Hiring Private Security in New York
“Not everyone has hired personal security before, so, where do you start?”
Hiring personal security has never been easier and more and more people are doing it, it’s no longer exclusive to Hollywood stars, Royalty or the rich and famous. It is quite common place for medium to large firms to utilize the services of a close protection provider to ensure that their executives are safe, this of course includes during travel.
When you hire personal security, what can you expect from the service? What do you really need to know before you commit?
For a start, the world of personal bodyguards and private security is very diverse and there is something to suit everyone’s needs, from $200 or so per day, right up to a full team costing tens of thousands of Dollars per day. It totally depends on your requirements and the risks that you face.
There are options available for every budget, but if you are at genuine risk, then you need to be prepared for adequate security and of course, that will come at a cost.
If at all possible, never be in a rush to hire private security. To make the correct decision based on information provided, will take maybe a few days. Good firms will be able to react to your inquiry fast, but don’t just pick one firm, get two or three quotes and see what type of response you get in return. One fact when it comes to hiring bodyguards is that cheaper does not mean better!
It’s down to you to get best value for money at the end of the day and if you ask the right questions, then you should get the best possible service fit for you.
Bodyguard licensing in New York
New York State law requires all "Security Guards" to attend a course at a New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) approved training school and attend an 8-hour annual in-service class. Every bodyguard in the State must posess an in date "Security Guard Registration Card". Most bodyguards will more than likley be former New York Police officers, government trained or have prior military service.Armed bodyguards must also obtain:
- Possess a valid New York State pistol license
- Complete an additional 47 hours firearms training course
New York is a big city, a cosmopolitan, vibrant place that can be both magical and frightening at the same time. It is one of the most visited cities in the world and home to some great international events, from the US Open tennis tournament in Queens each August, through to the New York International Fringe Festival and of course the famous New York Marathon. It really is a city that has everything to offer, including of course some of the best shopping and is home to a number of the top Michelin starred restaurants, including the world-famous Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare by César Ramirez, or the very talented Daniel Humm's Eleven Madison Park.
No matter what your reason to visit New York, it is important that you hire private security that best suits your needs. If it’s a film premiere, red carpet event, a party that you are hosting or a business meeting, it’s important to ensure that you get a service that adds value to you and to what you are doing.
The best place to start is to evaluate your personal risks, that’s the starting point for any professional firm and that is one of the very first questions that they will be asking you – why do you need personal security?
It goes without saying that you can be as honest as you want here. But, a word of caution, if you fail to disclose important information that would affect your safety and the safety of your bodyguard, then that may come back to haunt you if things go wrong! The best policy is to be totally honest; the fact is, that most experienced firms will have heard it all before, threats from former partners, being stalked, bad business relationships, etc.
It really isn’t uncommon for people to hire personal security just because they don’t feel safe and have no over-riding threat upon them, they just want reassurance and the comfort of having a familiar face there. That is totally fine and if that is the situation you are in, then just say that.
Another very important question is: Do you require armed or unarmed bodyguards?
Having armed bodyguards is of course ideal, but even then, it may slow you in your movements if for example weapons have to be ‘checked in’ when entering a building, etc. So, if you are utilizing a team it might be prudent to build that thought into your planning – that said, such issues should be easily identified by your security detail in their planning sessions.
One thing that we would always advise clients is for them to read our Travel Risk Report for New York City to ensure that they have a grasp of the perceived threats. New York has had a bad reputation over the years for gun and gang crime, but, the fact is, this will not affect the average visitor to the city. New York City has around 60 million annual visitors each year - that is a lot of people! Also, visitors to New York should bear in mind that the chances of them being caught up in a terrorist attack in New York is very low, there were three incidents in 2017 that were classed as being terror-related.
Planning and working with your itinerary is very important and will help to further identify any places or times where you may be exposed to heightened levels of risk. That way, these periods can be planned for and simply managed - a good bodyguard service is about great planning and mitigating the risks.
Some of the most challenging clients to work with are ones who do everything ‘off the cuff’. Spur of the moment is okay, but endlessly roaming through life without forward planning will bring risks that will need mitigating, and when trying to provide a service, that results in greater expenditure passed on to the client.
Is the bodyguard service required just for you? Or are there children to protect about too? Where children are concerned, the less stress and disruption to their lives the better. An experienced company will know how to handle a situation where there are children, or vulnerable adults involved. Compassion and thoughtfulness is required and you really cannot cut corners here.
“Managing the client is really the biggest part of providing a great service - as the client, you really need to feel comfortable and overall, safe”
Once there is an understanding of your requirements, then the service can be tailored to suit your exact needs. Maybe one bodyguard is not enough. Maybe you need a car and driver to. Maybe you require a team of bodyguards working shifts.
Most bodyguards will work 8-12 hour shifts on an ideal working day, so to have more than one bodyguard is not uncommon. Fatigue can be a big issue for bodyguards because the art of providing private security means that they have to be on their toes physically and mentally during their whole time on duty. They have to work restroom and food breaks around the client’s movements too - not always as easy as you might think!
Never be put off asking questions when hiring a bodyguard, you are the client and it’s up to you to carry out your own due diligence. If you see a firm that offers personal security offering far too many other services, then the fact is they are not making a living offering personal security and there will of course be a reason for that. If a firm truly specializes in personal security, then that will be evident.
Should you require bodyguard services in New York or further afield, please contact us: Bodyguard Services in New YorkIntelligent Protection International Limited - New York
United States of America