A bodyguard (or closed protection officer/operant) is a kind of security officer, public safety officer, or military service member that guarding a person or an ensemble of individuals against danger: typically theft, ambush, murder, injury, death, intrusion, vandalism, abuse, or threats. Bodyguards are usually employed by private companies and the government as security personnel. Private companies sometimes hire additional bodyguards known as a security detail to provide protection for their employees and their families in addition to the regular bodyguard force.
A bodyguard’s main job is to prevent the commission of crime by detecting, arresting, and eventually apprehending criminals. The primary function of a bodyguard is to prevent the commission of crime, but often the client may require more than one bodyguard to accomplish this goal. The objective must be to apprehend the criminal, protect the client, apprehend the criminal, and take the client into custody. Bodyguards also help the client to escape dangerous situations and perform evasive driving.
Evasive driving refers to the use of street smarts, timing, and physical positioning to outmaneuver a potential assailant in a potentially dangerous situation. Bodyguards can employ evasive driving techniques while on duty to maintain personal safety and the security of the client and/or members of the client’s security detail. Examples include: leaving turns at higher speeds than allowed, pulling off roads to meet an arriving vehicle, swerving into traffic, jaywalking, and parking in hazardous spots. The use of these techniques will draw attention to the bodyguard and will likely cause a confrontation between the bodyguard and the wanted criminal. Bodyguards are also trained in the use of physical barriers to block dangerous entries into buildings and certain areas. These include: alarms, barriers, and traps.
Escorting a client and his or her security detail into a secured residence requires the bodyguards escorting the client to be physically fit. A bodyguard must be able to maneuver through tight places and rooms without tripping or falling. Additionally, a bodyguard will likely need to be in good physical condition to ensure he or she can protect the client while they are entering a building or room. If a bodyguard is not in good enough shape to enter a building or room he or she is protecting, the client should have a backup plan. A bodyguard should be willing to help a client with their physical disabilities if it means they can complete the task at hand.
When protecting a client and his or her family, a bodyguard may need to rely on his or her personal martial arts skills. Some law enforcement agencies and private companies will hire an officer to serve as their bodyguard. In many cases, this individual will be unarmed. Although some law enforcement officers have been trained in unarmed combat, most remain unarmed. This is not to say that bodyguards may not be required to use their body weight for defense during an altercation, but they are not required to carry an unloaded weapon.
For those who are interested in being bodyguards, there are many opportunities available. Potential bodyguards can train at a private or public academy, gain experience through working with a private security company or working as a security guard for an off-site facility. Bodyguards may also choose to enroll in an intensive eight-week course that covers the basics of bodyguard operations, criminal justice, investigation, self defense, surveillance and apprehension. The course also covers topics such as business security, critical incident protocol, and first aid. The coursework will provide students with the knowledge to competently protect themselves and the families of others.