Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
Trust is a central part of human life wherever it is and as such is found in almost every point of time and every act. In most cases, everyone is allowed to decide and choose whether to trust someone or something. There are certain and unique cases where trust comes naturally and as a built-in part of life and intrinsically within the profession and therefore does not need to be defined and cannot be decided and chosen.
The close protection profession is one of the specific and unique cases that includes a built-in trust, the trust of the principal in the close protection specialist, a binding trust as a condition for success in the task.
To explain why the profession of close protection is included in these cases, one must recall the dictionary definition of “trust” and the accompanying interpretations.
The confidence of the believer in the object of his faith – he gave confidence, he trusted, he did not suspect.
Belief in someone, confidence in him – “I have full confidence in you”.
He remained faithful – he was faithful, he did not betray.
Above him in trust – above the trust given in him.
When you think about it, you can easily compare the trust that the principal gives to the close protection team to the trust that a child gives in his parents because they both do not have the opportunity to decide and choose, they accept the trust as part of the package. Just as a child does not choose his or her parents so too a state personality does not choose his or her close protection specialists. Just as a child trusts his or her parents to protect him or her no matter what, the personality trusts his or her close protection team.
Like many other professionals such as lawyers, psychologists, and doctors, the value of trust is first in the professional code of ethics and also the fact that a state personality does not choose his or her close protection team makes all the difference between them and makes trust the basis of security structure, its central and strongest foundation.
It must never be challenged or cracked.
One can easily think that the close protection specialist is in one group with all the other people and functionaries around the personality but this would be a mistake because the personality chooses everyone except the close protection team who are sent to protect him or her, the close protection specialist is the only one who sees and hears the principal throughout the day.
Just as an architect designs a foundation of a building and incorporates a necessary and large amount of iron and concrete so that the building can hold for many years everything built over it, so a personal security unit invests a lot of effort to instill the trust (loyalty) in its employees in general and close protection team members in particular. Over the years this has not been undermined and cracked neither by those who serve in it now nor by those who have served in it in the past.
The code of ethics is defined as the identity card of an organization, unit, and profession when in the profession of close protection the first value in the code of ethics will be “trust” – creating trust on the part of the principal and maintaining loyalty on the part of the close protection specialist.
In close protection, trust is the most important asset, difficult to create but easy to destroy, and an essential component of the unit and the tasks that it does.
In the close security profession, there are two key positions, the principal and the close protection specialist. In governmental close protection operations, the principal is elected by the public and as such is required by law to receive security and protect him or her 24/7, and the close protection specialist is selected to serve in the unit through a long, professional and sifting recruitment process.
A person who is accepted to serve as a close protection specialist in the close protection unit of the Israel Security Agency (SHABAK), undergoes a long period of professional training that combines all the content that is conveyed in the code of ethics of the organization, unit, and profession so that from his first day of work he values the trust the personality gives him or her and he or she understands the importance as a prerequisite for success in the task that has been imposed on him or her.
During their years of work in the unit, close protection specialists and commanders secure several prime ministers and a large number of ministers and are exposed for many hours in each working day to almost everything the personality does in his or her private time and in his or her professional time.
The governmental close protection team of the Israel Security Agency has an important part in the task of preserving democracy and is therefore defined as apolitical and as such secures every prime minister and the ministers elected in democratic elections regardless of their position on the political map. Since its inception, the unit has been responsible for educating and teaching all of its current employees, including the close protection specialists, two main components of the value of trust with the principals:
Political opinion: Do not talk about politics at all and keep their political opinion to themselves and thus make a clear and unequivocal separation between the political opinions and the principals that the unit secures.
Exposure to the principals: Do not share with anyone in any way what he has seen and/or heard related to the principal during the performance of the task in which the close protection specialist is in his or her immediate vicinity.
Close protection specialists and leaders who have completed their service in the unit and go on a regular civilian career are exempt from obligation No. 1 and therefore like any citizen in a democratic state they are entitled to express their political opinion in any way permitted by law and are not exempt from obligation number 2 until their final living day.
There is no doubt that commitment number 2 becomes a very difficult task in the life of someone who has served in the governmental close protection team because it is contrary to the nature of the person who needs and wants to share with those close to him or her, especially what he or she is going through. It is a responsibility to maintain the value of trust throughout life at such a level that can not reveal any detail about an incumbent or former personality in any way, not in a pantomime, not in a wink, not in a hint and certainly not in a clear statement.
The organization and the unit trust all the close protection specialists and former commanders who will succeed in this difficult and important task if only because they know that intentionally stumbling or one’s mistake can easily ruin the rest of the years of maintaining the trust of the close protection specialists.
The issue of trust is conveyed in the inauguration briefing to each Prime Minister and each elected minister and who is automatically secured by the governmental close protection unit. The principals are assured that the close protection team recruits the most suitable people for the job and send them close protection specialists who know and understand well the value of trust that is given to them as a condition for their ability to function and operate freely, anytime, anywhere and in any situation.
In close protection, the task cannot be performed at the required level without the existence of the trust. A principal who does not trust a close protection specialist that is sent on a security mission will not cooperate, make it difficult for the close protection specialist, the principal will hide important data for the planning and execution of security and in more extreme cases the principal will even slip out of the close protection specialist’s eyes to do his or her job even with him or her knowing that doing puts him or herself in danger.
Every close protection specialist and team leader in the present and especially in the past must know and remember that they chose to work in a governmental unit whose success depends on the trust given to it by the persons secured by it and therefore they should continue with the mindset that one is still working in and for the unit until their final days, and any violation of this will be considered as crossing a red line that at best will “only” crack the base and at worst will simply destroy it completely!
Remember “that security must be maintained” while always adhering to the value of trust !!!