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Criminal Justice Articles

Providing Investigation Services Professionally

Parties who hire investigation services have certain expectations on how they should be treated and everything should be addressed.  They want everything to be done professionally and feel that they are working with a reputable investigator and not a shady character.  The best ways for investigation services to show they are professionals are similar to many businesses.  The best way to express that professionalism to a possible client is to:

  1. Show that discretion is not a problem.  The client’s case is kept between you, any of your pertinent staff, and the client.  If you’ve ever met somebody who is a name dropper you know how annoying that is and possibly deterring.  Private investigators need to know how to portray their experience and professionalism without giving away details of cases they’ve worked with before.
  2. Professional investigation services are able to verify their credentials and what makes them qualified to investigate.  It is important for investigation agencies to be a part of professional groups and organizations related to their trade.  These affiliations often show they are serious about their agency, like to keep current with information regarding investigative services, and are passionate about the job itself.
  3. Providing investigation services often requires the purchase of some serious equipment.  Spyware is the slang term for it but it is not so far off.  Since investigation services often require discretion and anonymity equipment that can help obtain the information an agency is being hired to get is important. 
  4. When you provide investigative services you need to tell your clients specific information to make sure they do not have unrealistic expectations.  Let them know the process and time frame it may take to get their information.  Inform them of what roadblocks and obstacles may come up.  You need to clearly define how you want communication to take place between the two of you.  Obviously, you probably can’t leave voice mail messages with information and many times email is not a viable option either.
  5. Clarify what things you cannot do and can do right up front.  If they are asking you to do something that is illegal you need to let them know that is not possible.  Offer them a solution that falls within the legal boundaries of investigative services and tell them how that solution will get them information.
  6. Clearly show what the cost is involved with your investigation and state how payment is to be received throughout the process.  The reason that this is important is that you are going to be putting some legitimate man hours into helping this client.  You’ll probably have some sort of fixed expenses for certain items as well.  The client does need to understand that you are getting them results and those results are worth a certain price regardless of what they are.  For example, somebody believes a company is dumping toxic waste illegally and wants you to prove it because they want to shut them down.  You find out that the company is not doing anything wrong by law and that the client does not have the case they want.  They are not happy about it but you still did what you set out to do – your job is to find the answers for clients, not to build a case for them.  You still deserve to get paid for all your exhaustive efforts and should.

Private investigation services are an opportunity to show that there is a tremendous amount of work, time, and dedication involved in investigating for people.  Show that you are the professional and you will have a successful career as an investigator.

Schools Offering Criminal Investigation Courses:

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  • Security & Investigation - Associate of Applied Science

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