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The World of the Private Investigator

Congratulations on your decision to start a new adventureyour efforts to learn about the world of private investigation. Today, this field is rapidly expanding and opportunities for employment, advancement and agency ownership are plentiful. With the knowledge and skills learned from the DTI course and supplemental materials, you can be on your way toward a rewarding, lucrative profession. Starting now, you will be learning the varied, exciting skills and techniques that investigators must know in order to do their jobs effectively. So that you can fully understand the lessons presented in this course, you will need to know something about The World of the Private Investigator. This starting point the first lessoncontains many important topics that are relevant to your new career as a private investigator. From basic definitions and descriptions of types of investigators, to an assessment of your skills and interests, this lesson helps you get started on a most rewarding learning adventure.

As you read this lesson, be prepared to answer the following questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. What are the five major types of investigators practicing in todays investigative marketplace? What is the formal definition of an investigator? What are the differences between law enforcement, private investigation, and guard & patrol services? What are the powers and responsibilities of the private investigator, and how can he avoid abusing his power? What dangers and risks do private investigators face? When do private investigators carry guns? What new roles do women play in private investigation, and why are their services valued? What attributes and skills contribute to the success of the private investigator? How are investigative achievements and experience recognized? What terms are applicable to private investigation? How can you determine your investigative interests and make maximum use of your skills and talents in the investigative profession? What is the common denominator in all areas of private investigation?

Copyright owned by Art Kassel and DTI. No unauthorized reproduction.

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The World of the Private Investigator

Private investigation is an easy profession to get into at any age and at any level of your career development. The young and inexperienced will most probably start out as a field investigator in a detective agency and enjoy trying out various sneaky and devious movements, while remaining fundamentally honest and knowing clearly the difference between right and wrong. They will combine luck, with common sense and street smarts, in order to get results. They will get plenty of practice thinking on their feet, looking over their shoulders, and coming up with fast, ready answers if caught in the middle of something. The young and inexperienced will find many years of challenging work and, with hard work and persistence, be able to make the many career transitions that lead to success and financial security. Middle-aged individuals making a mid-life career change will find that private investigation offers an ideal next profession. These folks have cultivated a genuine interest in people and usually know the various human problems and motives. Because of their experience and maturity, they are able to deal with varying, often unpredictable circumstances. Further,

middle-aged individuals usually enter the profession with a wide range of experience and knowledge concerning the professional and technical matters of life in general and by nature are a curious type who enjoy digging up all sorts of information from a number of sources. These qualities are ideal for private investigation. And, since the work is so varied, they can

focus on the aspects of private investigation that fit their mental, physical and educational level. The third group, ex-law enforcement officials, make the transition easily. The only difficulty they may have is adjusting to the new investigative format for a variety of new civil and business investigations that were not a part of their previous official responsibilities. They bring with them the cultivated official demeanor and find new challenge in running their own detective agencies as a business, as opposed to being a civil service employee.

Private investigation is a profession for men and women of all ages, at any stage in their career development. To be successful at it, you must learn and apply the proper procedures, skills and investigative techniques.

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For all three categories, learning private investigation does not require a college education or formal law enforcement training, although the latter can be helpful. It only requires knowing the procedures, the skills, and investigative techniques. Thats what this course

and character. We go on to explore the dangers and risks in private investigation and the issues concerning the use of guns. Following that, is a consideration of the different certification programs available, as well as other means to increase your professional standing. Then, we discuss the expanded opportunities for women in private investigation, and the attributes of investigators who perform well. Finally, we review the terms applicable to private investigation and offer guidance on how to maximize your talents by determining your investigative interest. As you will see as you move through the course, private investigation is a challenging adventure that combines human nature, trickery, logic, physical skill, keen observation and accumulating facts and evidence. Thats an exciting combination, and the profession is well worth your time and effort. Sowithout further introduction lets begin!

