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Private Investigator to 1811???

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  • Private Investigator to 1811???

    I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask this but I am currently a student in college about to graduate in a few months and I wanted to inquire about a future job as a criminal investigator. I am considering becoming a private investigator after I graduate in order to obtain the necessary experience to start applying for 1811 positions in about 3 years or so. It doesn't seem too often 1811 positions open up at the GS-5 level which is all I would be qualified for out of college (GS-7 is out of the question lol). I am by no means opposed to local law enforcement but investigations are my primary desire. I get that I need to start somewhere and private investigations seem to be my best bet but I could be very wrong, which is why I am here asking the professionals for advice.

    I was in the hiring process for both border patrol and CBP until I realized I do not meet the eyesight requirement. My eyes are probably around 20/300, which with any of the military, inspector general, and FBI 1811s I can still qualify. I am considering Lasik but it is very expensive and not something a college student could accomplish on his own. I have also put in for various state investigative agencies in my state and the surrounding states but it would seem most want individuals with some law enforcement experience as well as the degree in spite of what their requirements entail.

    The state I live in is Georgia, whose state investigative agency rarely hires. From what I can see from visiting quite a few state websites, California has the most diversity in terms of out of college state investigative positions but as it stands right now I can't make my way over there. I have also considered background investigations but unless I work directly for OPM or become my own independent contractor the job is absolute Hell, at least from what I've read. I know this is a lot and it may seem like I am being picky but I just want some genuine expert advice.

    Please and thank you
    Last edited by ninjaba9; 09-05-2018, 06:34 PM.

  • #2
    I have been visiting (stalking) this forum for about a year now, however, this is my first time posting so please forgive me if I am doing anything incorrectly.

    Comment


    • #3
      How do you plan on being a private investigator with no experience? What company would hire you or do you plan coming up with money to start a company but have no experience to tell customers about. Get your degree go work for a city, county, or state agency then apply for Fed after a few years. I’ve seen many guys go that way.
      Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

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      • #4
        A private eye with no experience is most likely just going to sit in a car all day waiting to get video of some guy on worker’s comp cutting firewood.
        Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

        I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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        • ninjaba9
          ninjaba9 commented
          Editing a comment
          Based on the description of the job duties, that is exactly what I'll be doing haha

      • #5
        And in CA, you can’t be a licensed PI unless you have around 2-3 thousand hours of DOCUMENTED investigations experience, plus the testing...
        Now go home and get your shine box!

        Comment


        • ninjaba9
          ninjaba9 commented
          Editing a comment
          I was planning on being a PI in either Georgia or South Carolina. In the state of Georgia, you need only a 4-year degree to be eligible for a license, though, that is based on my own independent research I could be very wrong.

      • #6
        Actually, I've seen quite a few companies around hiring college students with 4-year degrees to work surveillance for them. One company gave me a job offer but the training would have conflicted with my school schedule so I turned it down. Thank you guys for replying though. Any other advice would be helpful.

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        • #7
          Apply for GSP! They fairly recently got some raise(s) and were hiring the last I heard. Do a couple of years with them and wait on a GBI opening.

          You may want to consider college or university PDs and get some free tuition out of it.

          The PI training isn't that long in GA. Try to get it during the summer break from school If that is what you want to do. Though I don't think it will help much with getting on with a state or federal investigative agency. But I could be wrong.

          Comment


          • ninjaba9
            ninjaba9 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, man for the reply! I would love to join the GSP as I've gotten to do some extensive one on one talks with some of the troopers plus got a few business cards to contact them, however, my current eyesight would be holding me back as they have VERY strict eyesight requirements (I guess to make sure you can see cars ploughing at you on the highway lol). So it is sad to say I wouldn't get far in the hiring process. I have applied for my school's campus police a few times as I saw some flyers around campus that they were hiring but I always get an email stating they found someone better. I'm thinking this is because I've yet to graduate so I'll try reapplying with them. I also saw that Georgia Tech Police was hiring so that could be great! Though I assume that would a very challenging degree to receive while working as a cop. So my campuses pd it is. I was thinking about getting my masters in security studies (political science with a focus on homeland security) Any other suggestions would be helpful!

        • #8
          I’m a former 1811, and a former college kid with a few years work experience as a private investigator would very, very likely not be considered among the best qualified candidates for agencies that hire 1811 positions (i.e. FBI, USSS, ATF, NCIS, etc.).

          Typically those commonly among the best qualified are those who have worked as police investigators/detectives, military servicemembers (commissioned or enlisted), business managers with relavent skill sets, etc. Plus with the fed gov’t preferencial hiring of military vets, even many candidates among the best qualified who are not vets get passed over by some vet candidates.

          Try harder than the easiest job to get out of college if you’re serious about attaining an 1811 career. Take a look at the “critical skills” page on FBIjobs.gov. While that info is specific to FBI’s 1811 hiring requirements, it gives a good overall view of what other 1811 agencies tend to look for in the best qualified candidates.
          Last edited by Kimble; 09-06-2018, 05:28 AM.
          sigpic

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          • #9
            Originally posted by Kimble View Post
            I’m a former 1811, and a former college kid with a few years work experience as a private investigator would very, very likely not be considered among the best qualified candidates for agencies that hire 1811 positions (i.e. FBI, USSS, ATF, NCIS, etc.).

