Legal compliance/knowledge: Private investigators know the law. Or at least they should. They know how to obtain and handle evidence and they know how to present it in court. Privacy laws, banking laws and state regulations all come into play during a case. It is imperative that all actions that an investigator takes on your case can stand up in a court of law-even if your case doesn’t go to court.
Skill/Experience: Private investigators do this for a living. Although something like surveillance, the simple act of driving behind someone, might seem simple, there are countless variables that take place throughout the process. A good investigator has experience with them and knows how to react in most situations. I say most, because not everything can be anticipated. Having the skill and experience to improvise is essential to successfully completing any case.
Expensive Equipment/Appropriate Gear: There is a lot of specialized gear out there. Much of it is available to the public for a price. Some of it is complicated while quite a bit of it has become very consumer friendly. Believe it or not, to effectively use any gear, you need to practice with it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “set it and forget it” GPS tracker or a covert hidden camera. If you aren’t familiar with the equipment, it’s operation and it’s limitations, you won’t successfully use it. Private Investigators use these specialized tools regularly and they communicate with other investigators to find out what equipment is best. Just because your investigator has the most expensive gear doesn’t mean it’s the right gear or that they know how to use it.
Training: True professionals never stop learning. Investigators in particular must not only be expert at the business of investigation, they must become knowledgeable in all aspects of their clients business in order to effectively assist them. There are ongoing training programs available for all investigative specialties. Make sure your investigator takes advantage of them. The last person you want working your case is someone that hasn’t learned anything since they were licensed 20 years ago.
Resources: This isn’t just gear. It’s human capitol. Confidential informants, military, legal or governmental contacts, business associates and any other relationship they’ve built over the years. If your investigator doesn’t have the resources to meet your needs, well, quite honestly, they’ll spend a lot more of your money trying to.