When protecting individuals from others that may wish to do them harm, kidnap them, or just be near them because they think that the person he or she is stalking is theirs in some way it is important to protect oneself first. In today’s world of popularity of movie stars and political figures it has become more increasingly important for those individuals to hire personal protective agents. For an agent to do the best job that they can they must first protect him or herself or he or she will not be able to protect his or her client.
The use of personal protective equipment and weapons has become more popular then it was in the past. Personal protection agents must worry about the use of weapons, personal protection equipment, and the use of force so they can protect themselves and their client to the fullest. Weapons When protecting someone from would be attackers or those that wish to harm the client the use of weapons may be necessary. Many different types of weapons are available for agents to use.
Non-lethal weapons like tasers, stun guns, pepper spray, bean bag guns, and rubber bullets. These weapons are all designed to slow down the individual and allow the agent to take control of the situation by restraining the attacker. Non-lethal weapons are designed to allow the agent to resolve a dangerous situation. The use of non-lethal weapons by personal protection agents can de-escalate a situation in which, greater force may have been used. Not all situations can be resolved by the use of non-lethal weapons.
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In the situations that require an agent to carry a gun or a lethal weapon the agent must first receive the proper training on the use of the weapon. Each state has different guidelines on the use of firearms and restrictions of who can possess a firearm. When the agent becomes fully trained in the use of a firearm and obtains the proper permits and licensing the agent protects his or her self from many civil liabilities. When an agent has been properly trained this will help to eliminate any unnecessary accidents.
Proper training will allow the agent to assess the situation entirely before he or she discharges a weapon and injures an innocent by-stander. Weapons will allow the agent to fully protect him or herself, and give him or her capability to protect his or her principal to the fullest. When a dangerous situation arises a protection agent must be ready to do whatever it takes to keep his or her principal safe. By arming themselves with either non-lethal or lethal weapons they can ensure that the principal is well protected. Personal Protection Equipment
According to a 1997 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of 700 state and local law enforcement agencies with 100 or more officers, approximately 40% of sheriff's and municipal police departments, and 25% of state and country police departments require all field officers to wear body armor, compared to slightly less than 30% in the same survey conducted in 1993 (Body Armor, 2009). The top five threats that face police officers and protection agents are blunt trauma, hypodermic needles, knives, bullets, and homemade and pointed weapons.
Along with weapons agents must also protect themselves with life-saving equipment. The use of bullet-proof vests and body armor will help the agent to prevent him or herself from being fatally shot while on duty. By requiring the principal wear a vest also this will increase the survival of the principal. The use of body armor will help to defuse a potentially fatal situation. It is important for agents to remember that the decision to choose a protective equipment item should not be because it is comfortable or it looks good on him or her.
The choice of protective gear should be based on the level of threats that may be present. The higher the threat level the stronger the protective gear. If it may be a fatal situation, then the agent should choose full body armor. This decision should also apply to the person who is under protection. Not all people that are being protected will require the use of such drastic equipment but by using other equipment can decrease their vulnerability. Use of Force The use of force has always been a questionable tactic in law enforcement and security fields.
Everyone always questions how much force is needed, was the force justifiable and could the officer have done something differently to deter the use of force. By teaching officers and protection agents what is the appropriate level of force and in what situations force can be stronger will help to prevent unnecessary questioning by the public and the media. Most agencies have guidelines and policies that outline the use of force. These guidelines describe the escalating continuum that is appropriate for officers and agents to use.
The use of force continuum is designed into five separate levels. Level one is the simple presence of an officer or agent. The agent is non-threatening and professional, and the mere presence of the agent is to act as deterrence for an attacker. Level two is the verbalization level. This is when an agent uses verbal commands such as please step back, stop, or do not move to make the individual to stop his or her approach. This is a non-physical stage and is used to let the attacker know that there is someone present to stop him or her if he or she continues.
Level three is the empty hand technique. Officers or agents use two types of empty hand techniques. The first is a soft empty hand technique and is the use of grabs, holds, and joint locks to restrain the individual. The second is hard empty hand techniques and the agent uses punches or kicks to subdue the attacker. This step is used when the attacker is noncompliant to the first two levels of the continuum. This level is also used in conjunction with level two, the use of verbal commands such as stop or I will have to restrain you. Level four is the use of less than lethal methods.
This level is broke down into three sections. The first is blunt impact, the use of a baton or a projectile to immobilize the individual. The second is the use of chemicals. These can include pepper spray, mace, tear gas, or other chemical sprays that are used to immobilize the attacker. The third type of less than lethal force is the use of conducted energy devices. Officers or agents may use CEDs to immobilize an individual. CEDs discharge a high-voltage, low-amperage jolt of electricity at a distance (U. S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, 2009).
The final level of the use of force continuum is lethal force. This is the final choice among agents and officers. Lethal force is only used when all the other levels have been exhausted and the agent or officer is left with no other choice then to use lethal force. It should only be used if the suspect poses a serious threat to the agent or the principal. The use of force must be justified in any case and the agent must be able to clearly state why he or she believed the level of force that was used was needed. In no circumstances should an agent use force if there is no reason for its use.
When confronted by a situation, it is not uncommon for an agent of officer to move from one level to the next of the continuum within a matter of seconds. Situations can escalate from non-threatening and not serious to lethal within seconds. It is all on how the situation is dealt with and how determined the individual who is posing the threat is to escalate the situation. Summary Whenever an agent is assigned to a protective detail, it is important for them to make sure that they assess the situation for every aspect that is needed to determine the level of protection for his or her principal.
When protecting individuals, it is important to remember that every aspect of the detail is assessed and that the agent communicates fully with his or her team. This will allow the agent and others involved to make sure that there will be no surprises and that he or she are ready for anything that may happen. Agents can never underestimate their potential adversaries. If they do they may not be fully prepared for what is about to happen. They must also protect themselves with weapons and personal protection equipment so that they are not harmed.
This will help to increase the success of the assignment and will ensure that the principal is well guarded. Agents must also be trained and knowledgeable in the use of force continuum. This will keep them from committing a needless mistake while protecting their principal. By being fully trained and completely prepared for assignments personal protection agents can do their job better and give their principal the opportunity to relax with the knowledge that they are fully protected no matter what may arise.
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