I make the following comments, 1) as I do provide Executive Protection Training in the private sector; 2) I am a Security Expert and a CPP (Security Professional); and, 3) I have over 90,000 hours of E.P. work and time under my belt during my previous (38) years in this industry – (20) with the Secret Service and (18) in the private sector.
Many EP operatives do not understand or will not accept, that ‘High Risk” EP is a small field within our industry – with great financial compensation, if….. you are working ‘Real” ‘High Risk’ Details. If you are allegedly working a ‘High Risk’ Detail and you are NOT enjoying the benefits of ‘high financial compensation’, then, you ARE NOT working a “real’ ‘High Risk’ Detail, or – you are simply working for less $$ than you should or are worth. (You also should consider what you think your life is worth and to whom you would be leaving your lavish compensation to!!!)
Having said that, the majority of our work in the private sector is (1) to (2) man escorts, and essentially, ‘baby sitting’ details working the client’s spouse or children, estate security details or business ‘workplace violence’ security details (which, so many in this industry exaggerate and classify – by calling it ‘E.P. work.
There are many schools out there. You have to decide where you want to spend your money and how much money you wish to spend. I can tell you from experience, we, quality E.P. firms in the industry do not get more excited or more interested in a applicant or “protection agent” because he spent $ KKKK’s or more on a long term training course. Any “quality” training certificate looks the same on your wall or on your resume. What firms who work E.P. look for is experience, knowledge and how many “real protection details” and how many “real advances” you have conducted. We don’t care about how many celebrities you have “escorted” or how many ‘wall’, ‘door’ and ‘hall’ posts you have listed on your resume.
Clearly however, breaking into the industry isn’t easy, but, you DO have to break in somewhere.
You DO need to obtain training, however, much of the training can be obtained less expensively on your own, without paying the enormously high dollars charged by some of the venues out there. For example, you can and should get your firearms, CPR & first aid and defensive driving training ON YOUR OWN (most if which you may already have). Keep in mind, any course can be extended to include these items, BUT, YOU will PAY for those additional items!
Also, it is NOT TRUE you cannot learn the fundamental Concepts and Principles of EP in ten, five or three days. You CAN! I provide Executive Protection training (specifically, three day training courses). I teach and I do cover ALL the EP fundamentals and pack the course with at least three or more ‘actual working protective exercises’, practical Advance Work exercises, formations, and weapons takeaways exercises. However, You don’t get employed in this industry by the number of training certificates you have hanging on your wall.
Novices are a great pool of $$$ victims out here. They do not know they should limit the amount of $$$ spent on training certificates and increase time spent on NETWORKING, NETWORKING, and NETWORKING! Then, with some initial work experience and contacts developed, you should move along in this industry either as a ‘free lancer’ or, as a ‘business owner’.
When conducting your training venue research, you should examine and review the course content; examine the credentials of the instructor(s) and, then look at the cost. I realize I teach E.P. and it appears I am advocating my course as the ‘best’ solution or answer.
No, not true.
You can take my course or take any other reputable course out there that fits the parameters I just set forth. There are many good, ‘quality’ E.P training courses that do not necessarily ‘exploit’ the novices, just because the novices ‘really do not have a handle on the truth’ and believe that ‘weapons training and being a martial arts expert and being big and brawny are the necessary criteria for EP agents in our world. IT is the furthest thing from the truth, if you plan to be a EP Professional.
Many individuals in the field may disagree with my statements. Probably, due to many or most of them having attended the higher priced, extended or ‘high risk’ courses – and, realistically, because it just may be their only selling point.
Many people spend a fortune on their training and then realize what’s important is: who they know and their past or recent ‘real’ work experience.
Further, EP Agents need to be Security Consultants’ as well as basic ‘Agents’ in our field. They need to really understand and know how to deal with various EP and protective situations and how and when to apply countermeasures (both human and electronic). They also need to know what our real limitations are in the private sector and really need to understand there are some situations we should absolutely stay away from, because we do not have the ‘real’ resources in the private sector to adequately fight the ‘real jackal’. And, above all they need to understand how to conduct a ‘Threat Assessment’ (and , I said a ‘Threat Assessment’, not a Security or Risk Assessment; not a ‘Lifestyle Assessment’, I am referring to a Assessment of a real and bona fide or imminent threat against a Protectee, site or a venue – that is current and ongoing). That skill requires the proper training and investigative skills and that has to be learned. Unfortunately, not too many of the EP operatives working out here understand or know the differences between the ‘Threat Assessment and the Security or Risk Assessment or the ‘Lifestyle Assessment’. They claim they do, but so many of them really do not.
Novices should be looking at spending their money acquiring that knowledge and not being subjected to the typical exploitation of the novice which exists out there -which is the reason why there are so many schools and training venues.
Then, there’s the other side of this field. Running your own business. This is a horse of a different color! Even if you free-lance, you are essentially running a business!
You will probably need to learn the following: small business start up, local licensing requirements, marketing and advertising and up selling from one aspect of the business to the other.
In addition to marketing and advertising, you will need to become proficient at pricing and selling your services; at NOT compromising your rates and learn to allow some prospective customers become someone else’s customer, because you realize they are not your type customer. This is all assuming you are running a “real” business and not just going through the motions and “trying to survive”. Too many PI’s and security firms have the mentality that they should accept what the client wishes to pay, because something is better than nothing. Wrong!!!! You need to learn to work ‘smarter and not harder’.
Hopefully, you attempt to do some of the right things to make your situation work for you to become successful and I hope this helps you and other novices get a clearer picture of the industry and at the same time, places some TRUTH out in the open.
Joseph A. LaSorsa, CPP
J.A. LaSorsa & Associates
1645 SE 3rd Court
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441-4465
(U.S. SECRET SERVICE – RET.)
954-783-5020 (24 hour contact)