Surveillance and photography are two exciting activities used extensively in almost all aspects of private investigation.

provides you, in full! Further, the profession is fun and exciting to learn. By taking DTIs training course you will learn the skills and techniques necessary to function as a qualified investigator. Just follow the road maps throughout your course and you will find your lessons interesting and very informative. This first lesson contains some very important introductory topics which will provide you perspective and direction. We begin by defining and describing different types of private investigators, and compare them to law enforcement and guard & patrol services. We then discuss issues of power and responsibility as they relate to the professional investigator; we place great emphasis on maintaining a high level of integrity

Types of Investigators
Before we formally define the term private investigator and discuss his duties, lets take a look at the types of investigators in practice today. This brief view should give you perspective on the tremendous variety of working assignments available. Five major types are discussed here. Note that some investigative tasks may overlap, yet each type has its unique purpose.

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General Investigatorthis investigator has a multitude of different clientssmall businesses, corporations, retail establishments and individuals. For these clients he performs many and varied services, including location of missing persons, pre-employment background checks, internal theft investigations, undercover investigations, surveillance, process serving and electronic security counter measures. No list of assignments can exhaust all possible potentialities; new situations requiring new approaches develop constantly. One of the realities for general investigations is the persistence of such variables, making every case and technique unique. The variability springs from the nature of human need and from the conflicts and complexities of our changing society. Legal Investigatorsthis

accused of his constitutional rights. Finally, legal investigators frequently testify in court. The nature of legal investigations varies considerably with the area of law involved. Negligence cases, for example, require a great deal of investigative work. Damaged vehicles, defective machines, and injured persons all have to be examined. Witnesses have to be interviewed at length in order to determine the extent of negligence. In workers compensation cases, negligence is not an issue, but the extent of injury is.

Although there are five general categories of investigators, they all share a common denominator: they collect Information and facts.

The Meaning of Forensic

What is a Forensic investigation? Forensic scientist? What are some examples? If you have interests in becoming a legal investigator, you should know the meaning of Forensic and how it applies to private investigation. Forensic investigation is the application and interpretation of scientific tests to an array of physical evidence which can be debated or argued by each side in a court of law. The forensic scientist or expert witness performs two primary functions: (1) the scientific functioncollecting, testing and evaluating evidence, and forming an opinion as to that evidence; and (2) the forensic functioncommunicating and Interpreting those findings and explaining the methods used to reach those conclusions in a court of law. The investigators role is to assist the expert or attorney in gathering the evidence to be examined and help with the trial preparation and testimony. Some examples of civil forensic investigations include: environmental, engineering, accident reconstruction, medicine and health, agriculture, building construction, and forensic photography. Examples of criminal forensic investigations, where the investigator would help represent the defendant, include: DNA, serology (body fluids), latent prints, trace evidence, crime scene reconstruction, questionable documents, case review and reexamination of evidence. Many of the investigative techniques you will learn in your DTI course will better prepare you for identifying and collecting forensic evidence.


investigator is usually employed by law firms handling mostly personal injury cases. A legal investigators responsibility involves accumulating and assembling facts so an attorney can intelligently apply the law in the best interests of his client. The legal investigator mainly interviews prospective witnesses and experts used in the litigation. He also searches out testimonial, documentary and physical evidence. In defense of criminal cases, the legal investigator protects the

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Likewise, the extent to which an injury was work related becomes an important aspect of the investigation. In probate, an investigation could involve either locating missing heirs or attempting to determine what the mental state of the deceased

from within their own security forces to investigate internal matters. The most common investigations are pre-employment checks, internal theft, falsifying records, accidents, workmens compensation, and lawsuits.

