Do Police Departments Hire Private Investigators?

Do the police hire private investigators? This is a question I recently got and it’s a really good question. The idea is do police departments hire private investigators, in a sneaky way, so that they can get information that they might be illegal for them to get or otherwise be restricted for them to get.

Here’s my personal experience with these things….

I haven’t had any police department hire me to find information on citizens that would other wise be illegal for the police to find.

Of course, individual police officers have hired me. I’ve discussed this in another article, but it’s where they have a personal matter, like a divorce or something else where they don’t want to do anything that would compromise the integrity of the investigation or put them in an awkward position professionally.

A warning from Larry:

Obviously, no man getting a divorce and who wants to prove his wife is cheating should be sitting outside of her house or on her block doing surveillance. That’s super creepy. Hire a professional. It puts a little distance between you and the investigation. It makes it more credible. There’s more integrity.

Here’s the truth.

Here’s what I’ve run into. Police departments who want to investigate internally will sometimes hire private investigators.

A really simple example is when a police department requires their officers to live within the jurisdiction and they want to discover if their officers are living outside the city. Of course, there’s going to be problems with that.

Some officers aren’t going to want to. They’re going to want to live in a different place or further away for a variety of reasons.

A police department might, in those cases, hire an outside private investigator to do surveillance or other kinds of investigative work. Usually, in that kind of case, it comes down to surveillance, to verify that the officers are living outside the jurisdiction. So that’s one example of where a private investigator might be hired by a police department.

But, this is more common…

Normally, though, if a city is doing an investigation – and again, they’re looking inward at themselves – they’ll hire a law firm to do the investigation.

Then the law firm will hire investigators. They’ll either have in-house investigators working as employees of the law firm or they will hire outside private investigators.

That means a law firm might approach you for this work. This happens all the time for all sorts of cases.

When working for a city, the law firm might hire you to come in and do some investigative work, find some records, or do some interviews.

If the city believes there’s misconduct within the police department (or elsewhere within the city government) and wants an outside agency to do the investigation, again, for propriety’s sake – and not just the appearance of propriety, but for genuine proprietary – then they may hire you directly or a law firm who might hire you because if a city investigates itself, that just doesn’t seem right, even if it’s a legitimate investigation.

Those are the conditions under which I know private investigators can and will be hired by police departments, cities, municipalities, and other government organizations.

My question to you…

The question I have is, does this answer surprise you? Were you expecting something different? I’m just curious what you might have thought about before you got the real answer here.

Also don’t forget, if you need to learn how to do surveillance, check out my Investigator’s Ultimate Guide to Surveillance.

In the meantime, this is Larry Kaye reminding you to do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.

Committed to your success and safety,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – And, of course, don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…

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