Guest Post: Article Written by Jesse Harwell
One of our readers submitted this story. Jesse Harwell is a former private investigator. He has created a Masters of Homeland Security website as a great resource for new students looking to find all the information they need on getting a Master’s degree in Homeland Security. The link to his site can be found at the end of his article below.
Reasons to Hire a Private Detective
If you suspect someone of shady business or need to find someone who owes you money, you might consider hiring a private detective. However, many people don’t consider doing so because they assume it will cost too much money, or they think they can do it themselves. The reality in many situations is that you can’t afford NOT to hire one.
1. Danger Risks – If you try to do your own private investigation instead of hiring a detective, it’s likely that you could put yourself in danger. Unless you have experience with investigative work, you won’t know how to properly perform surveillance. This could lead to you being discovered, which can ruin your chances of success and possibly put you in danger, especially if your suspect has a criminal background. On the other hand, a private detective will be trained to perform surveillance without being detected.
2. Advanced Skill Set – You may think that you have what it takes to be a private detective from watching crime shows on TV, but the job is far more complicated than it seems. Real private investigators are trained in the latest surveillance technology and research methods. They also know how to think on their feet, perform threat assessments, and anticipate a suspect’s next moves. Many of today’s private detective companies make sure their investigators continually receive training so that they can perform quality investigations.
3. Investigation Techniques – Conducting an investigation involves asking the right questions and knowing how to ask them to get the right answers. Private investigators are trained to use probing techniques and ask open-ended questions so that subjects provide them with the most information. This is a skill that can take years to develop and can only be found among professionals.
4. Specialized Technology – A vital part of today’s investigation involves the use of specialized equipment for surveillance, tracking, and research. This technology is both expensive and complicated to use. Even if you had the money to buy this equipment, it’s likely that you wouldn’t use it to its full potential. It’s best to leave it up to professional investigators.
5. Experience – Even if you have the natural skills and fancy equipment of a private investigator, you won’t be able to match the value of their experience. It’s likely that they’ve already experienced situations such as being discovered, coming to a dead end, or coming across danger, which means they know how to handle such situations when they happen again. Any amateur who tries to conduct a private investigation will likely waste a considerable amount of time and put themselves in danger.
6. Knowing and Respecting the Laws – Since most private investigations have the possibility of leading to court proceedings, a professional detective is trained to collect evidence in a way that doesn’t violate the law or court rules. There are also laws in every state that directly deal with private investigations and allow professional detectives to do certain things that amateurs can’t get away with.
7. Time – Private investigations can take up a lot of time, which is why professional detectives perform them as a full-time job. It’s highly unlikely that you would be able to devote nearly as much time to an investigation and still spend time on other responsibilities like your job and family. You also won’t use time nearly as effectively as a professional detective will.
Here’s the moral of the story: leave it to a professional. Even if you think you have the skills to carry out a private investigation on your own, you won’t have the training, experience, technology, or professional license to do so effectively.
Jesse Harwell is a former private investigator who now owns and manages the site masterofhomelandsecurity
It is a resource for students looking to earn a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security.