Executive Protection Academy

Executive Protection Academy

Weapons or armor? A false and dangerous dilemma.

During the early morning hours of Saturday, May 22 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, the bodyguard of the family of Sergio "Checo" Perez, a Mexican racing driver, was seriously injured in an attempted robbery. The protégé was not present at the time of the incident.

According to newspaper reports, a group of armed individuals approached the luxury Jeep Wrangler in which one of the escorts was traveling; however, another agent who was driving behind the vehicle drew his weapon and an exchange of gunfire ensued between the robbers and the guards, in which the escort in the vehicle was seriously wounded.

This unfortunate fact confirms, once again, what the book states Executive Protection in the 21st Century: The New Doctrine. An executive protection scheme with firearms, but without an armored vehicle, increases the risk of an "occasional" assault instead of reducing it. This is a common practice of some security guards and/or managers who, in order to avoid the cost of an armored vehicle, choose to hire only armed agents or, even worse, only a driver, also armed, thinking that this is enough to provide security and, moreover, at a low cost.

As we can see, such a practice is extremely dangerous, since it turns a "minimal" risk, such as losing a watch, a cell phone or a vehicle, into an even greater danger by exposing one's life or risking irreversible physical damage to both the protégé and the escorts.

Suffice it to recall the case of businessman Adolfo Lagos, who was unintentionally killed by his bodyguards, who were trying to thwart a robbery in which the criminals intended to steal his bicycle. In fact, the robbery "could have been avoided" because, in the end, the bicycle was not stolen, only at the expense of the protégé, who lost his life.

Both the firearm and the armored vehicle are distinct tools with different purposes within a "system" of executive protectionwhich is derived from a specialized study for each case. One tool cannot be used instead of another or to "save" on the expenses generated by the use of the other tool, as is often the case with armored vehicles.

In most Mexican cities, the crime of vehicle robbery with violence is one of the most frequent, so any serious security study would show the need to reduce vulnerability in this crime through the use of an armored vehicle, since, as demonstrated, unarmored weapons increase the risk to the executive in the very likely event of a "casual" assault. This is explained in this video:

Firearms are not, or rather, should not be used to thwart accidental assaults. For that purpose, other tools are implemented, such as deterrence, armor, accessibility reduction, exposure reduction or the elimination of "seams", among others. Weapons (if the particular study deems it necessary) are to address other types of more complex threats and not to increase risks, or create them where there are none.

If you work under a scheme of executive protection I recommend that, in order to make your executive or client aware, you use these examples by asking these simple questions:

"According to these examples, and in the case of a mugging on the street, what do you consider we would do: draw our weapons and start a gunfight where you may get killed or injured, or your children, or your family, or else let them hand over their belongings as requested by the mugger?"

Given the surprise or confusion that this question generally provokes, we take the opportunity to offer the executive the methods and solutions necessary to avoid such a serious situation.

In my experience, this strategy is extremely effective in making the executive understand the true concept of security and thus be much more willing to cooperate and even invest.

The executive protection The modern approach involves questioning the methods that have always been used in real-life situations such as these to come up with smarter and more effective solutions that help protect the lives of both executives and escorts.