Private Investigators Groups Sets July 24 as National Private Investigators Day

Posted July 23, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Denver Private Investigator News

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By Susanna Speier

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – Hoping to undermine a slew of what its members say are unfair, inaccurate and misleading perceptions people have about private investigators, a national private investigators association decided during a convention in Denver last month to declare July 24 “National Private Investigators Day” with a statement that “encourages all members to join in this day of community appreciation for the important fact-finding work they perform as professional private investigators.”

“There are a lot of negative stereotypes about private investigators,” says David Luther of the National Association of Legal Investigators, whose members approved the proclamation. “There are inappropriate ideas about what we are able to do because of the media and the rogue investigators that reside in federal prisons right now. There’s the sense that private investigators will do anything – right or wrong – for their clients. There are investigators that do that, but the law enforcement is catching up with them.”

Citing TV shows such as Magnum PI and Rockford Files as examples, Luther says “one of the most difficult things is the perception by the public and legal community that we’re able to do things that we actually cannot do because of legalities. People think you can just go into a magic computer and find out all this information about people. That’s not the case. We can access more information than the general public, but that is licensed information given to us because of our credibility.”

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Luther cited Rockford files and Magnum P.I. as two great examples of inaccurate portrayals of private investigators. Share your favorite examples of inaccurate private investigator portrayal in the comments section below.

Colorado Enacts Mandatory Private Investigator Licensing

Posted June 10, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

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By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed the state’s new law requiring all private investigations to be licensed by June 1, 2015, ending for now the legislative battle over its fate but probably not quieting the debate over its merits.

Senate Bill 14-133 was one of 53 the governor signed last week without comment.

As the measure sponsored by Sen. Linda Newell, a Denver Democrat, worked its way through the legislature, representatives of several private investigator groups in Colorado voiced differing views on whether it is needed and what the impact would be on the profession. The dissent continued even after it was signed into law.

“Two years from now I would like to see how Linda Newell and the rest of those fools feel about things this when a license cost is close to a thousand dollars, mark my works on this,” said Bob Oblock, president of the Colorado Independent Investigators Association who has criticized any licensing as an expensive requirement that will drive part-time investigators out of business.

But Chris Bray, head of the private investigator organization that was a driving force for mandatory licensing, called on those on both sides of the issue to embrace the new law that he said will benefit all in the profession. “I encourage all private investigators that may not have supported this effort to accept and embrace the new law,” Bray wrote after the governor signed the legislation into law. “This new law will allow our industry to engage in conversations with lawmakers, custodians of public record and stakeholders across Colorado concerning our industry and the credential you will soon carry. As private investigators, we will all soon have one common denominator – our license – and we can work together to be recognized as a credentialed group and a united voice concerning issues that impact our industry and our ability to practice our trade. In the end, it will benefit us all and allow us to more effectively service our clients.”

The new law repeals a voluntary licensing program in place since mid-2012 that drew limited participation and created a debt estimated at $70,000.

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Colorado Legislature Approves Mandatory Private Investigator Licensing Bill

Posted May 2, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

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By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – Private investigators in Colorado will have to purchase a license by July 1, 2015, if they want to work in the state.

The Colorado House voted 37-25 Thursday to pass a mandatory licensing bill originated and passed in the Senate that – assuming Gov. John Hickenlooper signs the bill — creates two levels of licensing and eliminates a failed voluntary licensing program that created an estimated $70,000 debt over the past two years.

What licenses will cost and what experience will be required to obtain the higher Level II license will be established by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), which will adminster the licensing program. A Senate fiscal analysis based on a $300 annual fee and projecting 400 private investigators signing up was used in debate over the bill in various committees in both chambers of the legislature.

The specter of actors Tom Selleck and Dog the Bounty Hunter hung over the limited discussion in the House before the final vote.

Only two representatives spoke to the bill Thursday, House sponsor Jovan Melton, a Democrat from Aurora, and Cheri Gerou, a Republican from Evergreen. Both referenced Selleck Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife who were at the Capitol for another matter.

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Colorado Mandatory Private Investigator Licensing Bill Clears House Committees

Posted May 1, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – Legislation requiring  Colorado private investigators to get licenses from the state is headed for approval as it cleared two House committees this week.

