I have recently updated my website. While doing this I noticed something on other investigator web sites that peaked my interest. These include PI's in the Atlanta area and in other parts of the country. "We have over 48 years of combined law enforcement experience" or "former law enforcement". Have you thought about what this is really telling you? Let me give you some things to consider when choosing a PI with this type of advertising. First Law Enforcement Experience does not necessarily mean investigative experience. It could mean the PI was a patrolman for his career and answered calls, worked traffic accidents and issued traffic tickets. In my opinion, this does not say the PI has prior investigative experience in Law Enforcement. In no way am I downplaying the PI's time in law enforcement, but just because you can work a traffic accident and issue a traffic ticket does not make you an investigator. When you see the phrase, "Former Law Enforcement", what does that mean. Does it mean the person was a police officer for 20 years, or were they an officer for 6 months and didn't make it off probation. Or did it mean they skipped around a lot to different departments after resigning or asking to leave. Again, just because they are former Law enforcement, does not make them an investigator.
Over the past several years we have been called upon to investigate cases for criminal defense attorneys. In some of these cases that were investigated by Law Enforcement, I was shocked at the poor investigation that was originally conducted. To give you an example, a man was arrested for Rape of a 16-year-old girl. Just upon reviewing the original report I was amazed at what the police did not do. They did not photograph the crime scene, which was a motel room. If they had you could spot right off the motel room was within 100 feet of the office. The victim could have gone to the office and immediately reported the rape. There was of course a telephone in the motel room and according to her statement, the suspect was taking a shower after the assault and she asked to use his cell phone. She stepped outside of the room and called some of her friends. He left for work and did not return for several hours. She did not walk 100 feet to the office to ask for help. What did she do? She watched TV and called her friends on the motel phone. In fact, the investigative report identified three friends she called that afternoon after the so-called rape. The police talked to one of them over the phone. They didn't even bother to try to interview this girl in person. We found the other two friends she talked to. We interviewed them in person and both said she was not upset and that she was a habitual liar. After they testified, he was found not guilty and rightfully so.
Another example of investigative experience coming into play on a case was when we were asked to review the police report on a double homicide. Immediately we picked up that there was no blood on our client's clothing. This would have been nearly impossible for him not to come in contact with blood as messy as the crime scene was. In fact, while reviewing the body cams of the police, one of the officers was stepping in all the blood on the floor and contaminating the crime scene. In addition, after Mike reviewed the statements, he believed our client was not even in the room at the time of the shootings. Later we found out the interrogation had lasted for 16 hours before our client gave a false confession.
Another form of advertising I have seen on websites states "Former Federal Agents". Again, that is great but what kind of federal agent. Were they a Sky Marshall that sat for hours inside an airplane watching for the threat of terrorism? Were they a Federal Correctional Officer in a prison? Again, all of these are honorable and respectable jobs, but they do not indicate INVESTIGATIVE EXPERIENCE.
When you are considering a doctor to go to for a problem, I assume you want to go to a doctor that has a good reputation and specializes in your problem. For example, if you are diagnosed with cancer, do you want to go see a general practitioner. No, you want the best and most experienced. Just because there is a "DR" in front of their name does not mean they are what you are looking for. The same goes with Private Investigators. Do your research, ask questions and if they don't want to answer those questions or they give you the run around then I suggest you keep looking until you find a PI that you feel comfortable with. Do they have Law Enforcement Experience or is it someone else in the office that used to be in Law enforcement and now is just associated with the company in name only.
All I can tell you is that we are "retired" not former Law Enforcement and that Law Enforcement was with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). Both have over 20 years investigative experience with the GBI in addition to the number of years of investigation on the private side. If you want to know what kind of work we do, just call some of the attorneys listed on our web site and they will tell you. Just make sure before you hire any PI that you check them out and do your research and ask the right questions.