Hiring an Executive Protection Agency can at times be very difficult or very simple; you should be cautious of either extreme. An agency with an overly complicated process could prove to be rigid and difficult to work with. An Agency that oversimplifies your needs will likely demonstrate a lack of expertise or professionalism. Knowing the steps required to properly vet and qualify an agency will simplify the process and add clarity to your decision making.
Enlisting the security services of an unlicensed or uninsured agency can prove to be extremely costly and expose your organization to avoidable risk and liability. Some of the first steps you’d want to take when considering an executive protection provider is ensuring they have adequate licensure and insurance for the services they offer.
Further, you’d want to ensure they are licensed specifically in the state or locale you require service. Another consideration when vetting a security firm is the quality (and existence) of their Agent Training & Development program.
A quality program will include, in part, some of the following perishable skills, recognition of non-verbal cues, pre-attack indicators, advanced first aid, verbal persuasion, defensive tactics, and protective firearms use.
The initial consultation should be an open discussion. What you aren’t looking for is a sales pitch. You’ll want to ask relevant questions about the agency’s track record and prior experience and how they plan to address your concerns.
You should also take note of the intent of their questions. For example, “how much are you paying for security now?”, in an initial consultation this could just be price benchmarking to help them maximize their bid. A more beneficial question (to you, the client) would be “based on your current structure and operations, what do you believe are some of the challenges we are likely to face?”
One question could be seen as self-serving and the other clearly indicates the protection agency actually cares about mitigating your risks and wants to start forming a plan as early as the initial consultation.
After the initial consultation is complete, you then want to determine the scope of work for the firm you are considering. What exactly do you require from them? Does it include travel? Are you requesting they provide protection for family members? Will the principal’s residence be covered?
You’ll want to paint the clearest picture possible of your wants and needs and get confirmation that the agency can provide that type and level of service. This shouldn’t at all be a one-sided conversation. A credible agency will be knowledgeable and able to offer insight and suggestions that will benefit your organization whether you contract them or another provider.
After you’ve made your expectations clear and they’ve given you adequate assurance that they can meet or exceed those expectations, it’s time to make a decision. Review your notes, re-verify the company is fully licensed and insured, and accept the most attractive proposal.
The hard part of the selection steps are done. You’ve weighed your options and made the best choice for your organization. Now the Executive Protection process begins. Depending on the scale of the protective operation, the agency you’ve contracted may require quite a lot of information from you initially.
An info & preference sheet on each principal and their closest family members, frequented locations and venues, information on your facilities, staff, current physical security measures.