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  • Private Investigators?

    How do law enforcement officers feel about private investigators? Are they worth the hire? What is your take on these guys? Do you ever work with them?

    Criminal Justice Student looking at Police work

  • #2
    Private Investigators

    In 38 years as a police officer I never had any problems with PIs. Many of them are former or retired police officers. A Private Investigator can often be worth his/her weight in gold in going places and looking into issues police agencies cannot or will not do. Many Private Investigators forge working relationships with attorneys and do quite a bit of valuable legwork in cases such as divorce etc, where real time evidence is a requirement. A Private Investigator is not limited by jurisdictional issues, or departmental policies and procedures. Most states and local jurisdictions require a Private Investigator to be licensed, and that can be a safeguard for the customer. If you personally hire a Private Investigator they can be rather expensive.


    • #3
      I have been a licensed Private Detective for many years and to be honest, Private Detectives usually do not have much contact with Police Officers aside from when PIs are conducting surveillance and a nervous well meaning neighbor calls to report a suspicious vehicle. My experience has always been that if the Private Detective presents himself in a professional, polite manner there is almost never a problem. In fact, Police are usually happy to have an extra set of eyes in the area to report any problems. Problems usually arise when PIs display inappropriate attitudes or do not know thier scope of authority which is no more than the average citizen. Keep in mind, some states do not regulate PIs making it possible for anyone to open shop. This is a problem that PIs around the country that are tested, licensed and insured are trying to change. Just like any profession, the bad acts of one always project a bad image for all.


      • #4
        I hung out a shingle when I retired and do some spot work from time tio time. PIs have their place and as has been said already, i's all about professionalism and class. Former cops probably make the best PI only because of certain access and conections they have.

        One of the most famous was J.J. Armes, a Cuban refugee in El Paso who among other famous cases, found Marlon Brandos boy who had been kidnapped and taken to Mexico. A real cop couild not have done that job without endless red tape and hassles over the budget, etc..
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        • #5
          I have been a cop for over 25 years and I don't interact with private investigators very often. I am told that there is plenty of work for them, though, especially from insurance companies.


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