Often, people seeking the services of a Private Investigator have a misconception about what to expect when meeting with a Private Investigator. Some folks conjured up images of Magnum PI, Columbo or Monk as they begin their search for a Private Investigator to help them with their issue. However, in today’s day and age private investigators come in all shapes and seldom resemble Private Investigators on TV.
You might ask how does someone become a Private Investigator? Do they attend a specific college or university? Are they retired law enforcement officers? For the most part, the majority of Private Investigators are retired law enforcement officers who rapidly learn the investigative tools once available to them while they were active law enforcement officers are no longer at their disposal. For many that represents too much to overcome and some give up and live off their pensions while others flourish after learning how to maneuver as a civilian investigator. Retired law enforcement officers also have to acclimate to the fact that they no longer have the authority to serve warrants, knock down doors or enter a private residence without permission. The days of breaking into a suspect’s home, planting a listening device, tapping a suspect ’s phone or installing a hidden camera is unlawful. Even attaching a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s vehicle is illegal. Nearly all states in the USA require Private Investigators to pass a written examination and a background investigation to acquire a Private Investigator’s license.
No investigative assignment is like any other. The objective of an assignment might be the same such as an infidelity investigation. However, to achieve the investigative goal inevitably encompasses its own set of unique challenges. It is when the private investigator personally experiences those challenges over time and learns how to overcome them is when the private investigator attains the status of a top notch PI.
Some fortunate folks become Private Investigators when a highly regarded old school private investigator takes them under his wing as an intern and teaches them the ins and outs of being a top notch Private Investigator. However, if the intern does not have an innate intuition, keen observation skills or is unable to read whether a subject or witness is being truthful then he pretty much needs to find another profession.
Conversely, should the intern possess the skills mentioned above they must understand that they are entering a profession with hundreds of thousands of competitors throughout America and around the world. The private investigator must also learn how to market themselves to be found by potential clients.
The majority of potential clients are; business people, married couples, parents, law firms and insurance companies seeking to know whether a claim is fraudulent. Many investigative assignments pertain to criminal cases and predicated upon a Private Investigator’s conscience will dictate if they will take on a case when they know a defendant is guilty.
Integrity, professionalism and caring about a client’s concerns are what makes some Private Investigators stand out among all the others.