***** Beyond the Bodyguard: Proven Tactics and Dynamic Strategies for Protective Practices Success. By Gavriel Schneider; published by Universal Publishers, www.universal-publishers.com (Web); 168 pages, $27.95.
In Beyond the Bodyguard, author Gavriel Schneider, an experienced close protection officer (CPO), offers information on the background of the close protection industry, close protection skills, selection and training of CPOs, technology, and other issues.
A particularly interesting part of the book deals with use of force. Schneider points out that much of the industry and the public concentrate on the use of firearms in close protection. In his research, however, he found that very few CPOs ever had to draw their sidearms during a protection detail, primarily because very few of the threats they encounter involve guns themselves. Schneider also talks realistically about the problems involved in carrying weapons in many countries and how a skilled CPO should be able to avoid situations in which a weapon is needed. This is good advice that shows the author’s experience and maturity.
Schneider repeatedly cites a need for increased professionalism in the close protection trade, but his explanations of professional practice are often incomplete. For example, the section on protection skills covers the six primary functions of a personal escort, but it doesn’t explain how the different types of formations work or the responsibilities of individual team members. The lack of how-to detail is disappointing, as the title promises that the reader will find them within.
Despite its shortcomings, the work is comprehensive, well-researched, and detailed, and it would be of use to CPOs and CPO trainers as a professional manual. It would also be useful for someone who is considering engaging the services of a CPO.
Reviewer: Ross Johnson, CPP, is senior manager of security and contingency planning for Capital Power Corporation in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and author and webmaster of antiterrorism-planning.com. He is a member of the National Energy Security Professionals, and the Canadian Electricity Association’ s Security and Infrastructure Protection Committee, and the ASIS Oil, Gas, and Chemical Industry Security Council.