Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bodyguards are typically armed and have expertise in unarmed combat, tactical driving, and first aid. However, the most important skill for a bodyguard is the ability to assess a situation and decide how best to respond to minimize danger to his principal. Most important public figures are protected by several bodyguards who work together as a unit, using several vehicles and sometimes decoy vehicles to protect their client. Less important protectees (or those with lower risk profiles) are accompanied by a single bodyguard, who may double as a driver. However, some billionaires and dignitaries choose to dispense with bodyguards in all but the most risky situations.
In multi-agent units (like those protecting celebrities or the heads of states), one or more bodyguards specialize on particular tasks, such as intelligence, communication/communications protection, threat/vulnerability/risk assessment, and analysis. Other tasks may include design and operation of physical security measures at home, office, and while travelling, as well as data security systems. There can also be on-call specialists in explosives and chemical detection, crowd screening and control, SCUBA patrol, special weapons, armor, hostage negotiation, surveillance, and technical countermeasures (anti-bugging). Regardless of the team size, there must be a comprehensive security plan with a staffing plan and budget.
One well-known public agency that provides bodyguard services is the United States Secret Service which safeguards the lives of the President, his family, and other executive officials. The Secret Service can be compared to historical bodies such as the Praetorian Guard, Varangian Guard, Swiss Guard, Janissaries and Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Another agency, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, is responsible for protecting U.S. missions and their personnel overseas, as well as selected dignitaries in the U.S., including the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, the Secretary of State, and visiting foreign dignitaries below heads-of-state level.
The loudest international scandal involving a bodyguard erupted in 2000 in Ukraine, when local president Leonid Kuchma was publicly blamed in committing numerous crimes by Mykola Mel'nychenko, an agent assigned to provide communications protection at his office (See also SBU, Georgiy Gongadze, Cassette Scandal).
In 1984 Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of the Republic of India was assassinated by two of her security guards.
For some police dogs that are considered valuable enough for criminals to attempt to kill, they are assigned a large breed companion dog that serves as its bodyguard.
- A Minder is a kind of bodyguard that protects the financial interests of the principal rather than their personal safety.
- security police, elite military forces which guard a head of state.
- Yojimbo, the Japanese word for bodyguard
Fictional bodyguards include:
- Bodyguard - former Japanese television series starring Reiko Takashima
- The Bodyguard film about guarding a celebrity singer
- Bodyguards - UK television series
- The Human Target - American comic book and television series
- In the Line of Fire - American film about guarding the President
- Usagi Yojimbo - Stan Sakai's anthropomorphic samurai based upon Miyamoto Musashi
- Yojimbo- Akira Kurosawa film
- Domovoi Butler - From The Artemis Fowl series
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