Studies & Degrees in Private Investigator
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If there will be an award as to what profession has inspired the most TV shows, movies, and novels, no doubt the runaway winner would be a Private Detective. Peter Falk became famous because of his portrayal of a private detective in the show “Columbo,” and so as Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum of “Magnum P.I.” Perhaps, the most famous fictional private detective is Sherlock Holmes, who exudes brilliant deductive reasoning and sharp observation skills to solve the most difficult cases.
Private Detectives, though, portrayed to solve crimes, which are really the police’s job, are persons who can be commissioned to make investigations. More often, private investigators are hired by lawyers handling mostly civil cases like divorce, custody and alimony case proceedings, and sometimes in criminal cases too. In divorce and child custody cases, private detectives are commissioned to get pictures of either party in a compromising position like the husband or wife getting out of a casino, getting in a motel or hotel with another man or woman or anything that would give the client added weapons in winning the case.
Insurance companies also hire private detectives to investigate suspicious claims. Making sure that reported incidents are double checked is enough to make a private detective busy with so many claims being filed. Usual insurance frauds appear in the form of forged documents. Forged death certificates, forged IDs and forged special power of attorneys are enough to cash in insurance claims. Especially if there is a large amount of money involved, double checking these documents and making sure if the death of the supposed to be dead did really happen would be a cinch for a veteran private detective.
When not in league with lawyers and insurance companies, Private Detectives’ offices are swarmed by husbands and wives who would just like to make sure that their partners are seeing someone else behind their back. Private detectives are also oftentimes asked to track down persons who have gone into hiding due to large amounts of debts.
More often, Private Detective agencies tend to specialize in what kind of surveillance or service they offer. Many agencies are involved only in serving and delivering summons, subpoenas and other legal documents to the different parties involved in a legal case. Some private investigators only work with corporations who have intellectual properties and trade secrets to protect. With crimes also happening in the computer, there are now Private Detectives who specialize in computer forensics. Data retrieval and tracing are now among the skills of specialized private investigators.
Actually, before accepting a job, the private investigator and the commissioning party must understand each other very well. Specifying what needs to be done is the most important thing both parties must agree to because professional fees depend on how hard an assignment is.
Should anyone want to be a Private Detective and live a life of sleuthing courses are now offered specializing on how to become better detectives. Enrolling in Private Detective courses is important because things like what is admissible in court and what are not would be taught.
Job positions for Private Investigator:
Real life private detectives are not like those we see from TV shows and the movies. Storylines of TV shows and movies are a bit exaggerated so as to imbibe viewer interests. Real life detectives however do not solve criminal cases and would refer to police authorities whatever information they may know that may lead to solving of a case. Private detectives usually are asked to do tracking and surveillance tasks and a bit of picture taking. Surveillance, before, means that the detective would follow someone for a period of time and then report to his client a detailed account of where the subject went for let’s say the last three days and that’s it. However in this age and time, the definition of surveillance has somewhat evolved. Now, surveillance would also include the use of covert electronic gadgets such as cameras and listening devices. Presently, there are independent private detectives who specialize only in electronic surveillance. These specialized private detectives are experts on installing and operating these special gizmos. Also included in their repertoire of skills is computer hacking to look for evidences hidden inside computer workstations. Because these special private detectives usually have private corporations as usual clients, thus they became to be known as Corporate Investigators.
Most corporations already have a security department but usual concerns of security are vandalism and peace and order in the buildings. Sometimes, big companies suspect an employee of being involved in fraudulent activities resulting to losses for the said company and these types of crimes usually need to be dealt in a discreet manner so professional detectives are called in. Also, labor laws protect employees from baseless termination so finding evidence of malevolence towards the company would ensure that the company is adhering to labor laws. Sometimes companies would like to be sure that the one they are hiring or promoting to an important corporate post doesn’t have a stink of any kind and wants to have their backgrounds checked just before signing them. Some bosses would just like to know how their staff behaves in their absence. These types of assignments are where the cameras and bugging devices are conspicuously set up. Perhaps, the most common reason why companies call third party Corporate Detectives is to erase suspicion of whitewashing an investigation when something malevolent happens like there is missing money or a valuable thing, company operations got disrupted on a large scale or there is someone causing sabotage to the company.
Becoming a Corporate Detective is a bit trickier than ordinary private detectives. Corporate Detectives usually come in teams to cover more grounds specially when doing surveillance jobs. Usually, one team member is in charge of the equipments, the other one is the computer expert and if there’s a third one that usually would be an auditor or a former auditor who can leaf through financial reports with ease in case fraud or embezzlement are the cases in question. Enrolling in private detective courses would be the first step but to become a specialized private detective like a Corporate Investigator, years of experience usually is the best teacher.