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Book Review: Executive’s Guide to Personal Security

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Executive’s Guide to Personal Security
by David S. Katz and Ilan Caspi
John Wiley ©2003
266 pages

Addressing a Growing Business Concern

In an era when everyone feels a little more at risk and terrorist threats have become a common occurrence, personal safety is now a focus for many executives who have never felt vulnerable before. Although there are many basic rules that can be followed to help people arrive safely to their destinations without being robbed, kidnapped, assaulted or even murdered, many people continue to choose to ignore them. To remind businesspeople about their vulnerabilities and help them stay safe in a world where numerous threats loom, former DEA special agent David Katz and former Israeli Secret Service officer Ilan Caspi offer expert guidance on a variety of security matters.

Kats and Caspi show executives and ordinary people how they can prepare for hidden threats that lurk at work, while traveling, and at home. The authors also introduce a plethora of lessons that they learned while working on international criminal investigations and protecting dignitaries at public events. In Executive’s Guide to Personal Security, they break down their professional training and experiences to cover more common occurrences that can affect ordinary people as they perform common activities, such as buying a new home, traveling abroad, and even renting a car. The experts apply their wealth of knowledge to these pursuits and offer an abundance of advice about protecting yourself as well as your employees, your facility, and your company’s information.

Creating Emergency Protocols

While delivering the tools and techniques of personal and corporate safety, the authors present the best ways to create emergency protocols and handle crises that affect individual, family and property safety concerns. Their tips and strategies offer readers a sense of control over their environment and ways to decrease risk by increasing security measures that can prevent criminals and terrorists from inflicting harm.

Along with many general recommendations about creating a neighborhood watch, avoiding predictable routines while abroad, and taking simple precautions when staying in a hotel room, the authors offer comprehensive chapters on vehicle safety, protective equipment, countersurveillance, technology security, bomb threats, emergency response and other major personal safety issues. Although they also address hostage survival, commercial espionage and surviving a hijacking, the majority of information they divulge can be put to use immediately to make anyone’s life more secure.

Addressing Workplace Violence

For example, when the authors describe violence in the workplace and the ways executives can make their workplaces more secure, their advice includes the following:

• There must be a clearly defined procedure for employees to follow when they notice unusual behavior in a co-worker.

• Employers should implement a complaint process that transcends the usual chain of command in instances when the person who is complaining does not have to go through the person who is being complained about to lodge a complaint.

• Human resources departments can employ the services of a mental health professional familiar with employee-related crises.

Baby Gas Masks and Guns

The authors present numerous strategiespeople can use to protect themselves from disease, fire, theft, and chemical attack. Along with prescribing the many defensive actions people can take, the authors also offer recommendations about protective equipment for the family, including baby gas masks; an introduction to firearms for personal protection; andadvice about hiring private security personnel.~

Why We Like ThIs Book

Although it is rife with an alarming sense of paranoia, all of the suggestions and ideas presented in Executive’s Guide to Personal Safety are relevant and very interesting to delve into on the level of the professional security officers who present them. Although most readers might not be ready to don the full-body protective armor that the authors describe, or purchase bulletproof cars, their insights are thought-provoking and comprehensive. Their insights into the minds of terrorists and the tactics that have been used by criminals to rob, kidnap,extort and murder also create a foundation on which executives and travelers alike can stand to become more watchful and careful while they go about their business. ~

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