How to Become a Private Investigator

The field of private investigations is highly respected, evolving significantly over the years to include specialized work in computer forensics and corporate fraud investigations in addition to mainstays like missing persons and marital infidelity cases. PIs perform a wide range of investigative services, and are now just as often found serving as contractors for law enforcement cyber crimes units, insurance companies and human resource teams as they are investigating cases related to divorce and child custody to resolve matters in the family courts. PIs most often work for larger private investigations agencies or operate their own independent firms. They typically work on a contract basis for both public and private sector clients, and almost always hold a state license permitting them to conduct investigations within the parameters of state laws concerning surveillance protocols and privacy.

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How To Become A Private Investigator
Although requirements and processes differ from state to state, in most states becoming a private investigator follows a similar general outline:

Step 1. Learn About State Licensure

A dedicated PI licensing board, often operating under a larger state licensing authority, is typically in place to regulate and oversee the licensing process for individual private investigators and PI firms.

For example, Texas licenses its private investigators through the Private Security Board within the Texas Department of Public Safety. In Tennessee PIs are licensed through the Private Investigative and Polygraph Commission, which is part of the Department of Commerce and Insurance. Even in states without a statewide licensing process, there are still often regulations and/or licensing requirements in some cities or jurisdictions. For example, although there are no state licensing requirements in Alabama, a number of cities in the state, including Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile, have their own licensing processes. Further, even states that don t license individual investigators still require PI businesses to be licensed and adhere to a number of standard regulations related to everything from privacy laws and impersonating law enforcement to insurance and bonding.

A few states have entered into reciprocity agreements, which allow private investigators to conduct business between states without holding a separate private investigator s license (provided the investigation is started in the investigator s home state). Currently, the following states have reciprocity agreements in place:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

Because private investigators are regulated and licensed at the state level, education, training and other requirements can differ significantly from state to state. This makes it imperative that you research your state s regulations and licensing requirements as part of your career preparation.

Step 2. Meet Minimum Requirements for Licensure

Not all individuals are eligible to become private investigators. Although minimum requirements for licensure differ between states, candidates for licensure must be of a certain age, which is usually between 21 and 25.

Other minimum license requirements require a candidate to:

  • Be a United States citizen or legal U.S. resident
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Have no felony convictions or other convictions involving crimes of moral turpitude
  • Have no dishonorable discharge from the U.S. military

Step 3. Meet Education and Experience Requirements

Perhaps the largest difference between states lies with minimum requirements for education and experience. Although most states do not require a candidate to possess an education to become a private investigator, most professionals in this field nevertheless pursue an associate s or bachelor s degree in criminal justice or a related field so as to achieve a working knowledge of the criminal justice system law enforcement practices. A common requirement for licensure is experience, although it should be noted that many states allow candidates to substitute education for experience. For example, the minimum experience requirement in New Hampshire for private investigators is four years, although candidates with an associate s or bachelor s degree in criminal justice may substitute their education for two of the required four years.

Related private investigator experience may include working as an adjuster, risk manager, claims investigator, director of security for a company, director for a licensed security service, or as a law enforcement officer for a federal, state or local police department.

Step 4. Pass the State Exam for Licensure

Some states require candidates to pass a state exam before they can achieve licensure as a private detective. State jurisprudence examinations, which are usually taken after filing for a state license, assess candidates on laws and procedural protocols specific to the state in which they are working. Exam content often covers regulations and rules regarding working as a private investigator or operating a private investigative business.

Step 5. Obtain Mandatory Firearms Training

In states that allow private investigators to carry a firearm or weapon, candidates must complete mandatory firearms training to become certified. Most states accept training through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Rifle Association, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, or through an accredited police standards and training council firearms instructor school.

Step 6. Apply for State Licensure

The final step to becoming licensed to work as a private investigator is applying for state licensure. In most instances, candidates are required to provide the state licensing and regulatory body with the following:

  • A notarized application
  • A full set of fingerprints for a comprehensive background investigation
  • Personal and professional references
  • Documentation regarding professional experience
  • Documentation and/or diplomas regarding education
  • Proof of a surety bond (Most states require private investigators to hold a surety bond of no less than $10,000.)
  • An application fee, license feel, fingerprint fee, and background investigation fee

Step 7. Maintain State Licensure

Private investigators must renew their license according to state law, with most states requiring a biennial renewal.

