As a professional private investigator and a former Federal agent, it can be very hard for me to watch television. With rare exception, nearly every Hollywood depiction of private investigation and criminal investigation consistently gets it wrong. (I’ve written a few posts about the Hollywood vs. reality aspect of private investigation: here, here and here.)…
I’ve taken part in more than a few television shows as an interview subject. In recent years, I was approached by two of the major studios, as they wanted me to help create and star in a reality-based television show about private investigators. I have ended up turning down many interviews and all of the reality shows – because I insisted upon keeping the reality aspect intact.
Here’s how these things typically go.
Given I’m going on 49 years of being an investigator, this posts lays out for the prospective PI of the future, what I see as the pros and cons of becoming a PI.
Many private investigators only want to work in a specific genre of the business and it’s probably a good choice to have an area of specialization. My firm is a full-service investigative agency.
Our PI firm receives thousands of calls a year. Every day, we have to explain to at least one caller that some of the things they want us to do for them are in fact illegal – and punishable by prison and fines. I decided to compile a list of these requests, and group them into categories. This allowed me to come up with a top 10 list of services we either won’t perform – or will only perform only under very tight restrictions, under the direction in writing from an attorney and/or they meet the severe limitations of the civil and criminal codes of conduct.
I guarantee you that a visit from a licensed PI for your mom, dad or grandparent will be the talk of the facility that day – for both the staff and the residents. When I walk in and say, “Hi, I’m Tom Martin and I’m a private investigator. I’m here to check on Mary Lou Smith,” with my license in hand, the reaction is priceless – and very telling. Some staff immediately get flustered and literally hold up their hands in front of me, as if to try to bar me. “Whoa, whoa whoa….”
Our case of the week involves two strip club cases we worked over the 2015 holidays.
If you’re wondering exactly what private investigators do for strip clubs, here’s a brief history.
Our case of the week involves 3 separate people who first used the company Trustify before calling us. Trustify is often described as an Uber for the private investigative industry. Although not a licensed private investigative agency, they enable the public to hire a licensed private investigators for only one hour at a rate of…
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time and money to make sure Martin Investigative Services is on top of new trends and technologies. Every couple of years, we spend tens of thousands on the latest bug detection equipment to keep up with changes in illegally-placed video and eavesdropping devices. This investment also extends…
There are many “best of” San Francisco restaurants lists online, but never one with the restaurants where we have performed marital surveillance jobs.