By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blog
For my very last Denver Private Investigator Blog post, I've compiled a 'best of' roundup, featuring the top five posts of my half-decade tenure working as Chief Content Officer and Blogger for Ross Investigators. Google analytics rankings, personal favorites, reader feedback and timely industry issues also went into making these selections. I've listed according to topics starting with the post I felt to be the most important.
1. Process server safety: Tom Mills' story
Telling Tom Mills' story was my most important blog post. The civil suit against Bret Carbone ended up getting settled out-of-court and the details of that settlement were never disclosed to me, however the series resonated profoundly with private investigators who understood that what happened to Tom Mills could have happened to any of them.
The take home? There were several actually. The first being the most obvious: ever ever go on a serve without some video format-- but it also touched upon the larger issue of private investigator safety and brought to light concerns about long term health ramifications like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it's impact
on health and business.
2. DORA violation stories
One of the benefits of the licensing program was it made private investigators accountable in ways they hadn't been previously. Violations, if reported, were available to the public through open records requests and part of my job was to obtain those records, review them and write about what went on.
It didn't happen frequently but when it did happen I told the story so people in the community would know how the licensing program was serving consumer and the industry.
Go here to read about license violations reported against Grand Junction Private Investigator, Jessica Erin Lane.
3. Telling funny, cute, weird and sometimes disturbing animals surveillance stories
Stories ranged from the ski resort bear caught on camera when it banged out a few cords on a piano to the pit bull dog reunited with it's Colorado Springs guardian thanks to a supportive PI. The Spies in the Wild review was also wildly popular. As was the story about Operation Acoustic Kitty.
4. Using government data to discuss and national private investigator income disparities
Thanks to supportive communications team and data, data, data, I was able to hone in on salary disparities between men and women in the private investigator industry. I also used census and Bureau of Labor Statistics to look at and report on how salary trends varied in different regions of the country and in different demographics.
5. Making sense of Colorado Bar Rule 84 c and Opinion
Perhaps most complicated were Rule 8.4 (c) and Formal Opinion 137. We addressed the negative ramifications for private investigators in several blog posts, one of which garnered statewide recognition when it was cited in Law Week Colorado.
Thanks again for all your likes and shares. Your support and your readership. I enjoyed spending the last five years telling your stories.
By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
After covering the private investigator community of Denver and the Rocky Mountain Region for half a decade, I will be moving on. February 29th will be my last day as the Denver Private Investigator Blogger. It has been an inspiration and an honor to serve the Colorado private detective community and legal investigator industry for over five years.
Whether your niche is defense Law and/or defense law investigations or process service you are a vital part of Colorado's legal industry and before I head into the wide blue yonder (more of an overcast snow grey yonder given the last week's Denver metro weather, I wanted my penultimate post to provide a list of training and legal investigation enrichment opportunities to get you through spring and summer 2020.
For starters, Mayor Michael Hancock will host three of the Central Park Five this Saturday, February 22nd at the Colorado Convention Center. Watching Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana interviewed by Denver's Mayor Hancock is a can't miss opportunity for anyone working in legal investigation and legal defense industry with an interest in systemic bias and social injustice. Especially if you watched and were moved by the award winning Netflix series, When They See Us.
See also: Reid Technique defamation controversy
See also: why innocent people make false confessions
See also: the Colorado connection to When They See Us
On Wednesday, March 4th 2020 at 6:00 PM, MST the Hilton Inverness at 200 Inverness Drive W, Englewood the Professional Private Investigator Association of Colorado (PPIAC) will host a training event titled, "Virtual Machines for PIs in OSINT Investigations" for Linux pros as well as Linux newbies wanting to learn more about open source intelligence. The instructors are from Digital Silence and you can learn more about the event as well as the PPIAC on their website. There will also be training and professional development events in early April.
Finally, if you're looking to sharpen you Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) smarts, the State of Colorado will be hosting free workshops through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) this summer and fall in the Denver, Pueblo and Grand Junction. Workshops will include crime scene photographing, crime scene diagramming, mechanics of injury (sharp force, blunt force), impression evidence (footwear, tire) and more. The training time will span a total of 24 hours. Visit the CBI website for more information.
