Is it ever okay to lie as a Private Investigator, Process Server or other security professional?
I say there are times when it is legal and ethical to do so! We call that using a pretext or “pretexting” or “permissible deception”.
Usually we do that as a pretty much last ditch effort to gain some piece of information (like a skip’s address) when nothing else is working. Or to serve process on a deadbeat dad who refuses to pay his court ordered child support.
What is lying?
Lying is misleading a person who has the right to know the truth. The key here is if the person “has the right to know”.
The requirement to reveal the truth is not unconditional.
If the person doesn’t have a right to know, he or she may not be entitled to the truth.
A drug dealer has no right to know the guy buying drugs from him is an undercover cop.
The drug dealer has sacrificed his “right to know” by committing a crime.
If an angry mob comes to your door asking if you’re hiding a person they hate, you can be “deceitful” and not tell them the truth. They do not have right to know because they intend to harm this person.
But, Immanuel Kant disagrees with me. (That’s okay, he was wrong about a lot of things.)
In Kant’s 1797 essay “On a Supposed Right to Tell Lies from Benevolent Motives”, he argues you can’t “tell a falsehood to a murder” even if he is seeking an innocent victim hiding in your house!
Fraternal Love for the innocent victim hiding from the mob or murderer demands you do not reveal the truth to the mob.
Love is the perfection of the law. “He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
While there are several factors to consider when contemplating body armor, the key if you need a vest is to get some body armor and wear it rather then being exposed because you can’t afford the top tier vest!
That means, the best body armor is the body armor you actually wear!
If you need to know my very fist consideration when selecting body armor, for me, it absolutely needs to be concealable body armor!
Disclaimer: You know there’s no such thing as a “bullet-proof vest”, right? Any vest or protection can be breached by the right caliber round, at the right distance and at the right velocity. Source: Science.
In the meantime, this is Larry Kaye reminding you to do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.
When you make a public records request for police records (and access to them), two really helpful pieces of information to know is the location of the event or crime and them date/time of the event.
This week I explain how you need to approach those two elements because police records don’t always get those variables right!
When searching for a crime report, accident report or any police records you need to understand the address information you have may be different than the information the police has.
It’s common to be able to search through these records by address, but sometimes the address known by the police is different than the one you might think of.
For example, you may be looking for any police runs to Governor’s Park, but the police report may have listed the location as it’s actual address of 700 N Blair Stone Road. Or via versa! So searching by “Governor’s Park” may give you 2 out of 5 police runs there in August, but searching by “700 N Blair Stone Road” may give you all 5 runs.
And don’t miss that rather than “700 N Blair Stone Road”, they may only be listed when you search by “700 North Blair Stone Road” (with “North” spelled out).
Also, there are plenty of just… well… mistakes. The officer may have simply mistyped the address as “70 N Blair Stone Road” or “700 Blair Stone Road”.
Finally, there are genuine attempts to obfuscate the location of a crime. I believe these happen very rarely, but I’ve seen it.
This is when an officer might list the intersection where a crime occurred rather than the exact address.
Don’t get too hung-up on exact times.
You’re client may credibly say she saw the crime occur at exactly 9:29pm, but the records of the crime can be filed under significantly different times.
Crime Occurs: 9:29pm
The police are called: 9:30pm
The police are dispatched: 9:50pm
The police arrive: 10:00pm
The police make an arrest: 10:40pm
The police book the suspect into jail: 1:15am the next day!
So understand that you need to search kinda’ broadly at first to find what you’re looking for.
This week I’m going to teach you how to be ten times more dangerous as a private investigator, process server, security guard, loss prevention officer or fugitive recovery agent by being more patient.
I’ve wanted to share this with you for years and have been waiting for the right time and the right opportunity.
It’s a very interesting thing. There’s a lot of tricks, tips, and secrets that I share, especially my public records training, that can be used by the good guys and the bad guys. Right? Training that can be exploited both ways. But, what I’m about to share with you I can share it with anybody and it won’t help the bad guys because they simply won’t do it!
Most of the bad guys don’t have the impulse control or the ability to delay gratification needed to be more patient and thus be more dangerous. But you do. Right?
