Bodyguards provide both personal and home security and have protected some of the world's most influential people for hundreds of years. Well-known bodyguard organizations, both real and fictitious, have figured heavily in the media because they are connected to politicians, celebrities, and other famous names. Here are a few of the most famous bodyguard organizations throughout the world:
The Praetorian Guard: Charged with protecting the Emperors of Rome, their reign lasted hundreds of years before Emperor Constantine ended their role in 300 AD because they had become known as corrupt and ruthless.
US Secret Service: The most well-known role of these bodyguards is protecting the President of the United States, along with other notable government officials and their families. Originally formed with the goal of stopping counterfeiting, their major role became protecting the President following President McKinley's 1901 assassination.
Swiss Guards: Like the US Secret Service, the Swiss Guard is responsible for protecting government officials. The Swiss Guard was founded in 1480 by King Louis XI, and has guarded the European courts, the Pope, and important Vatican officials for hundreds of years.
Diplomatic Protection Departments: In the UK, the Diplomatic Protection units are each responsible for watching over one specific person, such as the Prime Minister or a member of the Royal family. Royalty departments guard the royal buildings, providing home security for the Royal family.
Screen International Security Services: Founded by Avi Korein, who began his career as a bouncer, this organization provides security for some of the most well-known figures in Hollywood, such as Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, and Will Smith.
Mr. T: Mr. T is one of the most widely recognized bodyguard-celebrities. He once worked as a bodyguard for Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali, and Diana Ross, among other well-known celebrities.
Many people think that bodyguards lead a dramatic, exciting lifestyle, but most bodyguards don't see a lot of action while on duty. Their day-to-day duties may involve planning safe travel routes, searching rooms before their client enters, conducting background checks, and escorting their client from place to place.
Many people pay a lot of money for a professional bodyguard to protect their family and provide increased home security. Hiring a professional security guard is meant to add another level of protection between those being protected and the criminals who might want to harm them. Most often, bodyguards are hired for high-profile people, who are more likely to receive security threats such as an attempted assassination, kidnapping, or stalking. Bodyguards can be hired from a private security agency or security force; political figures often have a designated military unit to protect them.
In most areas of the world, the bodyguard can be armed, although in some areas no lethal weapons may be used. In this case, the bodyguard can protect the client with pepper sprays, stun guns, TASER devices, and similar defense products. By themselves, bodyguards are a very effective preventive security measure, although they are able to work much more efficiently when there are other security measures in place.