Colorado Department of Regulatory Agency 2019 Sunset Review recommends the General Assembly sunset the Colorado Private Investigator Licensing Program
By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
On October 15, 2019, the Department of Regulatory Agencies announced the completion of a year-long review of Colorado's mandatory private investigator licensing law that took effect in 2015. The review concluded that the licensing law was unnecessary due to lack of demonstratable harm.In other words, because the licensing program did not protect the public from any documented harm or risk of harm DORA recommended the mandatory licensing law be repealed by September of 2020.
See also: investigators weigh in on when to withhold a report and when not to.
In their November newsletter the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) Vice President of Legislation, Robert Orozco announced the PPIAC's commitment to supporting and maintaining the mandatory licensing law for as long as possible. Disagreeing with the conclusion of DORA's Sunset Review, PPIAC Chair John Morris and members with specific examples of ethical violations from licensed and unlicensed private investigators have come forth with grievances. The PPIAC has also hired a lobbyist to work to maintain the program.
We will be posting updates on legislative hearings in the new year. Want to read DORA's sunset review? Go here for the full report.
By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
The recovery can take months and even years. Some victims of slip and fall injuries never recover. In circumstances where investigations are vital to the outcome of legal claims, the atmospheric conditions surrounding accidents and injuries require expert witness testimony.
Of course, if you look out the window or step outside you already know that snow is falling. You can follow @MikeNelson247 on Twitter for a personable rundown on what the storm is doing using satellite radar analysis, get bird feeder tips and see cute dog photos. Broadcaster and Denver 7 chief meteorologist, Mike Nelson also does something he describes as, "forecasting in reverse."
Forensic meteorology was not what Nelson aspired to do as a child. “I liked watching storms and anticipating what would happen next with the sky,” explains Nelson. “You get more experience and realize how weather effects everybody.”
See also: Apps for private investigators - Dark sky weather prediction software's unique "time machine" feature.
Looking back now, thirty of the forty years he has spent reporting on weather have also included providing forensic meteorology consultations and expert witness testimony.
I met Mike last week at a Denver Press Club event. He was guest bartending to benefit the Colorado nonprofit animal adoption, 501(c)3, Pawsco. We chatted about how he assists personal injury law firms with everything from slip and fall cases to fire investigations. Elucidating how atmospheric conditions lead to lighting strike cases and falls is such a niche industry that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't even provide it's own listing but instead includes it in under their Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)'s "Atmospheric Scientist, Including Meteorologist" category, defining it as, "use historical weather data to reconstruct the weather conditions for a specific location and time. They investigate what role weather played in unusual events such as traffic accidents and fires. Forensic meteorologists may be called as experts to testify in court."
For Nelson, testifying in court isn't always necessary. “I’m willing to go and testify” he says but “sometimes it doesn’t get to that level.”
“Weather effects everything we do. If you are analyzing a case it may be important to know the atmospheric conditions” he says when asked what advice he has for private investigators.It can also be applicable when thinking about a crime and what the weather conditions were that could have a huge impact on the evidence. "There are people out there that can help you with that,” he says when asked what advice he'd give Colorado private investigators.
"Doing forensic work we can try to help people recover something they lost" he says, reiterating that the difference between forecasting and reconstructing the past is that "one is moving forward in time and one is figuring out weather conditions months or years earlier."
This is more nuanced than simply looking up a report detailing what the weather was the day of the accident. Slip and falls, for example, have many hidden complexities. You can say, “well the sun was out how can there be ice. If a drainpipe was melting you could have an icy patch there."
If it was a sunny day then the person who fell may have been less concerned about ice at the time of the injury. If, by contrast, it is a snowy day, they would have been more careful. "But if it’s a sunny day you’re looking around you're not looking down at the ground" Nelson says.
By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
Even in a fieldwork heavy career like private investigation, a disproportionate amount of the legal support industry staff days are spent in drably designed office spaces. Denver's co-working spaces are bountiful but the need for confidentiality frequently precludes a firm that isn't in a position to rent a co-working suite. Meanwhile office spaces can remain as austere and impersonal as the file folder piles they contain.
Enter the 2019 holiday season with it's new opportunities for helping your fellow private investigator friends, colleagues or spouses personalize their workspace in a way that is convivial, contemporary and on-brand. The right office gift not only makes a private detective's practice more appealing to coworkers and colleagues who spend an inordinate number of hours working in this space. A well decorated space appeals to prospective clients as the firms transition to 2020.
See also: gift ideas for private investigators
A hard-boiled private eye may not want to admit it but their office space can make or break a client or collegial relationship. While a single poster or coaster referencing a gumshoe's early fictional or historic inspiration may not make or break a client, it is a great conversation piece. Gifting the PI in your life something to capture the imagination of a prospective client or legal partner who is unfamiliar with the field helps their business. It is also a fun way to re energize a slow afternoon by reminding private detectives of the field's rich literary and cinematic history.
