Infographic: Private Security Through the Ages


Nick, RF and I met someone who works in the private security industry at a bar Saturday night in Indianapolis. She’s not exactly what comes to mind when you think “hired gun,” which is exactly why the very high profile person she works for chose her. We’d tell you who her employer is, but then she’d have to kill us, a promise she made more than once. Anyway, as this infographic from illustrates (full version after the jump), private security — everything from personal protection to battle-ready mercenaries — is a big business. And getting bigger . . .

Private_security full


  1. avatar DrVino says:

    Where is Brazil in the graphic about most dangerous places?

    1. avatar nathanredbeard says:

      It’s probably based on violent crime per capita. So Brazil with it’s much higher population than the countries listed, has less crime per 1000.

      1. avatar Excedrine says:

        Brazil still has far and away higher crime that most other countries, though.

        And I see they forgot to include cities like Chicago, a.k.a. “CHIRAQ”. 😉

  2. avatar peirsonb says:

    Private security forces outnumber the police 2 to 1? And they’re worried about US?

    1. avatar PPGMD says:

      A lot of that is probably counting unarmed security.

  3. avatar John Phelps says:

    I’m surprised Jamaica is so dangerous. What’s going on there, or am I seriously out of touch with something? Time to google, I guess.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      Drugs, mon.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        The War on Drugs, mon.


    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      Drugs and left/labor politics.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        The War on Drugs, and left/labor politics.


  4. avatar Jay says:

    “Military Experience” needs an asterisk. Some 42A E3 who was chaptered probably need not apply.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      They can and often do get those jobs.

      1. avatar DJ says:

        Depends on the company and the job. I know at least one company that was mentioned has a contract that mandates at least one year experience working executive protection in a high threat environment, passing a medical exam, passing a physical fitness test, passing weapons qualification and driving.

        Who they recruit and hire depends on the terms of the contract they are trying to fill. Contracts can range from a few guys to several hundred, depending on various factors.

  5. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

    I am surprised that nowhere in the list of “what they do” mentions protecting CHILDREN! I thought that was the main goal for everything.

    Out of milk? CHILDREN!
    Broken shoelace? CHILDREN!
    Need something to do with your empty life, like restricting the rights of others? CHILDREN!

    “Look at this baby.” :^D

  6. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Want to bet that the majority of the people who hire private security/bodyguards are the same people who want to ban private ownership of guns by the serfs?

    Known examples include The Obamas, Dianne Feinstien, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Harry Ried, Shannon Watts, all the Kennedys, the NYT publisher, etc.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      I can see it now. First day on the job, guarding D. Feinstien, “Sir, we don’t allow any firearms around here, you’ll have to get rid of that nasty looking 357, you will be issued a box cutter, and some pepper spray, after you complete your probationary period”

  7. avatar danthemann5 says:

    How many violations of the 4 rules can you spot in the top photo?

    1. avatar Maineuh says:

      The main photo features a guy pointing a revolve in the direction of his spleen and his finger is on the trigger. Nice. Nice.

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        Maineuh, Be careful of mentioning any firearms safety violations! a week or two ago I got called a “Nazi” because I made reference to a shotgun being briefly pointed at a photographer.

  8. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    Getting drunk at a bar? My first guess was Secret Service, but then I remembered you said “private” security.

    1. To be clear, she was off duty. Not even in the same city as her employer.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    “Who are those guys?”

    Butch Cassidy

  10. avatar wvumounties8 says:

    My son has been employed by G4S Security Solutions for a year and half. His duty location is a State owned building used by DEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection) and the State of West Virginia has a large security contract with G4S (that even includes protecting the State Capitol building). My oldest brother is a Systems Safety Engineer and is employed as a independent contractor for an oil/gas company in Qutar, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. And the compound he lives in, has heavily armed security personnel employed by none other than G4S!! So G4S Security Solutions is a huge company that is world wide.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      and how much of the company does Bloomberg own? I bet he has a signficant piece of the action (no, not Shannon Watts, well, er,). . . makes sense, disarm civilians and funnel everyone to use his quasi-police. . . .

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      And just how badly did G4S screw up their contract providing security for the London Olympics?!

      1. avatar DJ says:

        Erinys hires the ex-SBS guys. You get what you pay for.

        SBS and SAS have been contracting security for the sheiks since the 70s.

        To me, the interesting player is Ghurka Global. No one wants to mess with the Ghurkas, for some reason.

        I think the insurgents know what will happen if they trifle with them (in a “we didn’t sign the Geneva Convention” sort of way). Always loved visiting places where they provided security.

