Security firms set to help company execs

Jan. 13, 2009
Recent arson attack on former Syncrude president's home highlights need for executive protection

When high-powered executives come under threat in Edmonton, private security companies are ready to step in the line of fire.

There are at any given time five or six businesses executives being guarded by hired hands, according to John Price of the security firm Price-Langevin and Associates.

It's common, too, for ex-executives to be guarded, said Price, but it's not known if former Syncrude president and chief operating officer Jim Carter or his family were under protection when their house was torched in an arson Saturday night.

No one was home at the time, however.

Security services can be beefed up to meet varying levels of threats.

Among the most stringent measures is protecting an executive and his or her family 24 hours per day.

Their destinations can be checked in advance, the entire floor of their hotel rooms swept and their transportation pre-arranged.

"We're going to put more than a body on their yard," said Price.

The price tag can run as high as $30,000 per month, usually paid for by corporations.

An executive under guard will have their whole life examined to isolate potential dangers.

"If I'm protecting an executive, I look at their whole family situation, all their friends - we have to look at their whole lifestyle."

He said oil and gas companies are among his clients.

"Obviously, with terror acts taking place in Dawson Creek (B.C.), there's a concern," he said. "There's the environmental portion of (the threat)," he said.

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