Along with a renewal application, private investigators can expect to undergo an updated background investigation and provide the state licensing and regulatory body with a copy of their current surety bond.

Further, some states require continuing education for license renewal, and continuing education for firearms certification is commonplace.

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Norwich Security Company

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Honeywell extends connected home offering with Total Connect Box

IFSEC 2017 Installers of Honeywell home security and other residential products can now offer homeowners a wireless security system with the ability to conduct predictive maintenance services through the cloud. In June Honeywell launched Total Connect Box, a self-monitoring wireless security system for homes and small businesses, as well as a maintenance tool called Total Connect Pro Manager. Total Connect Box provides a compact security system that can be installed with both Ethernet and GPRS communicators, plus an optional Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module to minimise cabling.

When the alarm is triggered, homeowners receive an email alert, voice notification or a text message. More details can be accessed through a web application on the Honeywell cloud. The homeowner can remotely arm, disarm, or check the status of the security system from their smartphone or other device from any global location. With one or more CAMIR-F1 camera motion sensor, images can be recorded and stored in the Honeywell cloud. embedded content When installed by a security professional, Total Connect Box supports security peripherals including motion sensors, panic alarm buttons, smoke and carbon monoxide sensors. The system also alerts the customer to electrical main power failure, low battery and flood detection. Installers can also offer homeowners the ability to control their lighting and heating systems remotely using the Total Connect web app and Honeywell s smart plugs, which add automation capabilities at the electrical outlet. The app allows users to track power consumption, helping them to save energy and associated costs. Total Connect Pro Manager, also hosted in the Honeywell cloud, lets installers remotely access their customers Total Connect Box control panels to perform diagnostics, adjust configurations, and offer maintenance to customers on the go.

Installers can offer pre-emptive maintenance to customers, by alerting if a battery level is low on the homeowner s system, or a change of sensor location, for example. We wanted to create a dedicated self-monitoring solution offering real value to our security professionals, said Flavio Daffara, product marketing manager, security and fire, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies. That s why we developed new services for them using Honeywell Cloud, allowing them to easily and conveniently offer preventive maintenance services and home automation options to their customers.

Free download: The video surveillance report 2017 Sponsored by IDIS The Video Surveillance Report 2017 covers all things video surveillance based on a poll of hundreds of security professionals. Specifically looking at topics such as open platforms, 4K, low-light cameras, video analytics, warranties and this year due to the growing threat posed, the cybersecurity landscape. Further topics covered include: The network cameras hijack during the 2017 presidential inauguration, updates on the forthcoming EU data protection law (the GDPR), ultra-low light cameras versus thermal cameras and much more.

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Door Supervision from one of the UKs best security …

Door Supervision was one of our core service offerings when FGH Security Ltd was founded in 2003. Over the years our Door Supervision division has grown exponentially and had a range of experience working through the North West of England at a host of different venues. We understand that Door Supervisors are often the customers first point of contact when they visit a licensed venue or event. Therefore, they often set the tone of the evening before the customer even walks through the door. To reflect this we have a set level of dress and a conduct policy that all of our Door Supervision staff must adhere to at all times to ensure that the client is represented in the best possible way. All of our Door Supervision staff are trained to the relevant industry standards at a basic level and hold an SIA licence. The majority of them also hold qualifications in additional areas, such as First Aid and Physical Intervention.

Our mystery customers regularly visit the venues we operate at and we are transparent in our scoring always showing the members of staff the results and the client too.

We have excellent relationships with constabularies right across the country and if we do not already know the licensing officer in any particular area we will know another licensing officer who does which can help to ensure we work together on protecting your premises license.

