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Misconceptions and the value of vetting

I have had lengthy conversations about this matter with Minister and no matter how much we agree to disagree, there is no real litmus test or absolute vetting process.

In as much as you  try to use several measuring tools to determine if a person will measure up to your standards there is always a part that can leak through your sifting process.  I used to think that the process to enter Law Enforcement “was” thorough, you hear of story after story of a bad cops past that slipped through the cracks.

When I entered this industry Vance International had a vetting process that limited their personnel to that of only former law enforcement and/or military backgrounds.  The thought behind that was that both sectors predisposed you to some entry level undertsanding of chain of command, esprit de corp, weapons training etc.  What we found was a group of “A” type personalities that challenged each other on a daily basis on their backgrounds.  In essence the vetting started after you got hired.  I remember guys coming to the Mclean detail and getting plastered to the walls after senior VEP Agents got a hold of their bios.  We had guys outted on their self claimed warrior antics as well as other affiliations they lied about.  It was not a place for the weak at heart, but it was a clearing house of the be’s and wannabes.

Then there was the infux of guys in this industry after the Bodyguard movie.  Applicants surfaced like roaches in the projects.  What made it worse was that well respected schools stopped their own process of vetting and chased the almighty dollar.  There was a wave of unqualified guys coming from everywhere.  What that flood did was open the doors to the friends of the catfish to follow in their footsteps.  Today we have different sects of the protection world, the standard EP, PSD, and bodyguard.  No area is protected anymore causing a mad race for members.

In BPI we use the “first cousin” rule.  Meaning, we use, for the most part, specialists that are referred by valued specialists.  These specialists understand the BPI and Boanerges Group Creed and are repsected in our company.  The double edged sword arises when they recommend someone that turns bad.  That is not just a reflection on the bad seed, but a direct reflection of the person recommending them.  It’s not perfect, but it works.  No one wants to lose their position, standing and respec by referring someone that doesn’t meet the cut.

Cleints.  I personally vet clients.  What I mean is that I look at each client before I sign a contract.  I get alot of opposition on this view but I stand by my position.  Several years ago we had the opportunity to cover a very popular and high level rapper in the music industry.  Although this client would have surely raised our notoriety in the industry, my standards prevailed in the end and I declined.  My decision was based off of 2 things: 1-he would he really buy into the Executive Protection Model? No. And 2- it was just a matter of time that my insurance would have been brought to the table for some Hip Hop antics that would have put one of my guys in the jack pot.  For those reason alone I declined the offer.  He has since, to my knowledge gone through several bodyguard companies.

There is no true way to vet a person or client but I implore all of you to put measures in place to save yourself the heartaches.  It’s not perfect but it’s better than nothing at all.  Vicarious liability is one animal you don’t ever want to face in this jungle.  The bite is wide, deep and long and more importantly-EVERLASTING.

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