Colorado Springs private investigator helps a women reunite with stolen puppy after Colorado Springs police refuses to pursue dognapper captured on surveillance video
By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blog
"Junior had gotten out while I was at the store and I went around calling his name and calling it out for three hours" explains Colorado Springs resident, Brandy Trejo once she and her pit bull, Junior were reunited. She's been walking around the neighborhood calling the name of her missing dog for a few hours when a neighbor approached her, reporting that "she was driving right past my house and these two men said 'hey that’s my neighbor’s dog' and she didn’t know any better and handed the dog over."
See also: the Lost Llama of Loveland
Pit bull theft, unfortunately, is a problem in Colorado. Breeds with reputations as fighters get stolen and sold to dog fighting rings. "There are some bad people who want dogs for breeding purposes maybe they thought they could make money off of dog fighting. There’s a whole big thing going on in Colorado right now where people are stealing dogs for dog fighting and those are all pit bulls. I kept thinking you’d see him on TV and find out they’d busted a dog ring or something. That was my biggest fear," explains Trejo who thought the security camera footage and license place number would be sufficient for the police.
Fortunately, Brandy's across the street neighbor agreed to let Brandy and her husband view the security footage for the stretch of time Junior had gone missing. Sure enough, video evidence revealed what had happened along with the vehicle and the license plate that took Junior away.
Claiming it was out of their jurisdiction, "the police couldn’t do anything Trejo explains, and I decided to call a private investigator." Although Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) law precludes Colorado PIs from providing the residential addresses, Trailfinders wanted to help. They told Brandy, " it was the El Paso County Sheriff’s jurisdiction."
Unable to "just sit back and wait" Brandy headed over with the intention of driving around all the trailer parks in the jurisdiction to see if she could spot the car in the video footage. Without missing a beat, Trejo called the police and putting an officer on speaker phone, knocked on the door, confident that Junior was inside because the surveillance footage that matched the car outside. "It was very distinctive because I saw the license place on the footage and it has huge black rims on it so that’s something you can’t miss" she said.
“The private investigator pretty much told me what jurisdiction and a friend told me to call the police in the jurisdiction to see if they could help me but I wanted to find my dog and so I just went there and drove around I couldn’t sit back and wait," she explained when asked why she didn't take more precautions. She wanted Junior back. “The private investigator pretty much told me what jurisdiction and a friend told me to call the police in the jurisdiction to see if they could help me but I wanted to find my dog and so I just went there and drover around I couldn’t sit back and wait."
"If you get nothing for them then call me back. But don’t spend your money on me until you’ve exhausted your lead over there," Trailfinders told her. “The fact he didn’t take my money just told me what I needed to do – that was really great." Trejo reflects, "he said ‘try getting a hold of the local police department there and see what you can do. If they can’t help he would have gone to the house himself. But it turned out she was able to do that on her own.
"When (Junior's suspected captors) opened the door I showed the lady the flier and told them one of their neighbors called and said they had a puppy that looked like mine. That’s what I told them and when the opened the door I saw my puppy right there. She said she saw the dog on the road and was going to give him back. I know for a fact they were not planning on giving him back because he was wearing a $45 collar," she said, still reverberating from the shock of being let down by her local police.
“I had put all of my trust and hope into the police department I felt like the police are there to help you. Whenever they told me they couldn’t help me and I had put all my energy into getting information in the police and I’d lost all my hope and faith that my dog was coming back and then I found Trailfinders." Trejo says she cried the whole way home and the day after.
According to The Denver Channel, Denver City Council just voted to repeal it's 30 year pit bull ban. The repeal will take 90 days to go into effect so if you're a Denver resident considering pit bull guardianship you may also want to invest in security cameras and/or surveillance systems.
Castle Rock's town council repealed the ban in 2018 and if you reside in Lone Tree, Louisville or Commerce City the ban is still on so you're out of luck. The City of Aurora is still discussing whether or not to repeal it's pit bull ban.
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