By Paul Simon
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
DENVER – Legislation requiring all Colorado private investigators to obtain licenses from state regulators and giving those regulators the power to revoke licenses for “failure to meet generally accepted standards” for private investigators has been drafted and is on the verge of being introduced in the Colorado legislature.
The draft bill would, effective Oct. 1, convert the voluntary licensing program enacted in 2012 to a mandatory program in which anyone conducting private investigations in Colorado would have to obtain a license from the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Bill sponsors according to the draft are Democrats Sen. Linda Newell of Littleton and Rep. Jovan Melton of Aurora.
Unlike the current voluntary licensing program, under which Colorado private investigators may obtain licenses if they meet certain education requirements, the new measure eliminates any experience requirement for obtaining a license. It does, however, require that applicants pass a “jurisprudence” exam adopted by regulators. The legislation doesn’t say anything about the content of the exam.
By far the most important provision of the draft bill is that it vastly increases the power of regulators to strip private investigators of their licenses, and thereby prevent them from working as private investigators. Under the current voluntary program, private investigators are prohibited from calling themselves “licensed” private investigators if they haven’t obtained a license from the state. Regulators can order anyone calling themselves a licensed private investigator who doesn’t have a Colorado license to stop doing so, and they can impose disciplinary measures including revoking licenses if a licensee is found to be “an imminent threat to the health and safety of the public.”