that the buddyguard will start performing other tasks and errands. This separates the agent from his client, leaving the client alone  and exposed to risks and threats.

A good executive protection agent will always stay focused on the most important duty: keeping the client safe and secure and knowing when to say ‘no’ to the client in order to keep risk level low.

The final type of ‘bad’ security is when you hire an executive protection agent who has been incorrectly trained for the job. Hollywood often hires protection agents and bodyguards who have a military or law enforcement background. While these individuals have an impressive history and lots of training under their belts, the training does not completely translate to being a good and reliable executive protection agent.

Just think, someone who used to be in the military or law enforcement likely enjoys getting involved in the action and taking down any threat that arises. But this is not actually what you want in an executive protection agent. You want someone who will minimize violence and get you as far away from the threat as quickly as they can. Putting distance between you and danger quickly is the sign of a good executive protection agent.

Above we have outlined three types of executive protection agents that Hollywood chooses to hire. They opt for big muscles, military backgrounds, and someone they can be friends with. Maybe this seems fun and even glamorous, but it could end in serious injury or harm. Instead of hiring the flashy or fun protection agent, you need to choose the executive protection agent who is highly trained and has the right type of instincts to keep you safe at all times.

Hire Your Security Detail Carefully 

You cannot rely on word of mouth or a recommendation from a friend when it comes to hiring your protection detail. You need to perform extensive checks to find out whether your executive protection agent is a good guy or not.

For example, Kris Jenner hired a bodyguard because he did security previously for Drake. This likely made him seem trustworthy because he was already in the industry, but he turned out to be completely untrustworthy and he is now suing Kris Jenner. This reveals true intentions behind the bodyguard and how he is likely pursuing money and fame rather than actually caring about the safety of his client.

At the end of the day, name dropping is not safe when it comes to your security. You need to look in detail at the executive protection company and see the type of people they hire, ensure they run background checks on their employees, and check that the protection agents undergo extensive and regular training.

Background checks absolutely have to be performed to make sure the executive protection guard is reliable, trustworthy, and safe to have around. A high quality executive protection company will always run background checks on the agents they employ. Especially when it comes to celebrities and high profile executives, you want to make sure that the agents you hire have a clean background and will not hurt your reputation by association.

Finally, and most importantly, check that your protection agent has been trained to a high standard, usually requiring hundreds, if not 1000, hours of training. Also check that they have a licence and are not being subcontracted. This will ensure that the protection agent knows how to perform his job to the highest standards and within the law at all times.

No matter what you do, choose an executive protection company that keeps its clients’ safety as its first priority. This  will ensure that agents are trained, act professionally, and put your interests first instead of their own.

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WPG is a full-service international security firm that specializes in Executive Protection. Our philosophy and techniques are modeled after the United States Secret Service method of providing proactive and preventative protection. WPG has worked with some of the most high profile individuals in the world.

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