THE MAGAZINE

The New Bodyguard: A Practical Guide to the Close Protection Industry

By Kevin Horak; Reviewed by Ross D. Bulla, CPP, PSP

***** The New Bodyguard: A Practical Guide to The Close Protection Industry. By Kevin Horak; published by Clearwater Special Projects, Ltd., www.clearwaterprojects.com (Web); 330 pages; $40.

This work is intended as a guide for those who are considering a career as a close protection (CP) specialist, such as a bodyguard.

The book begins by attempting to dispel myths of glamour, fame, and heroism in frank terms. Unfortunately, this discussion comes across as didactic. An inordinate amount of material seems to belabor the topic, and conversely, other topics suffer neglect.

The New Bodyguard sometimes contradicts its own lessons. For example, the author writes, “Trench coats can be very uncomfortable and restrict your movement making you very slow… never wear sunglasses unless you have to and certainly don’t wear them to ‘look the part.’”

Despite this advice, a photograph depicting a standard team formation shows the majority of protection specialists wearing overcoats and sunglasses.

The book eventually moves to assessing and managing threats. In doing so, The New Bodyguard presents some useful information worthy of study. The reader is presented with overviews of single-person and multiperson formations and escorts, security advances, risks of arrivals and departures, vehicle operations, bomb recognition, surveillance and countersurveillance, and radio communications. The book provides excellent instruction on proactive measures such as conducting an advance, for example.

The author also does something other books on this topic do not: He addresses ancillary duties, such as residential security, facility security, media relations, and radio communications.

Readers might dislike the book’s redundant use of a few concepts as well as its conversational writing style, but the book is generally insightful and instructive. It probably would be of use for those starting out or considering a career in CP. On the other hand, the experienced CP professional likely can find better resources for their knowledge level.


Reviewer: Ross D. Bulla, CPP, PSP, is president of The Treadstone Group, Inc., a security consultancy. He is a member of the ASIS Physical Security Council and the Facilities Physical Security Measures Guideline Committee.

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