Watch: Honeywell s Mick Goodfellow on cybersecurity, connected solutions and critical national infrastructure

IFSEC 2017 Honeywell s Mick Goodfellow visited the offices of IFSEC International to preview the show s forthcoming 2017 edition. Just appointed GM EMEA of commercial security, Goodfellow discusses synergies between Honeywell and Xtralis products (the latter acquired in 2016 by the former), new products, integrations with other vendors, cybersecurity and critical national infrastructure. embedded content Honeywell is showcasing its latest tech in an integrated control room at IFSEC International between 20-22 June 2017 at London ExCeL.

You will find them on stands D250 and D300. Get your free badge now. Honeywell is unveiling a series of new products across its building technology and home security solutions portfolios at IFSEC and FIREX 2017. Honeywell s connected solutions are designed to help homeowners and business managers interpret and exploit the huge and growing volume of data generated by connected buildings. At IFSEC the building management systems giant will be showcasing integrated video solutions and advanced detection technologies. IP video Honeywell s new portfolio of IP video solutions empower site staff to be more productive by providing greater insight and control across the facility. With a connected Honeywell system, staff are informed 24/7 of the status of their system, and alerted immediately when an alarm is triggered so they can take appropriate action. With end-to-end solutions for different budgets, the range includes advanced features including recording failover, facial and audio detection, and EDGE analytics on ONVIF-compliant 4K Ultra HD and H.264 cameras. These products also feature enhanced forensic capabilities, supporting integration with Honeywell s Xtralis IntrusionTrace video content analytics and ADPRO iFT Series NVR+ solutions.

For those looking to protect harsh environments, the new range also includes explosion and corrosion proof thermal cameras with temperature monitoring. Fire Honeywell will be showcasing enterprise class fire solutions including Xtralis VESDA-E VEP and VEA detectors. Yieldsing 1.5 times greater sensitivity and offering six times better dust rejection than the previous generation of products, VESDA-E VEP detector reduces the risk of nuisance alarms and attendant costs. VESDA-E VEA works by dividing a protected space into sampling locations, enabling the localization of possible causes of fire for faster incident response. Both detectors feature built-in Wi-Fi for remote detector access from smart devices to review and monitor status in real time. For smaller sites, FAAST XS aspirating smoke detectors deliver highly accurate very early warning fire detection. Connected home Honeywell is unveiling a professionally-installed, self-monitored wireless security system for the residential market. Called Total Connect Box, it is supported by Total Connect Pro Manager, a maintenance tool that allows installers to perform diagnostics and offer cost-effective maintenance services to homeowners remotely, so homeowners can get the best out of their Total Connect Box system. For those who prefer a monitored solution, the wireless Videofied Video Live Verification with Monitoring Systems will also be showcased.

The new MotionViewer PIR sensors are wireless and equipped with the Video Live function that allows the instant transmission of video to the alarm receiving centre in the event of an alarm, enabling swifter response to genuine alarms and eliminates unnecessary intervention and call outs to false alarms. It also provides homeowners greater peace of mind with the ability to view their homes live anytime day or night. Advanced technology solutions have the power to turn buildings and homes into responsive assets, linking disparate devices and management systems to create truly connected, intelligent buildings that span the most demanding applications, said Dino Koutrouki, vice president and general manager, Security and Fire EMEA, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies. But systems shouldn t be connected just to be connected. They should optimise a person s daily routine, whether at home or work, to improve safety, security and peace of mind. Honeywell is showcasing its latest tech in an integrated control room at IFSEC International between 20-22 June 2017 at London ExCeL. You will find them on stands D250 and D300. Get your free badge now. Join other high-end security professionals at the launch of Borders & Infrastructure Expo In conjunction with Europe s most renowned security event , IFSEC International, B&I is addressing your critical needs for large scale security projects affecting national security, integrated systems, border protection and much more.

You will have access to test the latest security innovations in; Physical & perimeter, Barriers & bollards, Command & control, Emergency response, Cyber solutions, Drones & UAVs, Transport security and much more.

Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June 2017.

