Law Enforcement vs. Military (is there a preference?)

There is a common theory and argument that EP Specialist should have either a law enforcement or military background.

From a security company perspective we need to know that each of these institutions have inherent training features that compliment the EP mindset, however both have training features that are contrary to the EP mindset. The basis to Executive Protection is Cut and Run.

As a former Maryland State Trooper my training was always based on making sure I made it home alive everyday. I never had a partner. The team concept was never ingrained in my head. My partner Mark Fair [MTMS] is a former Marine. His entire military career was formed around the team concept.

If a police officer is involved in a shooting his/her response is to seek cover or concealment. A military’s response is to close with and destroy the enemy by fire or close combat. Both of these concepts do not fall within the basis of protection discipline.

In fact, in Protection we teach the specialist to expand his/her body, cover the client and MOVE. This is the basis of corporate EP. High Threat protection is a total different response, however the team element is set up differently.

In short, I have trained well versed and good specialists that didnt have either of the above backgrounds. In retrospect, I think it’s because they didnt come to the table with any bad habits.

I always caution clients from always first reaching out for police officers to do their protection. Active duty law enforcement are not trained in EP concepts unless they worked a public official in their police capacity. Having an active duty officer only guarantees that there is a weapon present and the ability to intervene in an official capacity. However, many of these active duty officers are moonlighting without their departments knowledge. This can be a bad cocktail if something happens. The client may expect them to switch to their official capacity, when in fact they can not. Moreover, in many cases, if something occurs in their presence they have to reveret back to their official capacity and address the issue. This could handicap the security presence if the officer has to manage the scene.

I rarely if ever use active duty officers on the close-in formation unless they are trained in EP concepts and for the reason above.

I just realized after i wrote this that there is a perfect example of the argument I’m making here showing each discipline in action. The Reagan shooting. The police on duty, officer Delahanty ducked for cover/concealment, special agent McCarthy expanded to protect the president and the first person to get to hinckley (close with) was the civilian in the yellow sweater who was a retired colonel in the army.

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