Executive Protection During COVID-19
COVID-19 has been one of the most disruptive forces in recent memory. Not only has the health toll been catastrophic, but the economic damage will be felt for years to come.
Executive protection agents aren’t immune to these challenges. The pandemic has created a whole host of challenges within the executive protection field, ranging from the closure of executive protection schools to executive protection agents needing to address new threats caused by COVID-19.
At Pacific West Academy, we have also been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and the ramifications that it has had on the executive protection field. While there are certainly some short-term headwinds and challenges, our graduates keep being placed in jobs. In the end, your dream of becoming an executive protection agent is certainly alive—even amidst a global pandemic.
How COVID-19 Has Affected the Executive Protection Industry
In “normal” times, executive protection agents needed to pay attention to a wide range of threats, including everything from securing vehicles and private aircraft to protecting VIPs from active shooters. This was a significant job in and of itself, but COVID-19 has made that job even more difficult.
Additionally, if they believe they or their clients have been exposed, they must take quick, decisive action to quarantine those affected and minimize any potential spread of the virus. Extra care must be taken with elderly clients as they make up over 80% of COVID-19 deaths. Instead of just maintaining a visibly clean work environment inside of vehicles and homes, disinfecting common areas used by clients should be a regular occurrence.
Now, executive protection agents need to constantly have personal protective equipment for themselves and their clients. They must be able to recognize the signs of COVID-19 and protect both themselves and their clients from potential exposure. And if they believe they or their clients have been exposed? They must take quick, decisive action to quarantine and minimize any potential spread of the virus.
Because of this, executive protection agents must maintain their ability to improvise when it comes to accomplishing a protection detail. While these new threats may not have been anticipated, they cannot be ignored; carrying extra masks and gloves and finding or carrying disinfectants while performing their duty may become commonplace. Executive protection agents need to develop a plan about how to protect themselves and their clients from disease in this evolving world of protection. When planning a detail, add extra PPE and disinfectants to the medical checklist.
From the actual role of executive protection itself, COVID-19 has also impacted operations and training at executive protection schools. Like many other businesses across the country, executive protection schools have been closed. Because bodyguard training is so hands-on, it is difficult to continue in-person training while avoiding COVID-19 infection.
That being said, there is good news. Arguably, an executive protection certification has become even more valuable in these uncertain times. VIPs and other clients are searching for reassurance and additional protection, whether it is getting from point A to point B or receiving additional coronavirus-related protection as they go about their day-to-day lives.
COVID-19 has also affected operations and training at various schools. Like many other businesses across the country, executive protection schools have been closed. Because security training is so hands-on, it is difficult to continue in-person training while avoiding COVID-19 infection. This challenge is being similarly met by police academies and military training installations. When training schools reopen, wearing masks and sanitizing equipment, computers, desks, teaching aids and common areas will need to be a part of the everyday routine. Students and faculty should be tested to ensure everyone on the premises is healthy.
While executive protection schools may not be holding in-person training, these schools continue to work to place graduates in jobs. This is especially true at Pacific West Academy, where we have identified terrific opportunities for our graduates to take their executive protection certification and use it in the field. Even though the job may be more challenging in these uniquely difficult circumstances, we are absolutely confident that our graduates have the tools to succeed on the job.
That being said, here is the good news. Executive protection training and certification has become even more valuable in these uncertain times. VIPs and other clients are searching for the assurance that they and their family is protected, whether it is getting from point A to point B or receiving additional coronavirus-related protection as they go about their day-to-day lives. These clients will get that assurance from well-trained individuals with the proper credentials.
No matter the particular threats or circumstances, every executive protection agent needs to be on high alert. With their bodyguard training in hand, they will be able to respond to all of these threats and sufficiently protect their clients.
An Entirely Different World
Ultimately, it is difficult to project where the executive protection market will end up, but the need for security is never going away. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was an increase in over 20,000 security jobs from 2017 to 2019 in the US alone. There has been an increase in the mean hourly wage by nearly 7% over that same timeframe. Not only are there more personal protection positions, but they are paying more as well.
COVID-19 was definitely an unexpected threat for many of us. What makes it difficult for executive protection agents is the fact that the threat can be anywhere. Working with clients who often interact with others, the threat from COVID-19 is all too real. Yet you can’t solely focus on COVID-19; instead, you need to also focus on the many other threats that could harm your client.
In the end, however, these threats can present opportunities. Bodyguard training is especially valuable in these uncertain times. Whether you choose to attend Pacific West Academy or another executive protection school, we encourage you to pursue this exciting opportunity today.
Our Students Say
I've been in Executive Protection here in LA since returning from a tour in Iraq in 2005. I think a lot of people who are interested in this field are under the misconception that being a cop, soldier or bouncer will give them all the tools they need to be effective in the EP field. Far from it. These jobs may provide a foundation but they don't provide a true understanding of the dynamics of Executive Protection. Your course was a good introduction to the ins and outs (and potential pitfalls) of EP work. Whether or not someone is new to the field or, like me, just trying to maintain perishable skills, I highly recommend this course.Don Los Angeles, CA
As a former law enforcement officer I thought I had a pretty good understanding of what it would take to be a good Executive Protection Specialist but it's a whole different ball game when you don't have the weight of a badge behind you. Although this course was basically fundamentals, I felt it helped bridge the gap between my experience as a law enforcement officer and the EP field. Although I had done a lot of similar range work before I found the firearms portion of the course work to be very professional and well executed and could see how this would be a great course for someone new to the field. Thanks for a great course.Josh Huntington Beach, CA
I just want to say thank you to ASC for everything. After I graduated I got a call from ****** Security about my interview that I had with them on the last day of school. They said that the skill set and training I received from ASC (along with my military background) place me far beyond the average person who applied for a job with their company. And because of that they want to hire me not as a security guard, but as a shift supervisor. I couldn't believe it. One of my fears about starting my career and security was that I would graduate from training and not receive any job offers. However since graduating ASC I've been offered two jobs (one as a supervisor and one as a guard) and the pay for both are great. The money I'm going to start making is way more than what I was before so for that I want to say thank you. It was because of you guys that my life changed course and now the possibilities are ever-changing. Be sure to pass my thanks to Connor, Omer, Ryan, Jake, Ian, Steve and the rest of the guys.Jovidean Sun Valley, CA
I just wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend your CPR course. I know your focus is primarily training bodyguards but as a mother of two I wanted to learn CPR 'just in case.' I never realized there was such a difference between CPR for adults and CPR for infants. I now feel comfortable that if something bad were to happen I have the ability to do CPR. Thank you again.Larissa Courpus Christi, TX