These investigators also Impersonating a Public Law LEGAL develop and Enforcement Official ADVISORY administer internal since investigators always work in plain When private investigators conduct clothes. Investigators should always activities such as displaying a badge to programs to make sure they completely identify a subject through a car window without investigate themselves to avoid any appearance of any explanation of themselves, or many crimes, impersonating a public law enforcement displaying a badge to a person and only such as official. In the particulars of an operation explaining that they are conducting an pirating, trade are such that investigators cannot ideninvestigation without first informing the secrets and tify themselves, it is suggested that person of the private nature of the invesinvestigators do not display anything tigation, their actions run dangerously shoplifting. that may leave a person with a wrong close to impersonating a law enforceThey are also impression of their true authority. ment official. This is particularly true responsible for minimizing was at the time the will was losses from natural and manwritten. The underlying investimade disasters. These investigagative skills in all areas are basitors focus on general security cally the same. functions common to most 3. Insurance Investigatorsthese types of organizations, such as professionals are either physical security, disaster planemployed directly by insurance ning, computer security, companies, or are subcontracted protecting proprietary informaby them. Insurance investigation, fire prevention and tors perform the same basic terrorism. A new type of secufunctions as legal investigators, rity investigator concentrates on but their goal is to defend the security concerns of specific insurance companies against organizations, such as governfraudulent claims. Their duties ment installations, retailers, include investigating cases financial institutions, heath care involving arson, product facilities and energy firms. liability, workmens compensa5. Specialized Related Fields tion and personal injury, as well many investigators also perform as medical malpractice. auto repossessions, bounty
4. Corporate Investigators and Industrial Securitymany large

corporations and businesses hire

hunting, bodyguard and security work, all fields related to private investigation. Many of

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the techniques used in these specialized related fields are the same as those used in primary private investigation. However, the range of skill and actual fact-finding tasks are limited. Private investigators, with interest in these areas, usually work in these specialized related fields as a secondary business through their main investigative business.

types discussed above further amplify the general definition and provide more detail.
General Investigator

Definitions of Private Investigators

We have already seen that the functions of investigation are many and multi-faceted. Now, lets get a bit technical and nail down a formal definition. From its Latin deriva-

The statues in many states have generally 70,000 Private Investigators defined the private investigator as any It is estimated that there are about 28,000 private investiperson who engages in gation agencies in the United the business of, or St a t e s . S i n c e a n a g e n c y accepts employment to employs an average of 2.5 investigators each, this gives make investigations to an estimated 70,000 private determine information investigators in the United St a t e s . Yo u r p r o s p e c t o f of crimes or civil obtaining a position in a wrongs, the location, detective agency are good disposition, or especially after you become a DTI graduate. recovery of stolen property; the cause of accidents, fires, damages or injury to persons or to property; or Legal investigators evidence to be are routinely used before any assigned to reconcourt, board, struct accident officer, or investiscenes or to detergative committee. mine the authenPrivate investigation can also be defined as the process of fact assimilation. It is the systematic collection of evidence necessary to support or refute a claim, whether it be civil or criminal in nature. Private investigation is the process of observation, close inspection and analysis, as well as the continuous and regular inquiry into a specific subject. Private investigation is the search and journey toward the reconstruction
ticity of claims.

tive, vestigare, investigation implies a tracking, a search, an assimilation, or collection of information and facts. This essential function is common to al types of investigations, regardless of their special purposes. The following definitions of two of the major

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of events and conditions pertinent to a clients needs and interest. It is the collection of information to resolve factual disputes and confusing data. It can also be the supplying of independent pieces of information, such as names, addresses and telephone numbers.
Legal Investigator

1. A logical investigative or procedural sequence must be followed. 2. Real, physical evidence must be legally obtained. 3. Real, physical evidence must be properly stored and preserved. 4. Witnesses must be identified, interviewed and prepared for any potential or actual litigation. 5. Reports and documentation must be collected. 6. Information must be accurately and completely recorded. 7. Evidence collected must correlate to the claim, cause of action, or offense charged.

A legal investigator is trained in techniques of fact finding and

Comparing Law Enforcement, Private Investigation, and Guard and Patrol Service
Since law enforcement, private investigation, and guard & patrol service are related, there could be some confusion in understanding the similarities and differences among them. Lets briefly distinguish their functions so we may obtain a better understanding of private investigation.
Law Enforcement

As a private investigator, you will develop skills in interviewing and interrogation that will elicit precise, relevant information from people, even when their admission is made against their self interest.

forensic procedures (applying scientific and medical knowledge to legal matters for formal argumentation in law court). He is committed to the pursuit of truth because it is only by having verified facts at hand that an attorney can intelligently apply the law in the best interest of his client. As we saw earlier, his aim is to assemble as complete a factual picture of a situation as possible so that a case can be prepared for trial. Legal investigations differ from general investigations in that they include the following uniform practices:

Law enforcement agencies are public agencies paid for by citizens taxes. A police investigation is conducted basically for the purpose of apprehending a suspect of a crime and locating evidence for a successful prosecution of a case. The police use three main sources to reconstruct the past, as well as to

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identify and apprehend suspects: people, records and evidence.

