Is Low Profile Protection the New Norm?
When we think of bodyguards we might think of the large imposing and menacing looking men following their celebrity principal through out venues or on city streets, perhaps places like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Maybe you think of the Secret Service protecting the President in their suits and ear pieces. Can't forget the Oakley's or Ray Bans. Overseas, in combat area of operations, you will likely see ex-military commandos in their tactical gear and rifles protecting dignitaries. Well we are not going to talk about any of those models in this article.
Low profile protection is becoming more prevalent in the younger technology industry. The CEO's are younger and even though we still see suits with the older, more seasoned, CEOs more requests are for a lower profile type protection model. I even have heard the term Executive Surveillance. We will be discussing this model.
Lose the tactical façade. Here's the thing. I served in the military and law enforcement. I love tactical clothing especially on range day. Plus, they are very comfortable and look cool. Don't try so hard to look cool. In fact, don't look cool at all. Look plain and forgettable. Wear plain clothes; no logos. I watched a video by a former CIA operative who worked with disguises. Internationally, American's love to look American. So the point here is observe what people are wearing and find that baseline and follow it. If you're older, like myself, what would an older person wear in that environment. You can't change your age so don't try so hard to look young.
Behavior is the hardest to change in my humble opinion. I am a person that doesn't like to smile. In fact, I had a favorite bar that I used to go to. People either thought I was security for the bar or management. I was just a patron. This takes practice. "I always sit with my back against the wall so I can see the door." Has anybody heard this? Does anybody do this? Try walking into a restaurant next time. Look for the man that is against the wall, head on a swivel, looking around. Trust me it's not low profile to the observer trying to locate the security of the group. If you don't smile learn to smile. Ask friends or family about your mannerisms.
Females are extremely good at low profile protection. Usually, there's no chip on their shoulder. They don't usually care what people think and many times they are likely to get into places that men can't. They tend to fit into crowds better. This goes for private investigations too. You want to get into a hotel jacuzzi to observe a target. Just have a female go tell a young male hotel employee that she left her key in the room. See how fast she gets in the jacuzzi. Females are often overlooked as security unless of course she's wearing a pantsuit and a radio ear piece.
I have been on a few low profile protection details. Some at events, at the office, and at a residence. They all have their set of challenges. I did surveillance when I was in law enforcement but the advantage I had was resources. In the private sector many times there's a lack of resources. It teaches you to be good at observing your surroundings. If your reading the newspaper. Don't hold a newspaper and look over the top of it. We always find a spot we think is a good observation spot until we see a better one. Then we move. Then maybe we move again until we're not low profile at all. We are now showing signs of being a stalker.
Lastly, I just want to say that low profile protection could be the way of protection models, for the future, where younger tech CEOs might not want to appear ostentatious. Don't get me wrong. There is and will always be a need for overt protection but not to all. It takes practice, perhaps many failures, and a self awareness of you the protector. It is definitely a niche market you might want to consider.
Remember to stay safe and always be vigilant.