Category Archives: music

A Day in the Life of a Executive Protection Agent (Excerpt)

A Day in the Life: 

 Assisting On a Protection Assignment

By Edward Nielsen

You are at home getting some rest, and your cell phone rings. It’s the call you have been waiting for. The Team Leader on a Protective Security Detail is telling you they need last minute assistance to provide security for a well known recording artist who is in town during the weekend of a major sporting event.  What do you do? Well let me tell you what I did. I immediately asked where and when I was needed. His answer to me was “now,” and then proceeded to give me the location where the client will be at a few short hours from then.  I quickly got dressed and proceeded to the location, getting more specific instructions while in transit. I arrived at the site and met with the head of security for the venue to see where the client would enter and where his cordoned off VIP area was located. I then contacted the Detail Leader and let him know contact was made with the venue security and all are awaiting his arrival.

A few hours later, and just prior to the Client’s arrival we hit another obstacle – due to the massive crowds, the police officers on site had now blocked off the adjacent streets and would not let vehicles closer to the venue. –No exceptions.  The frustration of the officers was very evident, likely because of the amount of people that voiced their displeasure at them once they learned the routes were blocked off.  I tried a variety of approaches with the officers but they did not intend to change their mind regardless of the VIP.  Of course the Detail leader did not want to hear that, and even in the heavy traffic, I knew they would be arriving shortly and there was no way the client was making the quarter mile walk on foot. I enlisted the aid of the venue security and after putting our heads together, got access to a vehicle from the interior side of the street closure.

Once the Principal’s vehicle arrived, we quickly moved the client and the travel party into the new vehicle and whisked it down the street.  I, however, watched that last part happen curbside, as I was now tasked with parking and securing the client’s vehicle in a location where parking spaces were a valuable but rapidly shrinking commodity.  After finding one, I then knew I had almost a half mile jog to get back to the security detail, all the while keeping in the back of my mind that I am going to have to do this again when it’s time to leave…

…Continued in the Spring 2012 Issue of The Circuit Magazine.   To subscribe to The Circuit – The Magazine for Bodyguards and the Official Magazine of the North American Bodyguard Association, click HERE.


The Circuit - The Magazine for Bodyguards (previous Issue)

Mexican Musicans Face Security Crisis


Billboard ran an interesting article about the deadly risk that accompany Mexican performing artist that tour within their country.

“There is a lot of violence in Mexico. You need to have certain precautions,” one promoter said. “But even if you do, when they’re going to get you, they’re going to get you, no matter how careful you are. “

Here is an example of big corporations (The Record Labels) and the artist management not using their resources correctly.  While violence is certainly very high in certain areas of Mexico,  popular acts are not without the funds to hire professional security to make proper threat assessments.  the big issue, (as it is with professional sports in the USA) is who’s going to pay for it??? According to the article, since November 2006,  more than 10 other artists have been murdered in Mexico. 

Click on the link for the full story.

*Related:  A Time Magazine Article on The Killings.

The Importance of Advance Work For the Bodyguard


Industry vet Harlan Austin of Bodyguard Careers wrote an excellent piece on the importance of the Executive Protection specialist doing advance work.  The article was inspired by the recent discovery by Kid Rock’s bodyguard of a hidden camera in his clients dressing room during a recent concert appearance. 

“As someone who has worked for years with entertainers, I cannot express enough how important it is to be diligent conducting advance work. It will not only protect the client, but help you to keep your job! I’m not going to lie–it’s not exactly the most interesting or exciting aspect of working as a bodyguard, but it can make everything go smoothly.”

Please click on the link for the full article. 

An open letter to Rappers… Leave the guns to the professionals.


While it’s not a new trend, more and more successful Hip-Hop stars these days have been arrested and in many cases convicted of firearm related charges. What I learned from is that you should stand out from the crowd thanks to your music, but not thanks to weapon. While there are definitely two sides to every story, and sometimes the media gets it’s facts wrong when reporting breaking news, I also believe that these successful public figures do more harm than good by putting themselves in a position where they have to “be their own bodyguard”. If you can afford a Lamborghini, you can afford personal security. If you can “make it rain” in the club every night with thousands of dollars, then you can afford to have an Executive Protection PROFESSIONAL . In short, leave the guns to the people who know when, and more importantly, when NOT to use them.

That’s not to say that some of these artists do not have legitimate threats to their person. In my  18 years in the industry I have worked with several who upon doing a risk assessment, found that there was a high probability that someone known or unknown wished to do them harm. However, electing to protect yourself by obtaining a firearm and carrying it around publicly –especially illegally, may not be the best way to solve the problem.

Hip-Hop music is a very aggressive art form, and the culture that gave birth to it is one that has one foot planted firmly in urban streets. However there comes a time when, just as you need an accountant to balance the check book, you need professionally trained security to deal with any potential threats. In some cases that security might need to carry a LICENCED AND REGISTERED firearm, but frankly speaking, a big brain will always need to accompany a big gun.

To the artist, managers and record companies: Evaluate the security staff you have in place or plan to hire. If simply being “big” makes you perfect for a job, then we would have a lot fewer bodyguards and a lot more professional football players (it pays better). Instead, check credentials, call references, conducted background check and above all sit down with the security staff and flat out ask “what would you do if…” The answers that you get may be surprising but if it saves you (or your artist) a felony gun charge, it’s worth it.

Elijah Shaw


Icon Protection, Inc.