Private Investigations

appropriation or concealment of merchandise, or other valuable documents or papers. 3. Control, regulation, or direction of the flow or movements of the public, whether by vehicle or otherwise to assume the protection of property. 4. Protection of individuals from bodily harm. 5. Enforcement of rules, regulations and policy related to crime reductions.

Private investigation agencies, on the other hand, are hired by a variety of clients, such as banks, hotels, insurance companies, stores, lawyers, manufacturers, individuals, etc. for varying purposes including: 1. To determine if there is sufficient factual evidence to support or defeat each element of a cause of action or a case at trial, such as workmens comp, insurance fraud, medical malpractice, criminal or civil cases, etc. 2. To locate persons or property. 3. To investigate frauds, embezzlements, divorces, employee thefts, etc. 4. To conduct background checks, surveillances, asset checks, interviews, undercover, etc.
Guard and Patrol Services

Becoming a private investigator involves responsibility. That means the ability to tell right from wrong, to think and act professionally, and to be accountable for your behavior.

Power and Responsibility of Being a Private Investigator

New private investigators learn certain confidential techniques that give them power and ability over

Pushing the Limits of the Law

As a new investigator, you might be inclined to compromise your integrity just to survive. It can be tough. Not making compromises in the beginning will pay dividends later in your career. A good rule to follow: when conducting an investigation, should you experience uneasiness that your efforts are pushing the limits of the law, you are in all probability, correct. Therefore, stop the activity. All your investigative efforts should not only be lawful, but honorable.

Guard and patrol personnel offer their services to industrial plants, financial institutions, educational institutions, retail establishments, hotels, health care facilities, recreation facilities, libraries and museums, warehouse and goods distribution depots, etc. They undertake the following responsibilities: 1. Prevention and detection of intrusion, unauthorized entry or activity, vandalism, or trespass on private property. 2. Prevention and detection of theft, loss, embezzlement, mis-

the average citizen. They must, therefore, adhere to a higher level of responsibility and ethics. Some of the skills a new investigator learns could result in a misuse of power. They are: Determining a persons true identity Determining an individuals personal background

Ethics in private investigation means conforming to the standards of the profession. Integrity means upholding sound moral principles of uprightness, honesty and sincerity.


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Private investigators often make arrests during business investigations such as internal theft, embezzlement and fraud. Thus, investigators must know arrest tactics and handcuffing techniques.

Determine a persons current employment Determining someones personal and professional reputation Determining a persons bank balances, debt level and financial background Determining a persons unlisted telephone number

Learning to become a private investigator also entails learning confidential techniques to move smoothly and swiftly through any bureaucratic system. Investigators know how to avoid certain restrictions that normally prevent access by the average citizen. But gaining a higher level of power and professional ability must be balanced with a higher level of responsibility. In few other businesses or professions is one expected to maintain the high standards of integrity as one needs as an investigator. An investigator must possess good moral character and be exemplary in conduct, honesty, and loyal to the profession. danger, then the danger is expected. Examples include: criminal investigation, employee theft, undercover investigation, process serving, marital investigations, surveillance, and bodyguard work. Unexpected danger on the other hand is unforeseeable and uncontrollable. Examples include an ambush or assault when you least expect it. Risk, on the other hand, is the voluntary taking of a dangerous chance. For example, an investigator on surveillance risks the hazards of running a red light because he does not want to lose the subject. Risk in this case is taken under conditions of uncertainty (possible auto collision) which exposes the investigator to possible loss in order to reach a desired outcome (maintaining surveillance on the subject). Investigators take certain risks because they strive for some benefit or professional compensation.