So… I don’t mean being ten times more dangerous like being able to throw a one-punch knockout or anything like that. I’m talking about, in a way, being much more effective at your job as an investigator, security professional or process server.
Look, being effective at your job is dangerous to the bad guys, right? That’s dangerous to the other party. If you’re working a child custody case and you’re effective at bringing evidence to court that the children will be better in the care of your client rather than the other parent, that’s dangerous to the other parent. It’s the same in criminal defense work or anything else. Being more effective is very dangerous to whoever your opposition is.
The key is the magic word “patience”. Being more patient.
In Proverbs 16:32 it says, “A patient man is better than a warrior”. That’s powerful!
Of course, what we do, the very nature of our jobs as private investigators, is to try to help people, but it’s frequently it’s in an adversarial situation. There’s a plaintiff. There’s a defendant.
Or if you’re working security, there’s the people you’re trying to protect and there’s people who are trying to hurt the people you’re trying to protect or steal from them. We live our professional lives in this adversarial relationship. Being better than a warrior is pretty powerful.
How does this manifest itself? How do we become patient?
Surveillance is the easiest example for me to give you. You instinctively know, if you’re willing to sit on a house and watch it the way you’re supposed to, being patient will pay off.
If you just show up for 20 minutes and say, “I don’t think anyone’s there”, and you leave, only to come back a couple of days later, put an hour in, and leave. Than later you go out, spend half an hour, decide you have to grab something to it – wow! That’s a recipe for disaster. You’re going to miss everything!
However, if you’re patient, if you go out there and sit, and sit, and sit, and wait, that is powerful. That’s when you catch stuff.
Sure, you do this long enough and you know we all have that experience where you show up and immediately something happens. And that’s actually great, but that is the exception, not the rule, right? Patience in surveillance makes you more effective and dangerous.
Alright. Process serving. Same thing. Being ready to go out to where you’ve got to go. Don’t be anxious about it. Don’t zip out to one place and then change your mind and go to another place. Be patient. I guess this kind of rolls into diligence or tenacity as well, but being patient pays off.
In a day-to-day situations, put down your smartphone. Be patient.
You don’t have to immediately respond to every little thing. You’ll just end up making mistakes. Saying something you shouldn’t.
If there’s anything online that triggers your emotions? Maybe it makes you angry or pulls at your heart strings? Anything that gives you that strong emotion, immediately stop and give serious thought to passing it by.
Sometimes it’s just bait. Right? Especially on social media.
Or that scam email that says your debit card has just been charged of something you didn’t order!
I have said it before. Probably the single biggest thing that gave me success early in my career as a private investigator was tenacity. Just not quitting. I just kept going. I would say, “I’m going to find this guy, no matter how many dead ends my skip trace comes up against”. Whatever it takes. If it’s legal and ethical, I’ll do it.
I’ll pull his mom’s trash and go through that, looking for an address. I will not give up. Tenacity was probably the single biggest key to my success, but look how patience folds into that.
To decide, “I’m going to do surveillance at his mom’s house and wait for him to show up. No matter how long it takes”.
Also, I’ve been reminded again, that I am woefully neglectful of reminding you that I do have a free report called, If You Want to be a Private Investigator, Give Up, Unless You Do These Three Things. It’s free and it’s right here…
Your personal and professional experiences in life will effect how you see things and how to anticipate their outcome and this matters for security and investigative professionals!
My first experience with blue lights (AKA: “rig for blue”) was in the military. We would light out space with blue lights at night (similar to how others would “rig for red”). The blue light didn’t dilate our pupils so if we had to go into the dark of night, we would still have out “night vision”.
Well… fast forward to civilian life and I discovered public restrooms lit only with blue lights – even during the day! My first thought was to wonder why you would have to protect your night vision during the day.
But I soon learned, some public restrooms do that because it makes it harder for intravenous drug uses to shoot up. They have trouble seeing their blue veins in the blue light so there’s less chance they will try to use the restroom to shoot dope. What a clever solution!
And sure, that’s a neat thing to know in our industry, but the real lesson here is to expand past your personal experience with quality training so when you see something in the real world, you’re not stuck in the much smaller realm of only our personal experience. (Like I was with the blue lights in the restrooms… until I learned better!)
Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience. I’m always up to learn more!