The Pope is heading to Brazil next week, and so is a massive security force—Technically, a small army. The head of the Catholic church is visiting Rio de Janeiro July 22-28 for World Youth Day, a major Roman Catholic event that is expected to draw more than 1.5 million pilgrims to the city.

According to the defense ministry, which is coordinating the security, 7,000 police will beef up the city's 12,000 police, in addition to 1,700 members of the elite National Force and units of the civilian, highway and federal police forces." It is also boosting from an initial 8,500 to 10,266 the number of army, air force and navy personnel to be deployed for the high-profile event, which will handle security in 10 areas, including control of the airspace, border surveillance, chemical and biological weapons, explosives trade, maritime defense and cyber-security.

That's quite a force to be reckoned with, but you can be sure criminals and terrorists are looking for gaps in that protection. Even with the best security programs, there is always a chance that criminal activity will occur. Most crimes occur because the criminal found the right opportunity to act. The criminal’s inclination and the victim came together at a time and place where the criminal felt they could successfully commit the crime with minimal risk of interference or apprehension. That is, the criminal found circumstances and conditions to be within their comfort zone. The key is to make criminals feel as though the cost of committing a crime is too high and not worth attempting.

So then, what is a business executive or person not quite on the level of the Pope but still concerned with safety whether at home or when traveling? Typically, the answer involves hiring personnel who can watch their back. Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in the need for armed security personnel accompanying executives on overseas travel. Armed guards offer the client peace of mind and can also be a very effective deterrent. For a more specific example and all too common occurrence, an executive traveling in a somewhat hostile country in South America can be accosted by a potential kidnapper. An armed guard is able to efficiently protect the executive and send the would-be kidnapper on their way without incident.

Security is almost never cut and dry—Meaning it typically takes a lot of planning and preparation. So while armed security guards often provide the best option for those concerned with safety while traveling, it is imperative the client discuss their situation with a qualified security firm so that a risk assessment can be performed. Even if you aren't the Pope with an armada of security surrounding you, there are options that will keep you safe and give you peace of mind.

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