            Typically those commonly among the best qualified are those who have worked as police investigators/detectives, military servicemembers (commissioned or enlisted), business managers with relavent skill sets, etc. Plus with the fed gov’t preferencial hiring of military vets, even many candidates among the best qualified who are not vets get passed over by some vet candidates.

            Try harder than the easiest job to get out of college if you’re serious about attaining an 1811 career. Take a look at the “critical skills” page on FBIjobs.gov. While that info is specific to FBI’s 1811 hiring requirements, it gives a good overall view of what other 1811 agencies tend to look for in the best qualified candidates.
            I would say this is good advice for any state investigative agency as well. If you’re talking about a stand alone agency like GBI or promoting to Investigator from within an agency (i.e. state police), you have to compete with a large pool of applicants for a small number of positions.
            I make my living on Irish welfare.

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            • #10
              I know 1811s who were PIs, but PI was never a career for them. It was a stop-gap job when they were 22, 23, 24 years old, fresh out of college and applying and testing and waiting and hoping for the 1811 golden ticket and needed money to pay their car note. Options were either $15/hour surveillance work for a PI company, or loss prevention at Target.


              There's a distinction between that scenario and a person hanging a "Thomas Magnum, P.I." shingle for ten years, thinking it would someday make them competitive for an 1811 position....
              To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.

              -Elbert Hubbard

              Comment


              • ninjaba9
                ninjaba9 commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes this was a my plan! I'm thinking about other options now but that was my initial plan. I recognize your name from a few other posts I've stalked and I sort of wanted to poke your brain on working with the U.S. fish and wildlife service. It is my dream agency however I've seen you post sort negativitly about your experience there. Also would you recommend being a game warden until an 1811 or 1810 (or 0083 I'm not sure what the officers are classified as) position opens up there?

              • Ratatatat
                Ratatatat commented
                Editing a comment
                Do you know what kakistocracy means?
                Last edited by Ratatatat; 09-07-2018, 10:10 PM.

              • ninjaba9
                ninjaba9 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hahaha I'll take that advice to heart

            • #11
              These replies have been very helpful please keep them coming! I'm sort of looking for less traditional pathways now. Not to say I'm not considering the traditional ones but I'm curious to learn about any less traditional methods to get an 1811 position.

              Comment


              • #12
                I would say get the lasik if that would correct your vision. It’s not that expensive. Then get a FED LEO gig. Your covered time will start and then you can make the jump to an 1811 position.
                “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” - Steven Wright

                US Army MP (95B) 1992-1997
                DOJ Agent/ DHS Officer 1997 to Present

                Comment


                • ninjaba9
                  ninjaba9 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thank you for the advice! We I was looking at Lasik prices it looked like they varied greatly, however, I haven't gone to get my free consultation yet so it could be fairly cheap for me. Also I see that your a "DOJ Agent" does that mean you're using a vague title to indicate your with one of the big agencies under the DOJ or is that a position I'm unaware about? I'm sorry if that comes off confrontational I'm genuinely curious if there's a position out their I was unaware about.

                • Exbpa340
                  Exbpa340 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I intentionally kept it vague.

                  There are all kinds of 1811 positions out there. Aside from the big agencies everyone knows about just about all Agencies will have OIGs that are 1811s to conduct investigations of misconduct in that agency/department.

              • #13
                While I was hired as an 1811 fresh out of college, that was a long, long time ago. get some Fed 'police' (USBP, CBP) time, then go for it.
                "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                John Stuart Mill

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                • #14
                  Honestly, I think local law enforcement is your best place to start. You say investigations are what interest you. As a patrol officer you will conduct multiple investigations everyday. They won't be murders or the most complex cases, but they will teach you the basics. How to gather facts. How to document observations. How to talk to people (arguably the most important skill for an investigator). How to tell when someone is lying to you. How to interpret laws and statutes and apply them to a given situation. When and how to make arrests based on probable cause. Rules of evidence and Fourth Amendment considerations. How to write complaints/subpoenas/warrants. How to present information to prosecutors. How to testify in court. When you apply to be an 1811, all those topics will be addressed in your KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities). Though local law enforcement is not a prerequisite for federal service, I think most people will agree you can usually tell who was a street cop before becoming a fed. If you aren't a slug, use good judgment, learn as much as you can, and work hard, it usually translates into being a pretty damn good investigator.

                  The same applies for state investigator jobs. GBI or DCI in other states, typically hire seasoned investigators. People who can hit the ground running. You're not there yet. Sure you can work private investigations, but PIs don't check a lot of those KSA boxes I mentioned above. It simply isn't part of their job description. Even though you say you want to apply for an 1811 position down the road, it still sounds like you want jobs for which you're not qualified. There's not usually a shortcut. Best thing you can do is start at the bottom, do your time, learn and create a good name for yourself. You do that and the path to where you want to go will illuminate itself. Good luck to you and congrats on finishing your degree.
                  Last edited by ThinBlue404; 09-19-2018, 12:09 AM.

                  Comment


                  • ninjaba9
                    ninjaba9 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Wow, thank you! This is some solid advice! As you can see you can only learn so much from the books, I had not thought about uniformed police work as being so intensive in terms of investigations. It isn't really the complex investigations I'm drawn to it's the problem solving aspect of police work and it seems like uniformed has that. After your statement I believe I will be trying my best to get into a local uniformed position. Again, thank you.

                • #15
                  Read.


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                  • ninjaba9
                    ninjaba9 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks for the link. It contained a lot of useful information.

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