In addition to other risks, some aspects of private investigation require confrontation, such as presenting facts to a subject face-toface. Such an uncomfortable situation requires intestinal fortitude (guts) and strong nerves.

Danger and Risks in Private Investigation

Some aspects of private investigation have no inherent danger or risk. These include searching public records, pre-trial preparation for civil actions, computer crime investigations, etc. But, many other aspects of private investigation do involve danger and risk. There are two types of danger: expected and unexpected. When investigators can anticipate a high probability of

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From the psychological standpoint, the exposure to risk and danger itself appeals to many individuals. Many private investigators, as well as those in related fields such as law enforcement, get as much satisfaction from knowing that they face constant danger. However, it is not the harm or danger they value, but the heightened intensity which comes from the exposure and the added challenge of keeping it from happening. In other words, many investigators thrive on the adrenaline rush. Those who enjoy the risks and dangers of private investigation do not envision themselves as taking outrageous chances. Rather, they prefer to see danger as an intense stimulant to overcome challenging assignments.

Carrying a Gun
As a general rule, private investigators do not carry guns. Movies and detective television series feed on fantasies of private eyes that pack guns and beat the truth out of the bad guys. This is far from the truth. The private investigators work consists of cases that do not involve street arrests or dealing with violent criminals. That job belongs to the police. However, in some circumstances, private investigators do need to carry guns, at times, after obtaining a weapons permit from their local Sheriffs department. These incidents include bodyguard assignments, protecting evidence, organized crime cases, or when there is a direct threat on an investigators life.

From a psychological standpoint, carrying a gun can give a private investigator a distorted sense of power. The transformation from an anonymous civilian to a private investigator can create the illusion of power and superiority, which can have a profound impact on the investigators self concept. He can mistakenly regard himself more capable, stronger and smarter than others. Carrying a gun makes him think he is the person hes dreamed of becoming, thus gratifying childhood fantasies of omnipotence. Such feelings can become addictive, since power and authority are important vehicles to pleasure. Eventually, the private investigator cannot resist his addiction. After all, the opposite feelings are powerlessness and fear, which reinforce the need to carry a weapon. The wellbalanced private investigator is aware of this power temptation and balances it with good judgment, emotional maturity and moderation, and finds no need to carry a gun except in certain situations.

New and inexperienced investigators often believe authority means carrying a gun and badge, and giving intimidating commands. Experienced investigators, however, know that authority and influence result from knowledge, selfassurance and expertise.

Women in Private Investigation

The private investigation profession may have been marked as a mans domain in the past, but that image is beginning to change. The number of women in the field, while still substantially smaller than the number of men, is rising rapidly. The days of the tough, ex-cop, bourbon in the desk drawer and carrying a .45 gun, are over. Today, data detectives are becoming far more prevalent than the traditional

Women who participate in this traditionally male career are now greatly valued because of their flexibility in handling diverse assignments.


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Male-female detective teams have a much higher success rate than all-male teams because of the diverse skills each bring to the effort.

tough, twofisted PI. Women do an exceptional job in researching court documents, using computers, gathering data, etc. Women are also effective as people detectives, skills very much in demand. They do an exemplary job of interviewing clients and thus have a much better chance of obtaining information from people than their male counterparts. People are usually suspicious and apprehensive of a male investigator, but when they interact with a female investigator, they dont feel as threatened. People also tend to relax when a woman is on the phone. It is much easier for a woman to use a telephone pretext for obtaining information than it is for her male counterpart. Even on surveillances, a female detective is less likely to arouse suspicion or apprehension in a subject. This is especially true when the subject is a woman who frequently fears the possibility of being stalked or assaulted by a man. Even when a female investigator follows a male subject, he is less likely to become suspicious of her

presence. This increases the probability of success. If you are a male trainee who plans to start your own agency, DTI recommends teaming up with a female agent, wife, girlfriend, or associate. You will have a much higher chance of success as a male/ female team than if you work individually or in an all-male environment. If you are a female and training to become a detective, your opportunities are unlimited. You can easily get a job in a detective agency or work easily with a male counterpart as a two person team, especially after becoming a DTI graduate. Many medium size detective agencies tend to hire more women today than in the past. They find that they are more dedicated and conscientious. In one detective agency, for example, for every twelve investigators hired, eight are women.

