Close protection officers (CPO’s) are trained, specialized security officers that keep people safe against possible legal, financial and/or personal harm. Close protection officers offer protection to the general public against criminal elements, bounty hunters, corporate security contractors and other officials who pose a potential threat to employees, customers, the general public or properties. Close protection officers also provide personal security, risk management, pre-emption, and discreet surveillance, all while working on commission. While this may not seem like the most glamorous job in the world, the employment opportunities for close protection agents is far greater than you might think.
What Does a Close Protection Officer Do?
In years past, bodyguard jobs were generally held by the local police, the US Border Patrol or the U.S. Marshals Service, but today there are dozens of private, professional, nationwide bodyguard companies that hire officers to protect corporate, bank and government clients on a contract basis. These businesses have evolved in response to the changing needs of their customers, who increasingly want more security and protection when they travel. The primary function of a close protection officer is to ensure that their client and/or associate are in compliance with local, state and federal laws. These officers also perform other duties, such as the apprehension of fugitives, bank fraud detection, apprehension and prosecution of thieves, and the enforcement of other pertinent laws.
Close protection officers are typically employed by large, high-profile companies and corporations, though there are some small, boutique security firms that employ close protection officers to serve their individual clients. Typically, CPOs work on a commission basis, receiving a portion of the fees that result from any reported security threat or crime. In exchange for the services they render, CPOs are entitled to a substantial amount of benefits, including access to VISA and passports, exclusive use and ownership of corporate facilities, use of all government vehicles and privileges, use of company aircraft, use of company vehicles for official business travel and use of employer office space.