Close protection is a demanding job that requires the Operative to provide a wide range of services for a wide range of clients. Close Protection Operatives will understand that the most important part of the role is preparation, and understanding the potential situations you will find yourself in can make a huge difference. A Security Operative cannot guarantee the protection of his or her client if they cannot guarantee their own protection. There are a number of options available to Close Protection Operatives, and body armour varies depending on the level and type of protection. However, there is also the style of wear that needs to be considered, and both covert and overt armour have their advantages and disadvantages for Close Protection Security.
What are the Differences Between Covert and Overt Amour?
Simply put, covert armour refers to bullet and stab resistant vests that can be worn underneath clothing. Conversely, overt armour is worn over clothes, and can form part of a uniform. For Close Protection Security, each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and will be relevant for certain situations.
Close Protection Security largely involves remaining close to client, providing a range of services and ensuring their safety. This can range from simply being present, to driving and escorting them from location to location. It is likely that the client will want the Operative to remain discreet, and the presence of body armour will not achieve this. Nevertheless, protection should not be sacrificed, and so covert vests are required. These can be worn comfortably underneath clothing or a uniform, and are still available in a wide range of protective levels, and can even be outfitted with the highest level protective plates capable of stopping armour-piercing rounds.
Covert armour has the benefit of being lightweight and flexible, yet still protective, and some are even manufactured with temperature-regulating technologies designed to keep the wearer cool and draw moisture away from the skin. This means that an Operative can stay protected against firearms, knives, needles and a variety of other weapons, while still retaining the ability to offer a protective yet professional service to the client.
On the other hand, there may be instances where a client wishes for the visible presence of Security; for clients in the public eye, it may be beneficial to have prepared Security Operatives constantly to hand as a deterrent to any potential attackers, or simply as a statement of authority. In these cases it may be that an overt vest is preferred.
These are available at all levels of protection, and can be equipped to protect against all manner of weapons. They also have the advantage of being customisable with pockets for extra equipment, additional protection for the upper arm or neck for example, and can even have logos, insignia and high-visibility covers added to make them a useful addition to a uniform. This will have the advantage of deterring potential attackers, and displaying an Operative’s preparedness and authority, which may be beneficial for clients who wish to have more ‘active’ Close Protection Security. Of course, some have argued that wearing overt body armour invites attacks and singles out Operatives as potential targets.
Body armour is not only available in multiple levels of protection but also in covert and overt styles. It is inappropriate to suggest that Close Protection Security Operatives, who work in such potentially dangerous environments, should go without protection. However, a covert or overt vest is not always appropriate for the situation, and so it is important that Operatives can equip themselves with protection that keeps them safe, but also allows them to perform to the best of their ability. Whatever the choice, the options are available to ensure that Operatives remain flexible, comfortable, and, above all, protected.