What is a Private Investigator? Overview
A Private Investigator (a/k/a, private detective, PI, or private eye) is a person hired by an individual or a group in order to investigate a wide variety of cases. While many Private Investigators work for insurance companies to uncover potential cases of fraud, Private Investigators can also work for attorneys in civil cases, for example.
Before the no-fault divorce was introduced, many Private Investigators were hired to search for evidence of adultery or other unethical, “bad” conduct in order to grant grounds for a divorce. While this type of evidence is no longer needed in most jurisdictions in order to proceed with a divorce, it still remains one of the most profitable activities for a Private Investigator because the stakes being fought for in a divorce can be quite high, including child custody, alimony, and marital property.
While Private Investigators do not arrest people or put them into custody, they are tasked with keeping meticulous, detailed notes, and, they must be prepared to testify in court should the need arise. Because Private Investigators are civilians, it is imperative that they work within the scope of the law, as failing to do so could jeopardize a case, and, the investigator could face the risk of criminal charges. Another part of the job is that, when it comes to surveillance work, Private Investigators need to be prepared to work long, irregular hours.
Private Investigators can also be called upon to do a variety of work that is not usually associated with the industry. For example, many PIs are involved in process serving, which is when someone personally delivers a court summons, subpoena, or another legal document to its intended recipient.
Many private investigative agencies specialize in a particular field of expertise. For example, some agencies only deal in tracing, while others specialize in technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) involving electronic countermeasures (ECM) … locating, placing, and monitoring electronic surveillance (for example, a bugged boardroom for industrial espionage purposes). Corporate investigators specialize in corporate matters, including anti-fraud, the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets, anti-piracy, copyright infringement investigations, due diligence investigations, and, computer forensics work.
Introduction to Private Investigation
Though glamorized by television, a career as a Private Investigator is often stressful, somewhat dangerous, and very often irregular. Private detectives are freelance professional investigators hired by individuals to assist in legal proceedings and other private matters. Quite often, a Private Investigator or private detective provides surveillance, runs background checks, traces missing persons, and, conducts investigative research and interviewing services to the general public, attorneys, and/or businesses.
Bullets flying and speeding cars are typical fare for the life of the Private Investigator in a Hollywood movie. While Hollywood movies often glamorize private detective work, most investigators work in relative obscurity. Unfortunately, many people think that this is a career of high adventure as is in real life. It’s not.
You’ve seen them on television and read about them in books. Whether it’s Sam Spade or Magnum P.I., they seem to go from adventure to adventure. They often get the girl, laugh through harrowing car chases, and, seem calm when pinned down by gunfire.
I’ve got good news and bad news for you. It’s nothing like that. That’s good news if you have NO desire to speed through the hilly streets of San Francisco in your minivan while villains shoot at you from the back of their speeding car.
That’s bad news if you DO have the desire to speed through the hilly streets of San Francisco in your minivan while villains shoot at you from the back of their speeding car!
Remember the popular movie series about Indiana Jones? Many people clamored to get into archaeology after those movies, only to be sadly informed that they’ll spend more time in libraries and dusting bones with a dry paintbrush than making exciting escapes with a beautiful girl on one arm and a revolver in the other.
It’s the same way with Private Investigation. While Magnum P.I. (and many other investigation stories) tops the charts on TV or on bestseller book lists, they don’t do a great deal in telling you what Private Investigation is all about.
This isn’t to say that private detectives don’t face a certain amount of risk in their workday. Private Investigators have not sworn law officers, so they only have the same powers of arrest as any other citizen. Private detectives may have to interrogate hostile witnesses or ask inflammatory questions on behalf of their clients. Getting people to admit self-incriminating behavior requires a certain combination of psychological manipulation and self-confidence, which successful Private Investigators often have in great abundance.
Police Science Institute’s Private Investigation Training Course has been carefully and comprehensively structured in order to assist you in becoming a successful, top-level Private Investigator. You will be learning from some of the highest-rated and most experienced Private Investigators and Investigative Specialists, all of whom having many years of experience serving in this field.
David A. Dadoun, the author of this article, maintains a highly diversified and extensive resume in the fields of International Intelligence, Undercover Operations, Counter-Terrorism, VIP Protection, Physical Security, and Specialized Investigations. At present, Mr. Dadoun is deeply involved as the founder and Program Director of the Police Science Institute, which is one of the world’s top online institutes, providing specialized, academic online Courses in the fields of Private Investigation, VIP Protection Training, Criminal Justice, Criminal Profiling, Forensic Science (CSI), Executive / VIP Protection, Terrorism Studies, as well as with regard to other Police Science Specialties.