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.