Private Investigators Who Perform Well

Many studies show the personal attributes and professional skills necessary for success. They provide a mechanism for measuring traits that can help you evaluate yourself at any point in your career. By reviewing the following list, you can get valuable feedback as to your current strengths and weaknesses. Heres what you should look for in yourself:
1. Intelligence and reasoning abilitycan you analyze and

integrate many facts into a plan or report? Can you use facts to draw conclusions?

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Curiosity and imaginationare you driven to hunt down all pertinent facts and clues, taking nothing for granted? Are you skeptical of the obvious? Do you have a sense for the unusual? Can you tell when something is out of place or not in keeping with the norm? Are you suspicious enough about human nature to keep digging for better answers? Are you fully aware of your surroundings so that you notice small things that may offer clues? Observation and memoryare

more realistic. Do you have those qualities?

7. Recognize and control bias and prejudice in oneself and on the jobcan you acknowledge your

own biases and balance them with the truth in order to maintain objectivity?

What Are Gut Feelings?

Ever wonder how some investigators solve mysteries with little clues, or know the truth about a person or situation that isn't obvious to others? Its called gut feelings or intuition. Having a gut feeling is merely a judgment that has come to the surface with spontaneity. It is also called a cognitive experience, a guess, speculation, inference, conjecture, extrasensory perception, etc. Frequently it is a vague, hazy sensation, proving little more than inkling or a sense of direction. This makes it no less valuable, only more difficult to evaluate. Gut feelings do not have a logical sequence. They leap across chasms of missing information, make sideways detours, and bring together unusual, even illogical combinations. Gut feelings have no restrictions; it is the product of the minds capacity to do many things at once without being aware of them. But, gut feelings have their shortcomings too. They permit a conclusion without total evaluation of all variable factors. And, if a situation is not within the limits of previous experiences, then all that is left is a gut feeling which can be risky in some situations.


all five senses intact and functioning (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste)? Are you alert and attentive?
4. Knowledge of life and people

can you deal with people from all walks of life, minorities, inner-city residents, suburban dwellers, the young, the old? Do you have common sense, an outgoing personality, a spirit of cooperation, emotional stability, and acting ability for role playing?
5. Technical know-howcan you use technical equipment (cameras, videos, computers, etc.) in your investigations to gather facts or document activities? Perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, and energymany who wish to


Sensitivity to peoples feelingscan you act with discre-


tion and tack? Do you respect a confidence?

9. Honesty and courage to withstand temptation and corruptioncan you just say no to

become private investigators believe the job involves a glamorous lifestyle. But, the ability not to tire easily, survive boredom, and keep energy in reserve in order to carry on is

a bribe? Can you avoid an emotional involvement with a client, even if the temptation is strong?


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10. Ability to testify in courtare

you familiar with the rules of evidence and the pitfalls of cross-examination? Can you maintain sincerity as a witness and state facts impartially so you are credible?
11. Communications skills Licensing and certification merely establish your credentials at the state level. However, specialized training can make your services more valuableand marketableto new employers and clients.

dard. Certification provides special recognition of performance and investigative skill development that attests to your years of experience as a private investigator. Included in this illustration is a business card of a private investigator operating in California.
Telephone 619/440-3400

can you speak effectively to people? Are you a good listener? Can you use public relations skills to sell yourself? Does your physical appearance communicate professionalism and confidence?
12. Passion and purpose


License No. P.I. 3947 San Diego: P.O. Box 12232, El Cajon, CA 92022 Los Angeles: 213/964-2736 Orange County: 714/533-5222 1/800/4000 CHS

do you have a burning desire to learn and become a private investigator? Do you feel a deep purpose and meaning in entering the private investigation field? Have you always thought that you would make a good PI? No doubt you did very well on some items, and perhaps not so well on others. Your strengths will give you an advantage immediately. Your weaknesses can easily be overcome with study and practice. Thats what this course is all about.

