Often, in courses and conferences on executive protectionAfter the presentation of elaborate security systems for a VIP, some attendees point out that, due to lack of resources, they only have a driver and a non-armored vehicle with GPS to provide the service. Consequently, they raise the following question: how to implement the security system for a vip? executive protection for this type of particularity?
Due to unclear situations such as the above, it is important to clarify what we understand by executive protection and which definitely cannot be considered as such.
Clients who generally receive the protection service must possess what is described as risk, resources and criticality (RRI). Consequently, there is no executive protection if these three factors do not exist:
- Risk factor. It is understood by itself and does not require further exposition for the purpose of this article.
- Resources. The person to be protected must have sufficient resources, either his or her own or from third parties (a person protected by a company or a government agency). It is necessary to understand that this activity cannot be successfully operated without resources. The executive protection is not popular insurance, but an exclusive service. As an example, it would be hard to imagine a person walking into a luxury car dealership and saying they want one but don't have the money to buy it. The salesperson would probably think it was a bad joke. The same thing happens when someone requests the service of executive protection but he refers that he does not have sufficient budget.
- Critical importance. Finally, the person must be of critical importance within an organization or a society. A CEO of a company, the president, a prime minister or a governor are people of critical importance. But, this type of importance could also take other, more subtle forms. For example, a journalist or a social fighter may be of critical importance to society or to his or her community. Likewise, a former president, a former governor, or the wife or children of a CEO, among others. This is why these types of people often receive official protection.
The factors of risk, resources and criticality are usually connected. Where there is true criticality, there is usually access to the necessary resources, either directly or indirectly; and vice versa, where there are resources, there is always criticality, either overtly or subtly. So, consequently, for the executive protection can be provided, these three factors must be met.
On the other hand, not just any measure or group of personal security measures may be considered as executive protection.
In order for a group of security measures to be considered executive protection must have the structure, processes and means to anticipate attacks in their preparation phase and reduce the executive's exposure to danger, thus reducing risks to an acceptable level (medium, medium-low or low, depending on the case). If a group of measures does not succeed in reducing risks to this level, we cannot talk about executive protection.
Next, we will explain a point that needs to be clarified to avoid any confusion. When the kidnapping boom began in Mexico, the main targets were top executives and people of a very high economic level. All of them had RRI; that is, they all had risk, resources and critical importance, while the security measures applied to them considerably reduced the risks. So all the factors are fulfilled to be able to say that they really had an RRI service. executive protection. So much so, that after a decade, high-impact kidnappings dropped considerably, and even criminals had to choose their victims from the middle and upper middle classes.
At that time, public and private organizations felt the need to protect a large number of lower-level executives who, although they lacked critical importance and resources, were at risk of aggression. Despite lacking resources, but with the need to provide them with some form of protection, many organizations provided these executives with some personal security measures: a security driver and GPS vehicles, rarely armored. These types of measures continued to be called executive protectionHowever, these are not enough to lower the risk to an acceptable level, since these operational concepts, in general, maintain medium-high and high risks to a wide variety of quite common threats, such as car theft with violence, robbery of pedestrians or kidnapping, among others.
These schemes could be called general executive care (CEM) or otherwise. However, it is important that they be clearly differentiated from the executive protection and that its users are duly informed about the scope of the service they are receiving.
It is worth mentioning that the agents working in the CEM are often great specialists in the executive protectionBut, they work without resources and without the necessary structure to provide the required level of safety. It is like a good surgeon who is working as a paramedic. Undoubtedly, he will provide a great service, if the situation requires it, but he will not be able to perform a good surgery, as he lacks the necessary resources and conditions to adequately perform the job.
It is important for both public and private security departments to be aware of the contrast between these two areas of work: executive protection and CEMs; which, despite having many similarities and the same objectives, have great differences in scope and procedures. Managers and operators, as well as users, should always be aware of such particularities.