What is a private investigator?
Certainly NOT the hard hitting, fast driving, tough talking, individual portrayed on
television. The one who always "gets his/her man", and loses his/her license on a regular basis.
A private investigator is a "truth teller" and "fact finder".
A business professional who, by virtue of his/her training, education and experience can work with a person, or business, insurance carrier or law firm, to solve complex problems, and find the answer to complex questions.
Today's private investigator is a highly skilled professional. An investigator must possess a thorough knowledge of public, court, government, and business records. He, or she, knows what information is out there, where to find it, and how to utilize it. An investigator must also be well skilled in understanding human behaviors, and motivation, that is, he/she must have good people skills, as well as investigative skills.
A professional investigator can locate facts and information, record and analyze them, put them into a professionally prepared report and present them in a court of law, or administrative forum. His/her methods must, at all times, comply with existing local/state and federal law, and regulations, in order for the information to be of any probative value, in those forums.
It is a highly regulated profession.
Most states require an investigator to be licensed, by the state, and bonded. Many, though not all, require an investigator to furnish proof of insurance.
Investigators come with a variety of backgrounds. They come with backgrounds in law enforcement, corporate security, the insurance industry, and the military, to name but a few.
Their training is ongoing. There are many excellent sources of training, and information, at the local, national and world levels. State level associations provide training on a regular basis.
One of the many marks of the true professional is his/her commitment to constantly improving their skills and abilities, on going training and education, and their membership in, and association with, recognized professional groups at all levels, but none are as important as their affiliation with their local professional association . This is their source of networking, training and education, and legislative efforts locally affecting the profession.
When in need of the services of an investigator, it is a prudent idea to shop around, and to verify the claims made on any resume, or advertisement.
Any professional investigator will gladly furnish a potential client with copies of proper documentation, proof of licensing, proof of bond, or proof of insurance and any other training/experience/qualification he/she claims to possess, as well as proof of membership in recognized professional associations.