Championed as a way of combatting the “bad actors” within the profession, the legislation is being pushed along almost entirely by Democrats.

The bill’s sponsor in the House, Democrat Rep. Jovan Melton from Aurora, used the phrase “bad actors” in presenting his legislation to the chamber’s State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee. Referring to investigators who act unethically or unprofessionally, the phrase was used repeatedly in support of licensing before the committee voted 8-3 for the measure.

The House Appropriations Committee then quickly advanced the bill, taking less than three minutes before voting 8-5 in favor of moving the bill to the full House.

Voting continued along party lines as it did in the Senate, with a single exception.  Democrats support the bill and Republicans oppose it – just one Republican, Rep. Kathleen Conti of Littleton, joined the majority on the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee.

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Colorado Senate Narrowly Approves Mandatory Private Investigator Licensing

Posted April 17, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

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By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

A bill requiring Colorado private investigators to obtain licenses from the state by July 1, 2015 passed the Senate by a single vote Thursday despite vocal opposition from senators calling it a largely unwanted, unnecessary and costly burden on those in the profession.

The 18-17 vote – on straight party lines with Democrats favoring passage and Republicans opposed – came after sporadic debate over several days. In the process an amendment was attached which would let a debt estimated at $55,000 from the voluntary licensing program that has been in place for two years be paid off over the next six years from fees paid by private investigators,  rather than being made up by taxpayers. Program revenue estimates are based on a fiscal analysis projecting 400 investigators paying $300 a year to be licensed.

Bill sponsor Sen. Linda Newell, D-Denver, said licensing would  protect Coloradoans from a few “bad apples,” and that Colorado suffers from more of them because it’s one of a handful of state in the country that don’t license investigators.  “Colorado is now a hotbed for those who have been denied licenses in other states to come here, put up a shingle without absolutely anything to prove they have the knowledge of relevant Colorado laws,” she  said,  noting that no one would know if they were previously convicted felons elsewhere.

But Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, countered the bill is a jobs killer. He warned that former law enforcement officers who perform investigative work part-time have said, “If you require us to go through all the hoops of licensing, ‘I’m out of here. It’s not worth the trouble.’”

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Two Private Investigator Licensing Levels Back in Colorado Bill

Posted April 9, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

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By Paul Simon
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – The mandatory private investigator licensing bill before the Colorado Legislature has taken a new twist, advancing past the Senate Finance Committee with revised language creating two levels of licensing just as the measure specified when it first was introduced in January.

The sponsor, Sen. Linda Newell, D-Denver, said the newly amended bill is an attempt “to make sure we don’t have any barriers for (anyone) going into the profession” and that she believed it will have the support of everyone.

The revised bill will reflects a desire to keep the licensing fee as low as possible, she said, recognizing “we could dramatically drop the fees with that amendment. That was one of the biggest concerns of our opposition.”

The version of the bill passed late in February by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 3-2 party vote created “agency” licenses issued to firms whose owners had a minimum level of experience, with registrations available for those working for agencies. Independent investigators would be required to meet the experience requirements, which critics complained would bar entry into the profession.

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State Reports Says Voluntary Colorado Private Licensing is $70,000 in the Hole

Posted April 7, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

Tags: ,

By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

The misguided venture into voluntary private investigator licensing in Colorado has put the state into an estimated $70,000 hole that would be made up from the state’s general fund in the first year of mandatory licensing, should the measure pass in the legislative before it adjourns early in May.

That shortfall would put the licensing program in the red for the first year but the program would bring in more than it costs the second year, according to a fiscal analysis prepared for the Senate Finance Committee that is scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday. Approval would send it to the full Senate for consideration.

Licensing opponents within the profession have been critical of the cost of the voluntary program now in its third year and the impact on those who participate, with fees rising from $340 the first year to $644 and then to $1,094. Critics also object to taxpayers footing the bill for the debt the voluntary program has incurred because fewer investigators participated than had been projected.

The fiscal impact report projects revenue from licensing at $135,950 the first year against costs of $160,482, then revenue the second year at $120,940 vs. costs of $62.134. It also projects adding staff time to the one fulltime staff person allocated to voluntary licensing, to a total of 1.6 FTE to administer the program.

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