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CA DCA Investigator

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  • CA DCA Investigator

    They are given peace officer powers under 830.3 PC. I know they are responsible for enforcement activities for the CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs' various boards. Does anybody have first hand knowledge of the day to day activities of these state investigators?

  • #2
    Many years back BCA was running short on investigators and contracted with the state agency I worked for at the time to provide people to handle some of their overflow investigations.

    You may deal with matters involving a funeral home one week, a guard company the next week, a carpet cleaning company the third week and a contractor after that. Most of their investigations pertain to violations of the Business and Professions Code and administrative laws pertaining to professional licensing rather than criminal enforcement.

    We didn't know this when we sent our people over. They handed a complaint to one of our guys to investigate. A few days later he dropped his completed case file on the supervisor's desk and they asked him how it had gone. He said he found grounds for a license revocation and had obtained an arrest warrant for the business owner for grand theft, forgery and burglary in connection with what he had done to his customer. You could have heard a pin drop in the office. They weren't upset. It was simply that they had been so focused on administrative enforcement pertaining to licensing that no one ever contemplated criminal enforcement and no one was familiar enough with criminal law to identify those violations.

    Unless things have changed over the past few years, I suspect their primary focus is still on professional license suspensions or revocations rather than criminal issues.

    They do have a separate Medical Quality Assurance branch that deals a lot with dentists who abuse their cocaine licenses, but again, I believe you are looking more at administrative enforcement rather than criminal issues.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      One of our officers had the start of his career as an investigator. He did not find it enjoyable as his investigations were very tedious and time consuming and dealt with primarily misdemeanor and administrative license violations. He has talked about a investigation he had to conduct once dealing with the theft and distribution of a barber license test answers. This is just one former investigator's opinion. Others may vary.

      During my 20 years of local law enforcement in the Bay Area and Sac county I have never interacted with them on any investigation, case, surveillance, etc. This leads me to believe they don't do much field work aside from visits to licensees as I have interacted with every 830.1 PC state investigative agency, a few of the 830.3 agencies, and all of the three letter federal LE folks at some point during my career.
      If you see me running try to keep up!

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      • #4
        I briefly looked into trying to get hired by one of those state investigative agencies.

        If I understood correctly, you have to take a test that says you are eligible to take a test. It sounded confusing to me.
        Those who are successful at what they do don't give a rip about what others think about them.

        We don't rent pigs.

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        • #5
          All state hiring is that way. You take an exam (sometimes written, sometimes oral, sometimes just a qualifications appraisal) to get on a list. Once on the list you get invited to apply for vacancies based on your placement on the list.
          If you see me running try to keep up!

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          • #6
            Thanks for the good information guys! And yes, for consumer affairs there is a written exam to be placed on an eligibility list. If you score within the top 3 ranks they will send you job inquiries that you can decide to pursue or not. Also if you score within the top 3 ranks you can apply to vacancies within the department.

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