Don’t be that guy
Allowing your emotions to cloud your judgement is the fastest way to place your client in physical harm and a direct path to the unemployment line. There are two fundamental principles in close protection. Protect the clients from physical harm and protect the client’s reputation. Both are as equally as important and the second part of that responsibility seems to be lost on a great many protection specialists. If you are a hot head, you have no business protecting someone. Close protection is a game of Chess. unfortunately we are seeing a good deal of “Checker” players masquerading as chess players. The person in the article is alleged to be the “bodyguard” of Roger Goodell. Mr. Goodell has enough negative press at this moment. His protection detail should be cognizant of this fact and should have acted accordingly. Aggressive paparazzi are part of the job. They are one of the primary reasons that you were hired so that you prevent their interference in your clients personal and business lives in the first place. His “Bodyguard” had several opportunities to prevent this incident from escalating to it’s embarrassing and unprofessional conclusion. Mr. Goodell now has another negative press story that he will have to address. I’m not getting into the politics of Mr. Goodell or the NFL’s stance on domestic violence. That’s a separate topic. The “Brand” of Roger Goodell and the NFL’s reputation suffered a direct hit at a time when they are attempting to rebuild their tattered image. Having their reputation further questioned or compromised by unprofessional behavior by their reported protection staff should not have happened. What I would like to address is a direct failure in the overall protection strategy of Mr. Goodell. The person in the story is alleged to have been a member of is security detail. What I do know is that this is another story of yet another person acting as a “bodyguard” placing their client in harms way physically or damaging the clients reputation. The reported bodyguard is alleged to have had a law enforcement background. It does not disclose his close protection background so I can not comment on his level of training or his previous work history. What I do know is that his alleged behavior on the day of this article in no way reflect the tenants of our profession. He had every opportunity to limit Nichols ability to access the vehicle. That should have started before he ever planned his trip and exited the building. It appears that there was not a whole lot of pre-planning involved in this movement. At a minimum, a simple look outside prior to departure would have disclosed the presence of Nichols, A phone call to his Law Enforcement brethren would more than likely have derailed Mr. Nichols intents, Not through an arrest, but by buying the bodyguard time to exit unmolested by Nichols. Celebrities, politicians and CEO’s all have the potential for paparazzi and stalkers. That’s what we get hired for. Sometimes simply working with the press/paparrazi can work. Setting up a time for press briefing by a spokesperson may diffuse and or give you cover to move the principle. Depending on the level of threat or the level of discretion your client is willing to endure, decoy vehicles and principles are all options. Stopping a vehicle in Downtown Manhattan on Park Avenue, getting into fisticuff’s with someone is not. Mr. Nichols could have been a diversion to get the SUV to stop so that a second person or group conducted another reputation attack at best or a kidnap or murder attempt at worst.