Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Dear Private Eye:

In the prisons inmates have tried to file suit of stalking for officers performing within their job duties.  Are investigators challenged in their careers as well for stalking?  What gives anyone the right to hire someone to follow someone, take pictures, and run surveillance especially with all the weirdos out there.  How does the investigator know they aren't working with some psychopath who is just collecting information that allows them to stalk someone?  

Signed, Curious...
Dear Curious:

That's a big question in a short paragraph, Curious.
I think it is beyond ludicrous that inmates are attempting to file suit re: officers they feel are stalking them when the officers are simply doing their job.  Watching the prisoners is the job description!
Then again, there's not much to do in prison... and idle prisoners lead to idle lawsuits.
One could presume, as in the fine fictional flick "Green Mile," there are plenty of  power-tripping prisons guards with a few screws loose. That's the case in all professions everywhere. Show me a business environment and I'll show you a loose cannon not too far from the water cooler.

However, when one is merely performing their duties, which involves working in a hostile, threatening dangerous environment with some very angry, resentful and venegful people...
some who are out of their minds....
the prison officer's job must be surveillance.
They are watching these inmates for their safety and ours.
It could be deadly for a prison guard not to watch his or her back.... and their co-workers... and the inmates who they often have to protect from other inmates.
I wonder if a case like this has ever come to trial and how the judge or jury ruled?

RE: PI's and stalking. I know one PI who actually was a stalker.  Just because you are a PI doesn't mean you are licensed, ethical or obey the law. There are a lot of wanna-be's posing as PI's... scammers... who are ripping people off.
When people hire me for surveillance, or for tracking someone down, the first thing I do is measure the psycho/wierdo/quotient. I'd say about 1/4 of all my  potential cases come from people who are a few beers shy of a six pack. Either they want revenge, want to talk to a PI, or are out of their mind. I'm good at eliminating these folks right out of the gate. Call it a finely honed instinct based on a lifetime of experience.

When I am convinced the person may have a viable case, I ask a list of questions that is more like an interview or interrogation. I need to know everything. Particularly if there are any restraining orders against the person who wants to hire me. I need to know  every "who. what, where, when and why"  before I take on the case. Who is this person to you?  What do you intend to do with the info?  Where did you find me, where did you come from, where  did you meet this person? Everything applicable. And most important... Why?  Why do you need  me to find or follow this person? For every "why" that is first elicited, there is another "why" below the surface. And if the Why...or How... is not legally permissible, I don't do it.

To protect myself, I find out everything I can about a potential client before I take on their case.
When I feel so inclined,  I run their background and let them know I will.
There have  been too many cases of PI's finding people who are later killed by the clients who hired them.
I will never go there.
There are lines in the sand a PI can not legally cross.
If I am seen by a subject i am following on a surveillance, then I am "burned", which mean I exit the area and do not return to the job unless I'm in a different vehicle looking like a different person.
If I am worried a concerned neighbor might see me and report me as a stalker when I am in a visible vehicle on surveillance, I sometimes call the local police to let them know I am or will be there and working on a case.
I'd rather lose a case than cause someone to lose their life, their sense of security, privacy or violate the legal perameters of the law and lose my license.
I think it comes down to a gut feeling really. You're in this buisness long enough and you can see a flake coming from a mile away.

Thanks for your email Curious. Hope this helps!
Your Private Eye

No comments:

Post a Comment