The modern bodyguard service or Close Protection Officer is often very different from what the public thinks. A Bodyguard is a strong, muscular man who can push people out of their way. This is the type of person you don’t want annoying. They are usually loud and grunty and wear big gold chains that push through crowds. This is far from the truth.
What is a modern Bodyguard? First, we don’t refer to ourselves as Bodyguards. The SIA (Security Industry Authority) has licensed us as professional Close Protection Officers in the UK. The name of a Bodyguard is the individual responsible for a client. This is usually one of a number of Close Protection Officers. However, this can vary depending on how the CP Team (Close Protection Team), are trained.
How does a Close Protection Officer or Bodyguard look like? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be more than 6 feet tall or weigh 18 stone. However, having someone like this in your team can be very helpful in certain situations. CPOs (Close Protection Officers), are of average height and build. They also tend to be average-looking people who have good fitness.
You may be asking yourself how a man of average height can be a bodyguard or CPO to someone. The reason is quite simple but it’s not obvious to people who don’t work in the industry. Close Protection is about keeping your client safe from harassment, embarrassment and harm. As a Close Protection Officer, your job is to protect your client from harm. It’s to plan for safety and avoid confrontation whenever possible. You must have common sense and the ability to think outside of the box to be a good Close Protection Officer. Your client must be able to do his job in the most secure way possible without causing disruption to his normal routine. You have failed a part of your plan if you find yourself in a position where force is necessary.
What happens if force is necessary? Close Protection officers all learn some form of control and restraint/hand to hand combat. Some are trained in martial arts, while others have only a few skills that allow them to effectively deal with a threat. A Close Protection Officer cannot stand and fight in a violent or confrontational situation. He must deal with the threat quickly and efficiently so that he can provide protection for the client. You must keep your emotions under control. If you do, you could lose sight of the goal, which is to protect your client.
Another misconception is that all bodyguards are exmilitary/special force soldiers. This is also not true. You need certain abilities and traits to be a good bodyguard. This misconception is likely to be a contributing factor. One of the most common traits and skills among military personnel is the ability to stand or sit for long periods without taking breaks and still be observant. However, civilians can do the same. Many civilian Close Protection Officers are as valuable as their exmilitary counterparts.
Bodyguards/Close Protection officers are highly skilled professionals with a variety of skills. They are highly trained and capable of performing many tasks. They respect client confidentiality and can keep calm and focused even in stressful situations.