Private investigation, like other professions, has levels of achievement and recognition based upon experience. This achievement is recognized through certification, the purpose of which is to establish a professionally recognized stan-

Notice after his name are the initials CPP, CFE, CPI. These stand for American Society for Industrial Security, National Association of Fraud Examiners, and Certified Professional Investigator. There are approximately twelve to fifteen professional certification programs available to experienced investigators as they proceed through their careers. The requirements for certification vary from program to program. Generally, the investigator must have two years work experience as a full time investigator. The programs require you to take a written and oral examination. Some require that you complete an accredited college, school or training program, such as DTI. Other certification programs require that you prepare a paper of at least 1000 words on any investigative subject.

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Terms Applicable to Private Investigation

The following terms are used throughout your course. These terms are specifically relevant to the aspects of conducting work or assignments.


This is the actual undertaking of the assignment involving labor or difficulty. It does not necessarily involve skill, or investigative technique.

In this course you will develop many new skills that will increase your ability to investigate a wide range of cases. Skills are something you learn to do. They are competencies that you will develop as a result of training, experience, and/or education.
Investigative Technique

Knowledge provides awareness, familiarity, and understanding of such things as laws, crimes, equipment, tricks of the trade, etc., that will increase your well rounded awareness of private investigation.
Procedural Steps

Investigative technique is the process of combining many investigative skills in carrying out an assignment. Some investigations only require using one investigative technique, such as surveillance, while other assignments require multiple techniques, such as conducting a surveillance, then conducting a telephone pretext call, then using video equipment to document the incident.

Many investigations, such as legal investigations, insurance investigations, missing persons investigations, fraud investigations, etc., require a particular course of action or sequential steps to follow to complete the assignment. It is the established way of carrying out assignments. The procedural steps may require using your skill, investigative technique, knowledge, or a combination of all three. Many investigations are inherently complex. Some procedural steps cannot be executed until other steps have been completed first, or carried out in parallel. Should the procedures be out of sync with each other, the whole investigation may be jeopardized. Pay particular attention to the procedural steps outlined in your

Initially, an assignment is like a mystery; it excites curiosity because it is unexplained, unknown or secret. It requires ingenuity that results in gradual discovery, and ultimately, a solution.

Investigators acquire expertise by continually confronting new situations where they must apply skills they already know


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training course. This is the backbone of conducting all investigations.

AssignmentsAlso Known as Investigations or Cases

A major obstacle to developing your talents is unnecessarily struggling through every case in the false belief that you are the only one having this difficulty.

A clue is a bit of information that gradually leads the investigator out of perplexity.

The whole investigative assignment process begins when a client has a need to fulfill. The need may be to investigate an internal theft, conduct a background check, find a missing person, or obtain an unlisted telephone number. Assignments are directed at achieving specific results. They can be simple and entail carrying out only one activity, or complex, entailing many related activities. An assignment is a systemthat is, a whole made up of interrelated parts, or procedural steps. Assignments are undertaken in a finite period of time. They are temporary. They have reasonably well defined beginnings, middles, and ends. When the assignment goals are achieved, the assignment ends. While many assignments may be similar, each is, to a degree, a one-of-a-kind undertaking.

Investigative Creativity
Investigators require creativity, imagination and flexibility in many investigations. While textbooks and courses offer many invaluable investigative techniques, the successful investigator looks beyond the textbooks and courses for ways to achieve results and satisfy clients. He combines practical knowledge, specialized equipment, and confidential techniques with creative inventiveness to obtain the factual picture about a situation, occurrence or person.

You can let go of the struggle by believing that the investigative problems you constantly face are the norm, and are present in every detective agency and faced by every investigator. As you progress through your course, determine your likes and dislikes and what skills seem to come easily to you. These are the ones which will naturally develop into talent, and will eventually lead to expertise in that particular area of investigation.

