The Police and the Close Protection Officer
A close protection officer is an individual employed by a government agency whose duty it is to protect government officials and those they protect from harm. Close protection officers also learn to escort a customer in potentially dangerous situations such as large crowds that become unruly during festivals or political gatherings. The British military also provides close protection training to members of the armed forces who are chosen to serve as bodyguards for high ranking officials or directors of public services (i.e. the British Army).
Close Protection Officer
Close protection agents can be male or female, although generally it is the woman who poses the greater danger to both the officer and the customer due to the size, strength and mobility of many female bodyguards. The close protection officer’s primary duty is to maintain contact with their client and to aid them in any way possible to prevent the commission of a crime. For this reason, female bodyguards are often stationed at distant points from the client, which means that if a crime is committed near the officer, the client is immediately removed from the scene.
While being on a contract with a private firm or a private individual, these close protection officers are legally constrained not to directly advance any agenda of their clients. In some instances, it may become necessary to prevent a public figure from entering specific areas, but it is the close protection officer’s duty to remain neutral and prevent the figure from actually traveling into these restricted areas. Despite the police authority, bodyguards are often allowed to physically restrain public figures if the public figure’s own security forces cannot control him or her. If a public figure has specific security forces under orders of restraint, the close protection officer must again follow their orders and prevent the public figure from moving. If a public figure is detained under the provisions of a temporary restraint order, the close protection officer must again follow their orders and prevent the person from attempting to leave the area, unless they are accompanied by another officer.