For high-profile and high-net wealth individuals, private security is often non-negotiable. Although once seen as a mark of significant success and affluence, evolving threats and increased visibility now mean that going without a personal security plan can create notable risk. In short, for many, Executive Protection is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity.
As the demand has grown for private security, countless agencies have sprung up to meet the need – these range from a “warm body with a gun” to elite agents with impressive backgrounds. For discerning clients, the need for discretion, experience, and excellence in a security team are as vital as their ability to reduce risk. Here are some essential skills to look for when hiring an Executive Protection Agent or team.
Unfortunately, as the protective services industry has grown, the field has proliferated with less experienced agents, whose services offer only a minor deterrent at best. When looking for a world-class Executive Protection Agent, experience matters. This single qualification can make the difference between life and death, and a successful security program and costly failures.
At Cooke and Associates, Inc. we pride ourselves on a team comprised of highly trained professionals with backgrounds in law enforcement and the military and many decades of service.
These robust backgrounds ensure the right response at the right time, with an insight and professional intelligence that only comes with experience. We partner with clients to develop and implement executive protection programs which utilize best practices and methodologies tested and deployed at the highest levels. We create scalable security services designed to reduce risk and minimize exposure while prioritizing quality of life and privacy. Our wide range of services has been utilized by prominent families, executives, celebrities, and at-risk individuals who seek protective solutions that give peace of mind.
For those who require the best of everything, an Executive Protection team with true expertise is worth their weight in gold. They offer peace of mind that extends beyond simple risk reduction. The sophisticated EP agent understands the dynamics of their principals’ evolving needs as well as the business landscape they are operating in, making countless behind-the-scenes decisions to make the executive’s business, travel, and daily affairs both smooth and seamless. Our agents prepare themselves upon assignment to a client, bringing an acumen and a general understanding of the client’s industry – which offers countless benefits. This preparedness extends from contingency planning and reputational risk management to disaster management and emergency response skills.
In addition, at CAI, our agents have basic and advanced life safety and medical training, offering an additional layer of protection, and are well equipped for anything that should arise.
While almost all Executive Protection agents have essential “hard skills,” such as tactical acumen and situational awareness, the most skilled agents bring the essential soft skills that come with true customer service.
When a principal or their support staff experiences a sudden challenge, the sophisticated agent will bring their diverse skill set to addressing unexpected issues. These agents can serve as natural extensions of the Estate Management team and provide crucial support when required.
At CAI, we take a boutique approach and assist clients with a range of services, such as:
- Transport support – such as secure transport of the principal’s VIP guests
- Mail and package intake – ensuring the safety of incoming materials
- Visitor management – including screening of vendors and guests
- Vehicle fleet management – ensuring vehicles are properly fueled and properly maintained, car seats are properly installed or moved between vehicles.
- Disaster readiness – management of life safety equipment in vehicles, residences, or offices, to include emergency supply kits and essential medications.
- Auditing Emergency Plans – assistance with performance audits of alarms, sprinkler systems, fire deterrents, panic systems, and disaster kits.
- Baggage Security – oversight of luggage during travel, ensuring essential baggage is accounted for throughout the trip.
- Travel Support – including driver vetting, facilitating last-minute changes to itineraries and communications assistance.
- Staff Vetting – screening and vetting essential and ad hoc staff.
At Cooke & Associates, Inc., our seasoned professionals go above and beyond to deliver a polished level of service to the most demanding clientele. Our agents bring with them an intuitive sensibility, a diverse skill set, and a refined approach to customer service that allows us to go the distance and become indispensable to our clients, wherever their business may take them. We are ready to respond to a diverse range of challenges and threats – from a sudden protest event or transportation issue with a key stakeholder to emergency CPR for a family member. The peace of mind offered by well-rounded staff with well-honed capabilities means that families and executives can focus on the things that matter, while we take care of the rest.
To learn more about our Executive Protection program, visit our website at www.cookepi.com.