The term VIP protection is often used interchangeably with corporate security, but the latter refers to specific types of protection. Private protection is a much broader field than most individuals are aware. Many guards may work in retail establishments, protecting shoplifters or apprehending would-be Shoplifters; they may also serve at industrial complexes as security officers to protect sensitive company property; or, they may even serve in the elite cadre of VIP protection. Whatever their employment, most guards are expected to maintain a high degree of personal security and a tight focus on their bodyguard duty.
As with all contract-based employment opportunities, the exact nature of the job and the duties will vary from facility to facility. However, there is one common thread that all vip protection services have in common: in order to be considered proficient, commissioned agents must be trained. It is not uncommon for guards to be trained by other commissioned officers who are then sent to work for the agency on a part-time or full-time basis. The number of training hours typically required varies between countries and agencies, but most will expect new agents to be trained for between eight and twelve.
Training can take several forms, but the goal remains the same. All agents involved in VIP protection must be taught a variety of key concepts to include when working for any unexpected event. Bodyguards need to know how to react and behave in any situation that might arise, so they learn proper etiquette and protocol that will ensure all parties are treated fairly and none is mistreated. All agents must be taught the four: stand-up style, head held low, bodyguard’s body aligned behind the strike, and proper stance.
It’s not unusual for a guard to encounter situations where he or she has to protect a celebrity from an angry mob. Bodyguards must be able to quickly calm unruly crowds and remain focused on the task at hand: protecting the VIP. The allocation of shifts between regular shift workers and the bodyguards is usually based on a strict rotation system so that security personnel are always busy doing what it takes to protect celebrities. When a VIP’s entourage has to be escorted from a hotel to a restaurant, it’s typical for multiple bodyguards to need to be called in simultaneously.
Surveillance is also a key component of a VIP protection service. This surveillance is not intrusive; however, it is still necessary to effectively complete the job with satisfactory results. Bodyguards will often monitor the movement of celebrities and their entourage as well as being present during any incident in order to intervene and apprehend any undesirable behavior. Bodyguards are also responsible for any surveillance that occurs outside of the facility. For example, if a celebrity is being escorted from a car by a private motorist, a bodyguard must be present to observe the situation for further aggression towards the celebrity.
When traveling with a large group of celebrities, it’s typical for at least one bodyguard to accompany each celebrity on the trip. A small luxury cruise ship typically doesn’t have the resources to have several bodyguards on duty at any given time, so it’s up to the employer to provide security for the duration of the trip in order to provide enough manpower to adequately cover the needs of the larger group. The good news is that most cruise ships have established rules for providing adequate security for a large group traveling together. In addition, most of these same cruise ships will hire certified in security professionals to provide extra bodyguard services should the need arise.
Many VIPs spend large sums of money to look their best while on vacation, and they deserve the best treatment possible while away from home. When traveling with a large group of celebrities, it’s critical that the bodyguards maintain a high level of professionalism. Bodyguards should wear uniforms that match the level of prestige with which they are representing. Properly emblazoned VIP ID badges can be displayed prominently on the uniform of the bodyguard who represents the guest.
There is absolutely no reason that bodyguards should fail to meet the demands placed upon them by large groups of people. The bottom line is that no matter how large or small the group traveling with celebrities may be, it’s vital that the bodyguards perform to the highest standard. When there are VIP situations involved, there are many things that the employers of such traveling parties must consider. It’s important to remember that even minor deviations from protocol can jeopardize the safety of everyone on the trip.