VIP protection is often depicted in films as a glamorous job, consisting of car chases in fancy cars and running from villains seeking revenge. Well, this is pretty far removed from the day to day life of a VIP protection officer.
They are indeed highly trained professionals who often drive fancy cars and protect famous people. But, it’s not all car chases and fighting! The role of a VIP protection officer consists of a lot more mundane tasks, including a lot of researching and planning. What does the life of a VIP protection officer look like?
What is VIP protection?
VIP protection means providing executive protection to anybody who requires it. Usually, it means protecting people who are in the public eye. This includes celebrities, business owners, and politicians. VIP security protects individuals, as well as their families and premises.
Famous, or high-profile people, are at a much higher risk of attack or theft than the average person. VIP protection has improved massively over the years and is now better than ever.
You will be aware of the untimely murder of Beatles icon John Lennon; he was shot by an alleged fan outside his apartment in 1980. Luckily, these kinds of attacks are much less likely today. Celebrities feel a lot safer in day to day life; this is mainly thanks to close protection officers.
What is a close protection officer?
A close protection officer is a security operative or a government official who protects a person, persons, and premises. protect high-profile people such as theft, kidnapping, stalking, and assault. CPO’s differ from manned guarding as they are hired to protect an individual and their assets, but manned guarding is for whole premises and multiple people.
They provide this protection by researching routes, planning journeys, assessing potential threats, and searching premises. The preparation and planning should be enough to prevent an attack from occurring. Still, close protection officers also need to be fearless and prepared to use force if an attack does occur.
This protection needs to cover more than just physical safety; it’s also about protecting the client’s image and reputation. A common misconception is that the role of close protection officer is limited to men. This is not true; in fact, women make outstanding CPOs as they don’t fit the expected image of a protection officer. It’s much easier for them to blend into a crowd, which is a massive role requirement.
Companies that provide these services need officers who possess a particular set of skills and are highly trained. Always choose a reputable, accredited company when hiring close protection officers.
6 Rules VIP close protection officers must follow
1. Do not gossip!
Good communication skills are an essential part of the close protection officer role. They need to be able to keep secrets and not spread the news about celebrities. Protection officers often witness things that could make them a lot of money if leaked to the tabloid. For this reason, protection officers should never be money focused. Remember, they are not just providing physical protection but also protecting their client’s public image.
2. Never be fame (or money) hungry
Close protection officers should never be in the business for the luxury lifestyle or to get close to celebrities. They should never post pictures of themselves and their clients on social media; this is highly frowned upon in the industry. CPO’s need to take their job seriously; if they are focused on fame or luxuries, this probably isn’t the case!
3. Remember guns are the last resort
An ex-bodyguard of Hugh Hefner said if a gun needs to be drawn in defence of a celebrity, then the bodyguard has already failed. The job aim is to make sure attacks aren’t possible. If an attack occurs and guns are drawn, this means the planning and preparation were not adequate.
4. Have a strong eye for detail
The little things make all the difference. VIP protection must ensure a car is always available when needed, such as when leaving the airport. Celebrities do not want to be stood around; this attracts unwanted attention. Just having the car available isn’t enough. Protection officers need to think about turning the air con ten minutes in advance, ensuring the car is comfortable for the client.
5. Keep a low profile
Close protection officers need to be close by but never smothering the client. For example, sitting one table away in a restaurant. This means the client has personal space, but the protection officer still knows what’s going on. To make things seem more natural, the officer will order food to appear they are not with the client.
6. Don’t get too close
This is known as being a ‘buddyguard’, and it’s a complete no go. If you’ve ever seen the BBC drama ‘The Bodyguard’, then you will understand why this can be so bad. Close protection officers should always keep a distance from their clients, ensuring the line between friend and client doesn’t become too blurred.
Other VIP protection methods used alongside close protection officers
CCTV monitoring systems
CCTV cameras are often installed around the perimeter of high profile homes. Celebrity houses can be targets for thieves and also nosey fans. Many tabloid stories show how frustrating it can be for celebrities to have a constant crowd of screaming fans outside their home. CCTV deters criminals from committing crimes, and cameras are also a great way to keep an eye on who is lingering around a property.
Security dogs pick up on things that humans can miss. This is all thanks to their strong senses, loyalty, and natural instincts. You can train dogs to sniff out weapons, including bombs, and they can even be trained to sniff out a particular person’s scent! This comes in handy when celebrities have a stalker. Security dogs are intimidating; they act as a deterrent as criminals can not outrun dogs!
Contact stok K9 security services to find out more
Here at Stok K9, we provide a high standard of security measures tailored to individual requirements. If you want to find out more about close protection officers, CCTV cameras, or security dogs, contact us today to find out more.