Investigative talents are natural capabilitiesor appear to be. Its possible to describe one or another investigator as having a talent for surveillance, or a nose for facts, or an uncanny ability to use equipment. In most cases, the talent is actually maximized through learning and practice. You can maximize your talents by developing investigative skills around them. You will find that the more you use your talents, the easier your work will be.

Determining Your Investigative Interests

As you proceed through your training, you will learn how to investigate many different assignments. You will also be exposed to many investigative techniques, technological equipment and skills

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used by todays professionals. This process will give you a chance to determine your likes and dislikes, as well as your strengths, weakness, talents, and skills. Some students show talent in surveillance, following people, and employing trickery. Others develop talent using telephone pretexts, interviewing subjects, finding missing persons, and skip tracing. Many also like working for insurance companies, or investigating workmens comp cases, since the work is consistent and steady. Retired or ex-law enforcement students like dealing with the criminal aspect of private investigationinternal theft, narcotics, arson, fraudand make good witnesses since they have years of experience testifying in court. Or, you may enjoy working with attorneys in pre-trial preparation. This course will help you decide your own special interests and where you would most like to workin a corporation, an insurance company, an investigative agency, or independently. But, no matter what area or combination of areas where your strengths and interests lie, there is one absolutely necessary common denominator for the entire detective profession: private investigators collect factual information. Without information, there are no cases, and there is no success. Investigators obtain information from three main sourcespeople, records, and physical evidence. And, they use a variety of investigative techniques, procedural steps, confidential sources and equipment to assist in

its gathering. The process is fascinating, as the assembling of information ultimately leads to the successful conclusion of cases. As you proceed through your DTI training, pay close attention to the Records Used In.... These are condensed outlines of the procedural steps for specific investigations. And, as you learn about these procedural steps, investigative techniques, and equipment, ask yourself, What information can be

Information gathering is at the heart of private investigation. Investigators get their information from three sources: people, records and physical evidence.

Art or Science
Successful investigation involves a balance between two polar views: investigation as an art versus investigation as a science. If art and science are part of a continuum, where does the separation point lie? The answer depends on what aspect of private investigation is under consideration. For example, surveillance, interviewing, telephone pretext and undercover work are all examples of investigation as an art requiring the skills acquired through the artful application of learned techniques. If you swing far to the other side you'll find the physical and biological sciences. This would include laboratory examination of evidence and traffic accident reconstruction. Although the private investigation field is becoming more focused on academic study and research and moving by degrees toward science, and in which the impact of forensic science is felt more and more, the art aspect of investigation involving skill and creative investigative technique has and always will be a big part of private investigation.

obtained using these methods? By the end of your training you will have developed professionally to the point where you can work very effectively as a new private investigator. You will know how to obtain information on any incident, person, or past event by paying

DTIs training turns new investigators into fully functioning members of the detective profession faster and more thoroughly than any other known training method.


The World of the Private Investigator

Lesson 1

close attention to the techniques you learn in this course. You are about to begin a most challenging, gratifying chapter in your professional life. We wish you good luck, and look forward to the day when you can proudly say you have completed DTIs training and are ready to begin your new career.

sion on determining your investigative interests. If you believe you have mastered the instruction in this lesson, turn to the next page for the Progress Check.

There is a clear relationship between highquality training and the ability to perform high-tech investigations. Expect to be challenged in the coming lessons and enjoy the pursuit of developing your investigative talents.

This introductory lesson has offered you a comprehensive overview of the investigative profession. You have discovered the definitions and types of private investigators, and have learned the differences between them and other related professions, such as law enforcement and guard & patrol services. You have also learned about the nature of power and responsibility assumed by private investigators. We especially emphasized maintaining a very high level of integrity and character to avoid abusing power. You learned about the dangers and risks that are part of the investigative profession, and how they are often a stimulus for excitement for some investigators. Issues concerning use of guns by investigators was also explored. We then went on to discuss certification and its value to establishing your credentials, and offered guidance on how you can advance professionally. The increasing prominence of women as investigators was explored, as well as their value to agencies and investigative teams. We reviewed some terms applicable to private investigation, and concluded with a brief discus-