  11. avatar James says:

    Equiring minds would like to know:

    How many of that massive number of US Private Security are actual security, and how many are just private security THEATER… My company employs about a dozen security personal on duty at any given point in time… But they’re not allowed to bear arms, so they are nothing mroe than security theater, and really shouldn’t count for this purpose… They are glorified door secrataries…

    I call that number bogus…

    1. avatar Stitch1870 says:

      I was thinking the same thing. The recruitment ad won’t differentiate types of security they employ because it’s a high turn over biz and they need fresh intakes, I did a whopping month with ABSS and it was absolute garbage so I’m hardly concerned of “hordes of private security” considering a large majority of them are mall cop types.

  12. avatar nobod special says:

    What if I deserted from the NG for political reasons? I’m not a traitor, but I was lied to about why we were fighting. Does that mean I can never work for the Police or PSF ever again?

    1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      You suck it up and leave on your ETS because you willingly volunteered for it. Don’t blame others for not doing your homework.

      1. avatar nobod special says:

        Willingly volunteered under the pretense of a lie. I’m not saying what I did was right but I don’t particularly feel I should be branded my entire life for it either.

        However that’s irrelevant at the moment. I was legitimately asking if that bars me from either of those worlds permanently?

        1. avatar Stitch1870 says:

          Seriously? You can’t handle the life of the Nat G? You think you were the only one who’s head was filled with delusions of grandeur and that you’re some special snowflake? Suck it the f*** up and finish your contract, there’s scores more that have it worse than you could ever imagine.

        2. avatar nobod special says:

          You have no idea about any of the things I did for my country. You don’t know if I deployed what my MOS was or if I was “On Orders” 24/7, save your opinions if you have nothing positive to add to the discussion please.

          “Sucking it up” was no longer an option for me. I killed people while on deployment for what ultimately boiled down to a gross lie. When you’ve snatched the soul out of another human being it changes you forever and I feel like when my time comes and the big guy asks me why I killed his children the response of “Cause I was told to” may not be sufficient.

          Now if we are done proving my point about being irrationally branded can we get back to my question regarding permanent disbarment from entering either of these fields where I might truly defend those in need?

        3. avatar Jus Bill says:

          You can pretty much kiss any job that requires passing a background check goodbye.

        4. avatar Stitch1870 says:

          I think you’re spending too much time playing video games and reading Col Grossman’s books, I highly doubt you’ve ever worn a uniform in a capacity other than airsoft or paintball and you are just full of delusions of grandeur. Seriously dude you need to seek some help and stop playing out these fictions in your head.

    2. avatar Roger says:

      Yes. You should be. You should be in prison in my opinion.

      1. avatar nobod special says:

        Why exactly?

        1. avatar DJ says:

          Among other things, because you bailed on the guys you served with. You are beneath contempt.

          Those men trusted you – and you deserted.

    3. avatar DJ says:

      As someone who served overseas, it is really hard for me to accept that your objections are based upon a respect for the enemy, I served in Iraq, and nothing I saw made me want to identify with the bad guys. As far as I am concerned, they are vermin, and they need to be hunted down.

      Decisions have consequences. You decided to desert. Deal with it.

      If you are a deserter, I hope they catch you, and I hope you go to Leavenworth.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        “As far as I am concerned, they are vermin, and they need to be hunted down.”

        I’m sure they’d have the exact same opinion of you, if they had a conquering army occupying your hometown and you were trying to repel the invaders.

  13. avatar mrvco says:

    “…We’d tell you who her employer is, but then she’d have to kill us…”

    Wow what a great line. That one never gets old. Thank you for sharing.

  14. avatar tdiinva says:

    The last time Western Civilization saw this level of private security forces was during the Thirty Years War. How did that work out?

    1. avatar PeterC says:

      Thirty years sounds like pretty decent job security.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        The chances of making it through one campaign season were pretty slim. If you didn’t die in battle you had good chance of catching the plague. However, the payment was in rape and pillage. Half of the population of German states died during the war and Saxony ceased being a major power in German Affairs. It was completely devastated mostly by mercenary troops

        1. avatar DJ says:

          It was good for the Landschnects.

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I thought of the waning years of the Roman Empire. Same diff.

  15. avatar Alan Rose says:

    Hmm, all those cool info-graphics failed to mention the more pedestrian version of private security that I engaged in for three years of my early adulthood. Busting shoplifters, and guarding various sorts of private property. Construction sites, fast food joints, hotels, malls and shopping centers, subdivisions, etc. And yes I was armed and had arrest powers thanks to Virginia law ( Not sexy, but definitely the majority of the private security umbrella.

  16. avatar Lfshtr says:

    My kind of gal, come waited and prepared.

  17. avatar William Burke says:

    Probably for the same reason that bounty hun… I mean Bail Enforcement Officers, drive the most nondescript vehicle possible.

  18. avatar El Mac says:

    @Dan Zimmerman, “…after the jump”………sweet. So cool when you say that.

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