Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Surveillance And Charlie Sheen Case

Blogs are odd entities.
In order for them to work, they have to stay current, vibrant and ever changing.
That requires the blogger write, edit, post and put it all out there for all these people you don't know.
Even when you are too tired to write or trying hard to forget images you saw on your rounds.

I struggled for many years whether to step out of the shadows and write about this business.
There are ethical boundaries P.I.'s who write must not cross, particularly in active investigations that are not part of public record, yet.
And today, with Court TV, countless CSI's, Law & Orders, NCIS's and a myriad of off-shoots depicting investigators who work for the government... people expect  P.I'.s to be one way.
When in fact, we are very different from those carefully scripted, witty bantering types you see on the tube.

First and foremost, we are chameleons.
Ever changing to conditions, cases and expectations.
We blend.
We engage.
We disarm.
We pursue.
We are relentless .
And many times, you never see us coming.

Last night we did a class on surveillance at the U.

It brought to mind the countless surveillance stories of my early P.I. past,...the mistakes we made before we got good at it. Now we look back and laugh at what were then horror stories which could have cost us our jobs or our lives.

Like the time we filmed the wrong couple in a condo window, thinking instead, we were filming our subject and his mistress.

Or the time we were burnt by a gang of bad boys which ended up in a high speed chase on I-5.

And then of course, there are those moments when you are glued to a position for hours and the one minute you step away from your vehicle because it's so hot you think you will melt, the action happens and you miss it.

Surveillance is a curious art, an exacting science and in many investigations, a legal imperative.
You have cameras and equipment to capture images -- ideally, the money shot, as they call it in the film business. There are federal laws guiding surveillance and there are state laws. Break any of those laws and you go directly to jail.

That's why it's so important to hired a state licensed P.I. for your surveillance work -- someone who understands the privacy  laws, the physical  perils, the business pitfalls. There are things you can and can not do as a P.I. The best of us know those laws and follow them to a tee.

Surveillance is now figuring into the Charlie Sheen case.
Figured I'd add a link to the TMZ story.
As you read... note the last line in the seond to last paragraph.
Either way, if the surveillance wasn't handled properly... and even if it was.... someone's in big trouble.

From TMZ -Sheens Lawyers Challenge Damning Evidence

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