map of San Diego

If you are looking to hire a private investigator in the San Diego area, obviously you need only search online for people and companies near your home to find a comprehensive list of choices. But there is more to it than this. The following are a few important things to understand as you look for a San Diego PI.

Not all Private Investigators are Legitimate

In the state of California, there are legal requirements to be a private investigator. Thousands of hours of work experience must be completed with a licensed private investigation company or as a law enforcement officer.

In addition, depending upon the hours worked, there may be educational requirements. After this, a state examination must be passed, and then a license will be issued.

Look for Experience

A private investigator should have a lot of experience and should have been in business for several years. A prosperous private investigation firm will have several people working for clients, so those with less experience can learn from those who have been active in the profession for many years.

Those who work solo will likely have had someone they worked under for a time to gain their valuable experience. You should always inquire about with whom did a private investigator gain their practical work experience from.

A Background in Law Enforcement

Although this is not necessary to be a private investigator, it is a positive sign if a PI has a law enforcement background. Often, during the course of an investigation, there will be encounters with unsavory characters. Someone who has worked in law enforcement will know how best to handle this type of person in various situations.

More importantly, those with a background in law enforcement have a good understanding of human nature, both the good and bad. The ability to anticipate what people will do next or where they may be located is enormously helpful in this field of work

Check References

Any good private investigation company will be able to provide references, which should be checked. At least a couple of these references should be from professional people such as lawyers and others in their field.

A Wide Range of Services

There are many services that a private investigator can provide, but only the larger private investigation firms will offer most, if not all, of them. A smaller company or a person working alone is likely to have a specialty or a niche group of services they can provide. Regardless of whether an investigator claims they can help you, it’s still best to inquire about their specific experiences with the services you are in need of.

Even if you find a San Diego PI with all of the attributes listed above, you will still need to consult with the investigator to get a feel for how comfortable you are with them. Communication and trust are important issues between private investigators and their clients, so make sure it feels right to you before you hire one.

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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.