Do you notify the local police when you conduct surveillance?

Should you notify local law enforcement when you are doing a surveillance in their jurisdiction?

You might want to notify them if you’re going to be in a particularly dangerous neighborhood and you want them to know you’re there in case there’s trouble.

Or maybe you’re doing a stake-out in a particularly nice area and you know the cops are probably going to get a call on a strange vehicle in the area.

Of course you might not want to let the police know you’re doing a surveillance if you’re concerned that a board officer will drive around to see what’s going on. I’ve had it happen. And it completely killed the marijuana smoking party on the front porch I was video recording! (At least I had already gotten enough for my client to win the case.)

In some jurisdictions you are required by law to notify the local P.D. when you’re on surveillance.

What’s your feel on this? If you’re in the investigative business, do you notify the cops? If your thinking about this line of work, I would love to hear your perspective too!

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