I have documented the cases of the many adventures I have had since my career as a Skip Tracer / PI began in 1990 and will share them with you in the hopes that they will help you or someone you know. Some of my cases have to do with large companies where employees were suspect in theft or drug related while on the job and others were domestic cases where a loved one suspected infidelity of their partner but my favorite cases were those of reunions or cases that involved skip tracing. Of course, it goes without saying that names and identifying factors will not be revealed due to implied confidentiality for my clients. Before I start telling my stories I promised you I would answer some questions that are posed to me on a regular basis either through email or in person. I am answering questions that I feel will benefit others and/or have been asked of me multiple times assuming there is a point of interest in the topic.
How did you become a PI? Did you go to school for it? What would you recommend someone do if they want to become a PI?
This seems to be the most popular among the questions I have been asked throughout my career and am happy to share my story. During my career I had more calls from Police Officers who wanted to work off the force on a private level as a Detective than I had from those graduating from college concentrating in the field of investigations. When it all began for me I too was a college student when I got a job at #Famous Barr Department Store working in the collections department as a skip tracer and collector having had successfully climbed the ladder in a matter of five years to the point where I reached a dead end in the department I was working in. Between that and the fact that I had a new manager whom I once worked side by side with and had no respect for I decided to consider a position offered me as a manager of a local PI firm that I had previously passed up and recommended a friend for who was hired and fired in a matter of months. I was making good money and had full benefits at a large company, Macy's at the time, and had considered leaving all of that for a small company that would ultimately change the course of my career. After much deliberating and negotiating I accepted the position to manage five people and run the firm having had no previous management experience. Putting my college degree on hold I was working two shifts five days a week including my day shift at the office managing and my night shift doing the field work and gaining experience as a real #Private Investigator. I was exhausted from lack of sleep and exercise but it was par for the course I was heading in. I will never forget a story my boss told me when I began my job as a manager at his firm that left me thinking about my future as a PI.
My boss was hired by a man to investigate a license plate on a car that was parked in his driveway every night when he was at work. He suspected his wife was cheating on him and wanted to know who with if that were the case. My boss revealed the information to his client who then went to the guys house, whom his wife was allegedly cheating with, and shot and killed him. My boss had to testify during the murder trial and was released from having any responsibility for the action of his client. Needless to say it taught him a lesson not to give out information on just anybody to anybody. From the very beginning of my career I learned to be responsible with the the information I have access to.
The general public does not often understand what we, Private Investigators, do therefore a great deal of speculation exists. When you choose to be a Private Investigator you have to accept the responsibility to uphold your obligations of truth, justice and integrity. And, these days most states require you be licensed requiring testing, continuing education, and insurance and full knowledge of the laws. It's expensive to be a PI in the states that require you be licensed so unless you plan to actively participate in your career choice as a PI it is not worth the trouble. There are schools all over the country that can teach you how to be a PI but that really is not enough. Imagination, luck and determination is as important when skip tracing than the traditional techniques they teach you in the classroom. You must have perseverance and be resourceful to succeed. You must be able to protect and never divulge the identity of your informants. And, remember there is not a hole deep enough on this planet in which a person can hide from a PI who has the necessary tools.
If you are interested in becoming a PI or skip tracer there are many books that can teach you how to do it but ultimately building professional relationships with your peers in the profession will help you in your success. Read a book and exercise what you learn and then decide if you have what it takes. A good way to test your skills is to pick a car out of a parking lot, observe the driver and the vehicle. Carefully follow the car to their destination. If you follow someone from a grocery store they are most likely to go home to put their groceries away. Jot down their address and see what information you can come up with. A good place to start is on the Internet using public websites. See how far you can get by learning about the person driving the car. From there you should be able to determine if you have what it takes to be a successful investigator whether it be a PI or a skip tracer. Once you become licensed in your state you will have access to information that the general public does not. There are many jobs out there that can use your skill as an investigator especially insurance companies. I will write more about this topic later but in the meantime you can send any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your questions will be answered as promptly as possible.
That's it for now. Hope you enjoy this read and please share it with your friends. If you enjoy my blog please like my facebook page at www.facebook.com/diaryofapi. Thanks for your support!