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Archive for November, 2010

National vs. Local Agencies

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Although national investigative agencies may seem better suited to handle a case, this is rarely true. For a Colorado case, there is no better investigator than a Colorado based investigator who is familiar with where the courts are, the towns, the streets, shortcuts to get from point A to point B, etc. A surveillance investigator who is flown in to Denver from Boston to conduct surveillance is instantly at a disadvantage from an investigator from who has been conducting surveillance in Denver for years and knows the neighborhoods and demographics of the area.
Also, the local agency will most likely turn over the completed case and billing to the client quicker than a national agency based out of state. The client has a better opportunity of meeting with the investigator face-to-face with a local agency rather than one based out of state.
A fact that is not well known outside the investigative community is that national companies usually use local investigators as sub-contractors to work the cases. If the client hired the sub-contractor investigator directly, the same product could be received in a shorter time and likely for less money as there is no middle man. There are many national companies that advertise as having local offices in Colorado. However, most of these companies just have a post office or mail drop as an address to give the illusion of having a Colorado office.

Choosing a reputable Investigator!

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Did you know there are no licensing requirements for private investigators in the state of Colorado? As silly as it seems, Colorado has licensing requirements for barbers, hairstylists, and plumbers, but not for private investigators. In fact, Colorado is one of only 4 states that have no licensing or regulation available for private investigators. This means that any felon, including a murderer or rapist, can be a private investigator in this state. Of course these are extreme examples, but API has heard of and exposed investigators with criminal records, domestic violence records, drug convictions, theft convictions, sex offenses, stalking charges, restraining orders, etc. operating in this state. Safeguard your cases and make sure your investigator is a reputable one with a clean record. Many investigators in Colorado are actually licensed in other states as a means of demonstrating a level of credibility above other investigators.

Reputation and References

Friday, November 26th, 2010

In the investigative world, we often point out to clients and other investigators that our reputation is everything. An investigator with a damaged reputation will most likely not get very many cases. The same way the investigator may likely conduct a “mini-background” on the client prior to taking a case, so should the client gather information on the investigator. It is important to run a query on the investigator AND the agency name. Be sure to consider slight variations in the spelling of the investigator and/or agency’s name. The search engine results can also give you an indication if the memberships that the investigator claims on their web site are current and valid.

For private party cases that involve an attorney, a good start is to get a recommendation for an investigator from the attorney, especially since the investigator may be working alongside the attorney throughout the duration of the case. Certainly a recommendation for an investigator who has worked the same specific type of case, whether it’s from a friend or a family member, should be taken into consideration.

Asking the investigator/agency to provide references is also a wise idea. Several of the references should come from colleagues and/or attorneys, not just private parties. A good investigator is usually well-known and respected throughout the investigative and legal community. Also, several of the references should come from clients who have had similar cases to the one that the investigator will be hired for.