She’s an outspoken activist priest who may be headed for premature sainthood. He’s a hometown boy made good coming back to spread the wealth in his old neighborhood. For both, the Magic City holds hope for the future, a promise for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately for Edina Garibaldi and Reggie Killingworth, it also holds danger and the ever present threat of violent death. Fortunately for Edina Garibaldi and Reggie Killingworth, Birmingham’s Best Bodyguards have their backs.
Their mission: *DETER*DISRUPT*DEFEAT*
If the bad guys knew what was good for them, they’d give up now.
As a general rule, I rarely if ever take vacations. Throughout my professional life work has taken me to nearly every corner of the globe and I’ve seen pretty much everything on someone else’s dime. Quite economical of me I’d say. Others would (and have) call me cheap, but they’re just jealous, I’m sure.
Unfortunately, for this trip to South Florida in the perfect early spring weather, the bill is being footed by yours truly, but still not for the purposes of rest and relaxation at the beach in the sun while watching all the beautiful bikinis go by. No, it is professional, just not something that I can bill a client for.
The brief explanation is networking, a word I have come to despise over the years, even more so in the last couple since I allowed some people back home to talk me in to forming a small private security firm called *D*D*D* Countermeasures (TripleD for short). And as I have been told, in order to sustain and grow a business, one must network, even if they aren’t the networking kind of person, which defines me in a nutshell.
Since none of the other four members of my team have long backgrounds in legitimate professional protection work, I have been sending them to various schools and training seminars to help build up their backgrounds and enhance their specialized skills. This would also aid us when it came to recruiting clients because in today’s world, most employers wanted complete backgrounds on the people they hired, which was sensible given what was out there, in particular in the field of private security.
So now instead of former top enforcer for the Detroit mob twenty-five years ago, Ollie had certifications from bodyguard schools in Atlanta and New Orleans.
Sheila could skip the part about being a freelance shooter (often times employed by the aforementioned former Detroit mob enforcer) and display her credentials from a scout/sniper course in North Carolina and the same bodyguard school in Atlanta.
Frankie’s time as shooter-extraordinaire for the late and unlamented former Godfather of Crime in the Magic City was now sidelined by the new skills he had acquired from various courses on surveillance and counter-surveillance, high-threat protection, and tactical driving from a school out in Colorado.
And Bert Cortez, who had a distinguished career as an Army Ranger, followed by a less than distinguished one as a homeless drug addict, could proudly tout his CP and tactical paramedic training from schools in Pensacola and Mobile.
As for me, I don’t do school anymore. At my age, if I don’t know it, I’m probably not going to learn it. And I’ve survived for almost thirty years in the business without it anyway. Uncle Sam trained me, specifically, the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations—The OSI. People saw that and figured I was the real deal. Of course, most had no clue what OSI was so they looked it up on Google, then they were impressed. Or not.
I don’t do schools, but I have been told that I must contribute to the success of TripleD, and to do so I must connect with other professionals in the field. This is made much easier today given technology and social media, two things I am not the greatest fan of, although I must admit that I have taken a liking to my alleged Smartphone. If I’d had one of those when I was first starting out in the business it would have made life a heck of a lot easier. Or even better, while I was still in school. I’d have been a straight A student. Or at least a lot closer than I had been.
I joined several professional associations, got on their emailing lists (using an email specific for this purpose), and from time to time participated in group discussions about trends in the private security field, even penning (figuratively) some articles for some of their publications. Much to my chagrin, several members sought to contact me to tell me how much they liked my articles and suggested closer professional associations, perhaps even working together on jobs in the future. Networking had definite pitfalls and dangers. Chief among them the possibility of acquiring stalkers.