INVISIBLE QUALITIES “IQ MOMENTS”
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A Message from Gavin de Becker:
Throughout my career, I’ve seen the shoddiness of firms claiming to provide security. Many assign part-time, moonlighting, or 2nd-career people who were never trained in protective work in the first place. Back in 1978, clients asked me to develop a more sophisticated service than the typical guard companies we’d all seen. Since then, our firm has provided more than 13 million man-hours of effective security, often facing unusual challenges. For example, we provided protective security at the largest single-artist performance in history, when Tina Turner appeared for more than 200,000 people at Maracanas Stadium in Brazil. Big event or not, the stakes are always the same, and we’ve applied the same high standard to protecting clients at thousands of public appearances, in more than 75 countries.
If a hotel in a third-world country doesn’t have an adequate fire-safety system, we’ll install our own wireless smoke detectors – or even bring a sophisticated pulley device that allows us to evacuate clients from twelve stories up. We travel with detection systems, cameras, and emergency pagers so clients can reach their protectors at any time.
Our special training includes areas you might imagine, such as emergency driving, but also areas you probably never considered, like jet evacuation techniques taught on-board aircraft simulators that actually fill with smoke. All our personnel are trained in the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED). They are trained in CPR and first aid, of course – though most firms can’t say that. (Actually, they can say anything.) We also train our staff in CPR for infants. How can firms whose clients have infants justify their lack of this training?
If you ever work with another firm, ask them to show you their training material, and see if they can produce any original material at all. Ask to see the actual personnel files with documentation showing what training each person received (if any) – and prepare to be disappointed.
Then there is the matter of readiness: Our people are in the best physical condition of any private security agency or law enforcement agency in the world bar none, and our regular and random Physical Fitness and Readiness Tests ensure they stay that way. How can firms claiming to offer high level security services deploy people who are out of shape, or otherwise unready for the job?
We seek candidates of unquestioned ethical standards, honesty, integrity, and the highest self-discipline. They are courageous men and women who can place important missions above their own self-interests. They are in superb physical condition, and committed to excellence in all aspects of their lives. They possess excellent communication skills, keep their word, and honor the truth. Gavin de Becker & Associates maintains a nicotine-free workforce. Candidates are required to pass our physical fitness and readiness test, as well as pre-employment drug and nicotine screening. We recruit from the elite battalion of the United States Marine Corps that provides security for American officials at embassies overseas, and many of our people worked high-risk assignments in the Middle East and South America.
Our screening process is the most sophisticated of any private security organization. We use extensive investigation and polygraph examinations to confirm the truthfulness of every new-hire, as well as urinalysis to ensure a drug-free and nicotine-free security staff.
How can firms justify doing less? Most have found a way, offering the least, while claiming professionalism. I am proud that the first client we protected back in 1978 is still a client today, and proud that our clients know the difference between inferior service and the real thing.
Gavin de Becker