Bodyguard

From Academic Kids

A bodyguard is a person who protects someone from personal assault, kidnapping, assassination, loss of confidential information, or other threats.

Bodyguards are typically armed and have expertise in unarmed combat, tactical driving, and first aid. However, the most important skill for a bodyguard is the ability to assess a situation and decide how best to respond to minimize danger to his principal. Most important public figures are protected by several bodyguards who work together as a unit, using several vehicles and sometimes decoy vehicles to protect their client. Less important protectees (or those with lower risk profiles) are accompanied by a single bodyguard, who may double as a driver. However, some billionaires and dignitaries choose to dispense with bodyguards in all but the most risky situations.

In multi-agent units (like those protecting celebrities or the heads of states), one or more bodyguards specialize on particular tasks, such as intelligence, communication/communications protection, threat/vulnerability/risk assessment, and analysis. Other tasks may include design and operation of physical security measures at home, office, and while travelling, as well as data security systems. There can also be on-call specialists in explosives and chemical detection, crowd screening and control, SCUBA patrol, special weapons, armor, hostage negotiation, surveillance, and technical countermeasures (anti-bugging). Regardless of the team size, there must be a comprehensive security plan with a staffing plan and budget.

In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, most bodyguards are former or current police officers, or sometimes former military or other government agency personnel.

One well-known public agency that provides bodyguard services is the United States Secret Service which safeguards the lives of the President, his family, and other executive officials. The Secret Service can be compared to historical bodies such as the Praetorian Guard, Varangian Guard, Swiss Guard, Janissaries and Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Another agency, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, is responsible for protecting U.S. missions and their personnel overseas, as well as selected dignitaries in the U.S., including the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, the Secretary of State, and visiting foreign dignitaries below heads-of-state level.

An international scandal involving a bodyguard erupted in 2000 in Ukraine, when local president Leonid Kuchma was publicly accused of committing numerous crimes by Mykola Mel'nychenko, an agent assigned to provide communications protection at his office (See also SBU, Georgiy Gongadze, Cassette Scandal).

In 1984 Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of the Republic of India was assassinated by two of her security guards.

Some police dogs that are considered valuable enough for criminals to attempt to kill are assigned a large breed companion dog that serves as their bodyguard.

Minders

  • A minder is a bodyguard who protects the financial interests of the principal rather than their personal safety.

See also

Fictional bodyguards

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