The Basics of Hiring a Private Investigator

Whether you’re looking for a hard-to-find individual or seeking a background check on a potential high-level employee, hiring a private investigator can be a valuable asset for you or your business.

Although private investigators aren’t necessarily police officers, they may have a criminal justice or military background, along with experience with research, surveillance tools, and other methods of investigation. These types of specialized services are often helpful to private individuals, companies, or attorneys for obtaining key information to build specific cases (such as witness searches, insurance fraud, theft, and more).

For security and peace of mind, it’s important to know the basics before enlisting a professional PI.

 

What to look for when hiring a private investigator
To make sure you’re hiring an investigation service you can trust, there are a few items to consider. Be sure to ask about the following key points, when you’re researching potential PIs to work with:

  • License. Make sure the PI you’re looking to hire is licensed in your state. Don’t hesitate to ask to see their license number; you can also check their credentials with your local or state government. (Visit apps.colorado.gov to double-check Colorado state-issued licenses, and verify accreditations.)
  • Insurance. Although not mandatory in the state of Colorado, having liability insurance is an added benefit when hiring a PI. Check to see that any private investigator you’re looking to hire has proper insurance coverage.
  • Referrals and references. A good PI will be happy to share referrals or references with you. Check their website for testimonials and success stories, or ask if you can speak with previous clients. Additionally, word of mouth is a great indicator of any businesses’ trustworthiness or success. Do your own sleuthing before hiring a PI by asking around to see what you can learn about their reputation in your community.
  • Contracts. Having a contract with your private investigator protects both of you. Ask to see a sample contract from the investigator you’re looking to potentially work with. Have them talk you through the particulars of the contract, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you don’t understand or have reservations about any aspects of the arrangement.
  • Confidentiality. Private investigations should be private. Having that trust between private investigator and client is incredibly important, as so many reasons people reach out to PIs involve matters of a highly delicate nature. Knowing this, good PIs may have a confidentiality promise in their contracts. Additionally, they will guarantee your anonymity and personal privacy, no matter what reason you might have for hiring their services.
  • Experience and education. In order to be licensed PI in Colorado, you must be at least 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen (or legal resident), and pass the Colorado Jurisprudence Exam (a test that covers the rules of ethical conduct and regulations concerning the practice of private investigations). Passing these requirements earns a Level 1 Private Investigator license.

Additionally, a Level 2 license may be attained if you also have a minimum of 4,000 hours of investigative work experience as a PI or with a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency. (The Colorado Office of Private Investigator License may also require some college education, before issuing a Level 2 license.)

How much does it cost?
Like most things, you will find a wide range of fees and costs when hiring a PI. Variables depend on your location, the PI’s specialty, how complex your investigation may be, if the operation will require more than one investigator, and so on.

But, be aware: A more expensive agency doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be getting higher-quality work.

The cost of peace of mind is a tricky thing to quantify. An agency with integrity, an experienced track record, and a host of satisfied clients is a good indication of exemplary service–and a sign that you’ll be hiring someone you can trust.

How Pilum Defense can help
If you’re looking for an ethical and comprehensive private investigation, Pilum Defense can help.

Our staff has an extensive background in a variety of investigative areas and uses cutting-edge technology, proprietary databases, and grassroots techniques to quickly and effectively bring your investigations to fruition.

In addition, Pilum has formed strategic partnerships allowing us to contract with government, corporate, and personal opportunities. As a full government contracting agency, you can rest assured you’ll be receiving careful, considerate, and confidential services when you work with us.

You can rely on Pilum for all your Investigation needs. Contact us today, or give us a call at (303) 306-4756 to learn more about how we’ve made a difference for clients in and around the Denver, Colorado area. We look forward to working with you.