Private investigators overwhelmingly think PIs should be licensed, but some don’t know of any complaints against individual PIs.
Following a recent decision by Colorado Governor Jared Polis which effectively killed off licensing (see previous stories on this blog) in the state, Ross Investigators surveyed PIs across the country to learn their thoughts on licensing.
Licensing laws exist in all the states where PIs who responded to the survey conduct business. Most also said they thought PIs should be required to be licensed.
None knew of any moves in their states to follow Colorado’s lead and repeal licensing laws.
“Licensing protects the consumer and ensures that only licensed, insured, bonded and experience private investigators provide investigative services,” said one survey respondent.
“Licensing in and of itself does not guarantee competence,” said another respondent. “Proper licensing such as California has requiring 6,000 hours of compensated investigative experience to qualify for licensing (which) certainly goes a long way.”
Another said licenses maintain the professionalism and trustworthiness of the industry by ensuring all license holders have clean records and meet minimum experience requirements.
“However, the Colorado PI law was an absolute joke and there will be little difference without licensing.”
The survey asked PIs what they thought of Governor Polis’ statement that licenses rarely protect the public from harm and instead serve as a barrier for people trying to enter the industry to the benefit of incumbent license-holders.
Of the 22 PIs who responded, 12 said they “strongly disagreed” with the statement, five said they “disagreed,” two said they neither “agreed nor disagreed” and three said they “strongly agreed.”
The survey also asked PIs what they thought of the statement by the Professional Private Investigator Association of Colorado which said that without licenses consumers should beware because “background checks, surety bonds and demonstrating a knowledge of the laws" were no longer in place to protect them from unscrupulous private investigators.
Of the 22 PIs who responded, 16 said they “strongly agreed” with the statement, three said they “agreed,” one said they “disagreed” and two said they “strongly disagreed.”
Asked if they knew of any formal complaints against individual PIs in their states, 14 survey respondents said they did and six said they didn’t.
“One was a convicted arsonist who applied,” said one PI about a PI they knew of who’d been the subject of a complaint.
Another said: “(A) PI was illegally buying law enforcement information and selling it. Convicted and jailed.”
And another said: “Complaints in Arizona vary from PIs working outside of their scope to working security under the PI license.”
Sign-up for email alerts to follow the latest developments in the world of private investigators.