Churchill Security Ltd

Established in 1993, Churchill Security Ltd is proud to offer a complete range of security guard services throughout the UK delivered by our team of fully SIA licensed and trained guards. Offering static and mobile guards plus key holding and alarm response solutions, we are experienced in providing security guard services to a range of industries including the corporate sector, construction sites, retail establishments, industrial warehouses and one off events. Whether you need temporary one day cover or a long term solution, get in touch today to discuss your requirements.

Churchill Security Guards

For more than 20 years, Churchill Security Ltd has thrived in the security industry by using unrivalled expertise to bring you a service you know and trust at great value for money. Churchill Security Ltd can assess your specific business needs in order to provide a cost-effective, reliable service that meets your requirements. We ensure that all our guards are fully SIA licensed and trained to the highest of standards and we are proud to be a UK top 5% SIA approved contractor for security guarding and key holding.

Hire Security Guards and Officers

A leading security guard provider across the UK, here at Churchill we have built our portfolio since 1993 and have thrived in the security industry by using our unrivalled expertise to bring you a service you can trust at great value for money. From commercial security to public sector safeguarding, we offer a complete range of services1 across the UK all delivered by our expert security guards who have been fully trained and vetted to the highest industry standards.

The benefits of hiring guards with Churchill Security are endless because we ensure that all our guards are:

  • Fully SIA licensed
  • Vetted for a minimum of 10 years
  • Able to prevent trespassing and vandalism
  • Able to offer Gatehouse security for entrance and exit points
  • Trained to deliver reception & concierge duties for corporate premises
  • Able to provide CCTV and alarm system surveillance
  • Able to undertake risk assessment and health and safety checks

When you hire security officers with Churchill you will be able to rest in the knowledge that our experts will work diligently to deter thieves from retail outlets, control unruly crowds, man front desks at corporate or hospitality events, monitor CCTV and act on any fear of crime efficiently. Furthermore we can also offer detailed reports outlining any call of duty our officers have undertaken as well as offer excellent customer service through our unbeatable concierge security2. At Churchill, our hard work and cost-effective solutions have been recognised consistently because we have and will continue to make efforts to advance our impeccable services. As one of the nation s leading security companies we continue to work interdependently with our clients to ensure they receive the most effective security package and use our first class customer service and top 5% Approved Contractor recognition to deliver a quality experience.

If you are in need of reliable security guards for your organisation or event, be sure to give us a call today and together we can find a solution.


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Wiltshire Key Holding

We hold SIA approved contractor status and Hold ISO 9001 Quality Management for Key-holding and Alarm response. Our Key-holding Response Officers are fully trained, screened and qualified.

We respond immediately when your alarm is activated, either intruder, Fire or site specific. The fully trained KRO will act following the site specific instructions authored by your account manager who has compiled these assignment instructions following a meeting with you at the premises to be protected. All activities are recorded by a camera worn by the KRO and will be available to you should you require it.

All KROs are equipped with the ToughShield system1 allowing us to monitor their safety and operational activities. Again, this information is freely available to you via a secure web-link or is emailed to you as part of your monthly report. False activations can and do happen. We do not charge you for false activations which are brought to our attention by you before we have deployed a KRO.

Wiltshire Key Holding


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National Security Service

No matter where or when or why you need Security Guards, National Security Service (NSS) is your one stop source for nationwide security guard solutions. As a recognized leader in the field, nationwide, with 437 offices spanning all 50 states, National Security Service stands ready to provide you with the highest level of service available reliably, affordable, and carefully tailored to your precise needs. Our licensed and insured security guards are carefully selected for their reliability, professionalism, and unmatched training, to deliver to you highest quality protection whether your need is for commercial, retail, event, construction site, school, or residential security guards, fire watch services, mobile security patrols, equipment and asset protection, or any other security guard service.

Our 437 nationwide field offices are at your service, whenever and wherever you need security guard services, for short or long-term assignments. You can count on our security services specialists for the friendly, responsive service you deserve. We take the worry out of protecting the people, properties, and assets that matter most, and we do it with the promise that you will always be assured of the strictest standards of accountability and oversight at every step in the chain of command, from the staff at National Security Service s headquarters and field offices, to your own front line security guards.

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