The private investigator is a very important person in the criminal justice career field. Private Investigators (PIs) conduct investigations on a paid basis and work by the hour. Many of them capture the suspects and turn them over to law enforcement authorities. They frequently communicate daily with law enforcement officials. They investigate, hide in the shadows to catch cheating spouses, and monitor various activities of suspicious people. For most, this job is considered fun and mysterious, and in many ways it is.
PIs work to connect leads to uncover personal, business, and legal matters. A private investigator is often referred to as a “private eye” or “detective.” Some private investigators specialize in only one area, such as cheating spouses, computers, business matters, insurance claims and fraud, etc. Approximately 21 percent of all detectives are self-employed.
Fortunately, you don’t need a formal education to become one. However, most investigators have at least one criminal justice associate. It is highly recommended that if you are planning to enter a private investigator career that you have at least some form of education or work experience in the field.
Private detectives use various methods to conduct investigations. One of the main tools used is a computer. With a computer, a PI can obtain vast amounts of information, such as recovering deleted emails, restoring search history, obtaining account passwords, and obtaining personal information on all parties involved in the case.
When investigating a case, a detective will often park to look at a location, such as a person’s home or workplace. In order to successfully complete the task and obtain all the necessary information, a private investigator may need to use digital cameras, video cameras, GPS systems, cell phones, and binoculars. Unfortunately, conducting surveillance investigations can be time consuming depending on the information that needs to be collected.
It is very important for a detective to understand which methods are okay to use and which are not when conducting investigations. There have been several cases where a private detective was fired from his job for not following the law. He will need to check with local authorities to make sure that all the methods he plans to use are allowed by his state.
It’s safe to say that the career of a private investigator is not the most secure in the world. If you are asked to conduct surveillance, you may be putting yourself in the line of fire, as the case may be. It is crucial for a private detective to be very careful and very aware of his surroundings. If discovered by a criminal involved in the case, the results can be deadly.
Fortunately, not all private detectives have to take chances. Some just sit in the office all day and do research on the computer. Some of the specific types of investigators include computer forensic investigators, legal investigators (who specialize only in legal cases), and corporate investigators (who investigate suspicious activity that may be occurring in the workplace). So if you are thinking of becoming a private detective, you have many options. All in all, this is a very rewarding career.
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