These are our office gift suggestions for the 2019 holiday season:
1.) Pinkerton Logo on Wood Panel by Vass Design: obtain this and you wont have to visit the newly renovated International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. to admire a framed version of the Pinkerton logo. Vass Design has created a 12 x 16 inch wood reproduction, perfect for an office wall or lobby waiting area. If rustic is your thing even better, since it brings out the crackle texture of the wood surface giving the sense this firm has been around for a long, long, long, long time. Perhaps it even goes as far back as Chicago, 1850.
See also: a Visit to the International Spy Museum in the Denver Private Investigator Blog and in PursuitMag
Vass design is also an environmentally conscious Canadian based maker who uses water based and eco friendly stains, paint and glue. The framed wall hanging costs $55.04 and is a great asset to any private investigator firm wanting to emphasize the fact that their services and expertise are available round the clock.
If, as a Colorado private investigator you'd prefer not to plug anything Pinkerton because of their infamous involvement with Colorado's Ludlow Massacre ---also, technically speaking, they're a competitor-- we have alternative wall art to enthusiastically recommend, starting with some pics inspired by timeless songs by The Clash and Bob Dylan.
2.) Detective themed London Calling and Thin Man posters by Todd Alcott Graphics: Former New York playwright turned LA screenwriter, Todd Alcott's day job may be writing for much larger audiences but the Etsy shop he now he now runs is solo operated and makes his cinematic mashups available for spaces ranging from 11 inches in height to 36 inches tall.
The etsy shop has been earning international recognition and it's detective themed posters featuring classic album mashups fuse poetry, nihilism, pulp fan fiction and noir with phrases from the most pyrotechnically brilliant lyricists of the 20th century are about as iconically nuanced as it gets for people someone looking for just the right personalized gift for the Clash or Bob Dylan fan.
"I had just been listening to the Clash and came across this detective magazine, and the tension between the apocalypse of "London Calling" and the kind of tawdry sexuality of the detective magazine cover made me laugh," explains the screenwriter turned graphic designer. "The other thing I loved about the image was that it was really mangled and water stained, which I love to work with. I like my finished images to look as "authentic" as possible, and details like the water stains really added to it. Detective magazines like this always have a lot of headlines, usually each one trying to top the last in terms of sensationalism, and I love taking those headlines and making them song lyrics, again, setting the doomy lyrics of the song against the luridness of the magazine cover." Posters start at $25 and go up to $150 so you can adjust for budget and wall space.
Bonus points for giving Ballad of a Thin Man to anyone who also happens to be a fan of the Denver's popular East 17th avenue hangout (2015 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80206) with the same name.
3.)Vintage mystery fiction writer tea - Tea totalers and tea enthusiasts alike can sip the snowy afternoon atmosphere with these private eye themed tea bag gift sets. "I'm a big mystery fan and true crime podcast listener so these collections were particularly fun to design and they include some of my favorite authors," says the set's creator, Robin Stelling.
Chose one --or both-- distinct tea sets. They are organic and elegantly packaged with each set running $34 on the FavorFavour.com website. Writers referenced include Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, Ngaio Marsh, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L Sayers so it can also get gifted along side a Tattered Cover gift certificate if you want to include something locally and literary.
4.) New books by local Colorado authors - If your office library wants to include some of Colorado's hottest contemporary mystery, thriller and crime authors you can also gift detective themed sets sets with books by Peter Heller, David Heska Wanbli, Kali Fajardo-Anstine and Erika Wurth. "Sabrina and Corina" by Fajardo-Anstine is a National Book Award Finalist
5.) Handmade Nancy Drew Coasters - What would holiday gift recommendations be without some Nancy Drew. Especially relevant for anyone following the new CW television series. But back to coasters: they are sealed for hot and cold drinks and will be a year-round asset to any office space. Available along with a vintage book selection via the KarlandArrow shop on Etsy and are available for $5.00 each.
6.) Handmade Nancy Drew cash envelope system wallet: if you're paying cash to cover your tracks it may not be the wisest move to do something as conspicuous as paying with cash extracted from a Nancy Drew cash system wallet. If, on the other hand, you're doing the cash envelope system (which Dave Ramsey takes credit for although the system pre dates Ramsey's monetization of it--and making it relevant to budgeting in today's digital world) this is a dope way to motivate yourself to switch to a cash system to save money. And what could be sweeter than doing so with Nancy Drew as your copilot!
"I grew up with her books in my home. My oldest sister had almost all the books. As the third and middle child I read them when she was finished with them," explains Vintage Fabric Finds maker Tammy Andrews-Tucker, who messaged me that she has a limited amount of fabric left so if you're going to order one of these custom finds, do it soon. Prices range from $35.50 to $85.50 depending on the number of envelopes you plan to get.
"I admired Nancy’s curiosity and her intellect. Her ability to process situations and events and look at them from a different angle. That things often were not as they presented themselves. I also admired her ability to maneuver freely in the world without restrictions, to be listened to, respected and I admired her tremendous resourcefulness" Andrews-Tucker, concluded.
A "cash wallet system" for a busy private investigation firm could simply be a good way to organize a kitty multiple team members draw upon. It is unlikely you would want to leave it lying around. That said, it's a righteous accessory to use yourself or give to a colleague for budgeting in the New Year so we're including it in our 2020 holiday gift recommendations, anyway.
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