Comparison and Contrast of the considerations and special problems the protective service agent
Providing security or protection to VIPs is still in its initial phase and has been occupied by groups and agencies, which differ in quality as well as dependability. The security provided to VIPs such as, politicians and diplomats are handled and governed by trained and skillful personnel having a uniform code of ethics and operations. While, these groups are well outfitted to do their job efficiently, they are quite dissimilar compared to those who offer security to the business executives and celebrities. As these later agencies are usually owned and governed by the ex-army-men or ex-police recruits. Whereupon, these agencies look on this area of business as a great opportunity to mature and grow as it has been their core career skills. But what these agencies lack are high technology equipments and skilled employees at the standard of government agents who are designated for these jobs. These Security agencies also have to face lack of training institutes, which can groom personnel to accomplish the security tasks. Although, of late a few training institutes have developed so as to groom and make security personnel excel at their designated security tasks. Also, written reports, literature and research on this topic has been minimal. An exceptional book written by R.L Oatman, (1999) "The Art of Executive Protection" is a masterpiece, and provides insights on this subject quite elaborately. It is discernable that this area of research is relatively new and the literature can be enhanced by the input of more advanced information by the skilled professionals and experienced personnel.
VIP security -- regardless of whether the individual is an executive or a celebrity or a politician or a diplomat -- requires, in present times, to concentrate on a certain amount of common security aspects to keep the principle safe. They are:
An estimated evaluation of the threats and risks that are liable to cause damage to the Subject.
Designing a strategy to organize necessary precautionary steps.
Selection of the best security team to closely monitor threats and protect the subject.
A foolproof strategy should be pre-planned to adopt in case of actual danger or attack.
Security agents should have an effective communication, synchronization and reporting practices with the team.
It should be noted that VIP security is not based on mathematical calculations wherein, the result will be precise and accurate. VIP protection is an irregular field of study in which an organized team and careful tactics are employed to achieve success in the execution of a mission. For example, business executives seeking security services are bound to note that every subject (Individual) differs and the security provided to them also varies. It highly depends on the organization or industry they belong to or the subject's individual profile. EPAs (Executive Protection Agents) in oft-targeted business sectors as Pharmaceuticals, Energy plant industries, Financial Services, and so forth are often jeopardized by the threats of kidnapping, carjacking, biological threats along with eco-terrorism, etc. The most common of all the fears are threatening letters, emails, blackmailing and stalking. Provided the variety of threats involved, the EPAs have to be precise in planning, organizing and executing the protection measures as every case is different and requires individual attention. It is apparent that a top executive cannot be locked out from the world so providing security to a top notch is different from rendering security of the building or organization. Many a times, the attacker can threaten through family as was the example in Belfast case. At times, executives do not like the security trailing them everywhere or are not comfortable with arduous security restrictions. These also cause EPAs to plan accordingly to face the challenges of not only threats, but providing a standardized protection service which is compatible with the executive comfort.
However, the celebrity security is exactly opposite of executive security. In celebrity security, the CPA (Celebrity Protection Agent) has to deal with the popularity of the renown and their vulnerability to the public. CPAs also have to concern about the intimate knowledge or facts about the celebrities which is quite easily accessible to the public via paparazzi. It is a recognized fact that paparazzi work overtime to fill gossip columns, information about the whereabouts of the celebrity which also provides a quick approach to the public who can reach the event, location in no time to ensure their favorite celebrities. These aspects have caused the celebs unable to travel frequently within the city and public outing might sometimes become a nightmare for a famous person. Entertainment figures also feel that they bear a duty towards the fans and should interact with them. This leads them to be exposed to the public most of the time. CPA's have to be very tactful in handling the public. It requires years of training to become a CPA who has to be on toes and instinctive about when the public is going to the outburst. The security personnel have to be cautious about the celebrity's image and fan following because a loose thread can exploit or harm the entire career of the celebrity. One more important aspect a CPA has to keep in mind is that it cannot be rough or too brazen with the public as it will make celeb look like a bimbo diva or an ungrateful jerk. The security team has to consider certain aspects while working with the celebrity. They have to be cooperative with the publicists, managers and celeb's team. They also have to have complete knowledge about the functioning of the entertainment industry and lastly, the security team should also be three steps further in granting protection to the celebrity, so that the situation is always in control and the cause of protection is well provided.
As for the security personnel working with the government employee, diplomat or politician has to be careful that none of the strangers come close to the subject. They have to be cautious that they travel from Point A to Point B. without attracting much attention to the subject. The Politician Protection Agent or the Diplomat Protection Agent (PPA or DPA) often requires them to blend into their work environment along these high profile subjects in order to avert unnecessary attention. These subjects are not required to interact with the public, so security never allows any stranger to come close to the subject. These subjects, although requiring high security lead a normal routine life like going to work and coming back home, which makes the security personnel to take extra cautions to provide invisible security so that it does not invade in their personal life. However, these subjects frequently require travelling around the world requiring the security personnel to also tag along on these trips. At times, these trips can be scheduled for several days and maybe even weeks. PPA and DPA have scheduled shifts as all of the public figures, including, executives, celebs and politicians require 24 hours of security. This is a vigilant job which requires personnel be professional yet sensitive towards maintaining the security relationship.
Irrespective of whether it is a CPA, DPA, PPA or EPA, acquiring a career in the security profession requires strenuous training, skills and highest level of knowledge about the profession. The security professionals who have acquired success in this area have been perfectionist to the core as they had an eye for every minute detail, discretion as well as had exceptional leadership skills.
Section 2: Top 5 and bottom choices
Top five choices:
Supervisory and Management Qualities:
Being a Protective Service Agent (PSA) is related to a person using his power in order to have an influence on the team. In order to be a good PSA leader or head one should be aware of his power and how to use it in order to influence the people around him. It is my opinion that the influence of a PSA leader is derived by him from his power. I believe that even though power isn't tangible but the way that it is perceived is greatly responsible for the behavior of the individuals with the PSA leader. Perception is the manner in which a leader is viewed either subconsciously or consciously by the people around him.
It is a general perception that the PSA leader has great power which enables him to motivate and influence people. In case of the security scenarios there are numerous sources through which power can be achieved and this is not restricted only to the people who have the authority. Although I believe that in situations of this sort it is a great advantage to have the legitimate power. According to the legitimate power, influence can be exerted by the PSA leader on the individuals according to the hierarchical standing that they have within a team. I have always felt that people are more willing to follow those who have an authoritative position.