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Personal Protection - Historical Perspective

In the early 1970s law enforcement and security professionals were experiencing tremendous attention and re-evaluation of their methods in handling national unrest. Selection, training, philosophy, policy and procedures were the subject of national commissions and media scrutiny. The 1960s had taxed the resources of the nation with civil disorder, campus disturbances and the assassination of a president, a presidential candidate and a national civil rights leader.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police requested the loan of Richard W. Kobetz, D.P.A., a Lieutenant with the Chicago Police Department, to assist with a research grant from the U.S. Department of Justice concerning civil disorders. Dr. Kobetz was granted a leave of absence on loan to the I.A.C.P. to utilize his own street experience during four (4) major civil disorders in the nation's second-largest city. As project leader, he contacted and worked with Sgt. Daryl Gates, Los Angeles Police Department and Major Adam Klimkowski, Miami, Florida, Police Department, and provided a monograph entitled Guidelines For Civil Disorder and Mobilization Planning, which was provided to every law enforcement agency in the nation and over its history was re-printed four times.

Dr. Kobetz remained with the I.A.C.P. as an Assistant Director for 11 years and produced textbooks for law enforcement on a variety of topics including: Campus Unrest: Dialogue or Destruction?; Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Directory; The Police Role and Juvenile Delinquency; Juvenile Justice Administration and Target Terrorism: Providing Protective Services.

Under the encouraging leadership of Executive Director Mr. Quinn Tamm, former Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the I.A.C.P. went forward into many areas of contemporary concern to law enforcement. A most prominent concern was the increase in terrorism and attacks upon individuals, institutions and facilities. With the assistance of several colleagues, Dr. Kobetz created and directed a series of training programs involving very realistic exercises utilizing public agencies and locations around the nation to teach the original principles and concepts of hostage tactics and negotiations. These programs were the forerunners and road maps for the creation of law enforcement, correctional and military emergency response and tactical teams, which are now part of every major agency. Many thousands of public officials, correctional, military and law enforcement personnel were originally trained under these programs and subsequent published research, including the original "57 Points of Hostage Negotiations."

Dr. Kobetz resigned from the I.A.C.P. in 1979 and founded the Executive Protection Institute under his own corporation. The first school for the training of what he called Personal Protection Specialists operated under a new philosophy of protecting people. The students were no longer to have an image of a "gorilla in a suit" but were chosen and trained in a new philosophy to "look like, dress like and behave like the people they were protecting." A new image based upon new philosophies, ethics, principles and training, emphasizing pre-planning and advance work to keep a protected principal out of harm's way, and to avoid confrontations of any kind for the safety and security of the protected individual.

The Executive Protection Institute is headquartered in Highlander Lodge at Journey's End, located on the highest point of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Clarke County, Virginia. They are located 60 miles west of Washington, D.C., and 35 miles west of Dulles International Airport. This rustic and spectacular location has 85 acres of trails, swimming pool, tennis court, law enforcement and security library. There are housing and meal facilities in the Highlander Lodge, which also contains a student lounge/study area. The Lodge features a spacious wrap-around sitting porch with 60-mile views of the Shenandoah Valley. The property is surrounded by stone walls built by the Hessian mercenary prisoners during the Revolutionary War and was the site of surveillance and camp of Col. John S. Mosby, the "Grey Ghost" of the Confederacy. They are located in the most ideal environment possible for year-round training activities. Berryville, the nearby town, was prominent in the settlement of the Shenandoah Valley, as was Winchester, which was the site of George Washington's surveying office where he built Fort Loudoun during the French-Indian Wars, and where Hessian prisoners were held during the Revolutionary War.

They utilize the facilities and resources of the Executive Protection Institute, Shenandoah University, BSR Race Track, county parks, state parks, historic inns and restaurants. Their training exercises are divided among visits to Gettysburg, Antietam, Harper's Ferry, Shenandoah National Park, caverns, shopping malls, battlefields, recreational facilities and other historic places of interest.

In addition to basic skill level training in driving, defensive tactics and shooting, this 120-hour course content, in one week, includes instruction in fitness and nutrition; handling fans and paparazzi; emergency medical procedures; computer training; protocol, dress, manners and dining etiquette. The men and women who graduate from the Executive Protection Institute are certified as Personal Protection Specialists and join 2,500 previous graduates in a fraternal group known as the Nine Lives Associates (N.L.A.), an international association with a private webpage, newsletter, annual conferences and advanced training opportunities. The web page is an important means of exchanging valuable contact and international travel information as well as listing part-time and full-time available employment opportunities.

The term personal protection has now become a standard in the security industry and incorporated into statutes and job descriptions nationwide. These standards set by the Executive Protection Institue are incorporated into a Code of Conduct concerned with ethics, honor and honesty, which every graduate signs and agrees to abide by. Violations are reported in writing to a board of inquiry and infraction leads to removal of the violator from the Nine Lives Associates. The contemporary standard of conduct for those entrusted with the protection of religious leaders, corporate executives, celebrities, politicians, royalty and world leaders has been established by this unique Institute and worldwide association of professional protectors.

The Executive Protection Institute is recognized as having created a new professional career field entitled Personal Protection Specialist. As such, they have trained young men and women looking for a career in the protective services, as well as provided training for practitioners who have been in this and related fields for years.

A recent trend has been and will continue to be the crossing over into this new profession of men and women who have been in the disciplines of medicine, law, computers, travel and related careers. A career as a Personal Protection Specialist is viewed as exciting, an opportunity to travel and offer up-close and personal protective services to recognized and respected officers of corporations, government officials, religious leaders and entertainers. They can make the journey of these clients safer, secure and efficient.

As the world becomes smaller in the sense of travel, the security risks increase. There is a great deal more to protecting someone than to learn only how to run, jump, shoot and push people aside. The role of the Personal Protection Specialist is emerging as a most interesting, rewarding, satisfying, well paid professional career for those who qualify.

Executive Protection Institue, Highlander Lodge, PO Box 802, Berryville, VA 22611, 540/554-2540 (24-hr. number) www.personalprotection.com

 

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