Hiring a protection specialist is a difficult decision to make, considering the level of trust and safety involved, but even tougher is finding the right one. Not all protection service agencies fit the criteria you’re looking for, as they may differ in terms of experience, training, and services offered. So how do you find the right personal or executive protection service to keep you safe? Here are some tips to help you with your search.

Understand your risk exposure

The extent of your potential risks plays a crucial role in defining the level of protection services you’ll need. Generally, there are several elements that can contribute to your risk exposure:

  • Profession Certain occupations come with a higher level of risk, such as politicians, corporate executives, and high-net-worth individuals. These high-profile persons are more likely to be targeted by threats due to their visibility and influence. In these cases, more comprehensive protection may be necessary, such as a 24/7 security detail, close protection, and advanced surveillance measures.
  • Activities – If your daily routine includes attending high-profile events, travelling frequently, or making public appearances, you’re at a higher risk of being targeted and therefore require protection services capable of discretely mitigating threats in dynamic environments.
  • Location – The location where you reside or operate can largely influence your risk exposure. High-crime areas, politically unstable regions, and places with a history of targeted attacks may require heightened security measures. Additionally, outdoor venues such as those close to tall buildings, in crowded streets, or in heavy traffic tend to have a different set of risks than those in controlled indoor settings.
  • Personal security concerns – Some individuals may feel vulnerable due to personal circumstances, such as prior conflicts with individuals or organizations, unwanted public attention, ongoing cases of stalking, or physical harm affecting someone close to them. Consider hiring a security consultant to assess your situation and recommend tailored protection measures.
  • Previous incidents – Having a personal history of threatening situations or attacks may indicate a higher risk level and the need for specialized protection services. If you’ve experienced issues such as targeted harassment, assault, or even property damage, it’s essential to share this information with a security consultant so that they can make an accurate risk assessment.

Determine the scope of protective services required

Once you understand your risk exposure, it’s essential to define the scope of services that best fit your needs. Security consultants will typically provide a range of options, from basic protection to highly specialized services. Here are a few examples of protection services that may be available:

  • Close protection – This involves having designated executive protection agents who constantly stay by your side and monitor potential risks during public appearances, events, or daily activities.
  • Armed or unarmed security detail – If you’re often in environments that may pose a higher risk of physical harm, armed personal protection specialists may be ideal for your safety. However, unarmed guards are also highly trained in threat assessment and can handle multiple tasks such as crowd control, surveillance, and close protection.
  • Transportation security – For high-profile individuals who frequently travel, having a dedicated team of trained drivers and vehicles equipped with advanced safety features can provide an additional layer of protection during transportation.
  • Surveillance – For individuals or organizations with higher risk levels, advanced surveillance technology can provide real-time threat detection and alerts.

Assess training, qualifications, and experience

When evaluating a protection specialist’s qualifications, it’s essential to consider both formal training and real-world experience. Top-notch security personnel will typically have extensive training in areas such as threat assessment, defensive tactics, firearms, emergency response, and first aid. 

Your security detail should also have the licenses and certifications required for operating in your location. For instance, the Department of Criminal Justice Services certifications are a must for private security services businesses operating in Virginia. Additionally, if you require protection specialists to carry firearms in various locations, they’ll need to have concealed carry permits

Apart from formal training, the experience of handling security situations similar to your own risk profile adds invaluable expertise. It’s important to inquire about the specialist’s previous assignments (without breaking confidentiality agreements) and assess how effectively they managed various scenarios. If possible, ask for references from previous clients or employers to get a better sense of their capabilities.

Evaluate personality and professionalism

The ideal protection specialist is not only skilled in physical protection but is also adept at communication and capable of making quick, informed decisions in high-pressure situations. They should exhibit a high level of discretion, integrity, and the ability to seamlessly blend into your personal or professional environment as needed. 

To evaluate these soft skills, you should request a face-to-face interview with prospective specialists and ask about their previous experiences in handling challenging situations. You can also observe their behavior during the interview, paying attention to traits such as confidence, assertiveness, and attentiveness.

Recommendations and referrals from trusted sources can also be helpful in assessing a protection specialist’s professionalism and personality. Additionally, consider inquiring with reputable protection services companies. Aspis, in particular, has strict hiring criteria and conducts thorough background checks on all security personnel to ensure they uphold the highest standards of professionalism.

Consider costs and budget

The cost of personal protection services can vary significantly depending on factors such as the perceived level of risk, location, scope of services, and qualifications of the security detail. Expect to pay a premium for highly specialized services, such as shadow executive protection or advanced surveillance. Some agencies may also charge hourly rates, while others may request fixed salaries depending on the duration of services required. What’s more, some protection services may charge additional fees for specialized training, equipment, or contingency plans. 

It’s important to be clear about the upfront costs and discuss any additional expenses that may arise during the engagement. Keep in mind that while it may be tempting to opt for lower-priced services, make sure you’re not compromising on the quality of your security and personal safety. 

Clarify contractual agreements

When hiring a protection specialist or security team, it’s essential to have clear contractual agreements to protect both parties involved. The contract should outline the scope of services, including roles and responsibilities, duration of services, payment terms, and confidentiality agreements.

It’s also important to clarify any potential liability issues upfront. These may include scenarios such as injuries to the protected individual during a security situation or damage to property caused by the security team. Check if the security agency has proper insurance coverage to mitigate such risks and whether you’re required to have any additional coverage as well. Doing so will prevent miscommunication or misunderstandings down the line.There’s a lot to consider when hiring personal protection services, but with proper research and due diligence, you can find a professional and reliable security team that meets your unique needs. Of course, with Aspis Protection Service, you can rest assured that all these aspects are carefully taken into account to provide you with top-notch personal or executive protection services. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can tailor a security solution that’s right for you.