Private Investigator Licensing Fees Top Issue as Regulators Hear Comments From Investigators

By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – Colorado private investigators Wednesday told state officials getting ready to issue regulations for licenses that they’re on-edge about what they fear will be excessive licensing fees over the next few years and about conflicting statements from regulators about refunds some of them are owed.

Regulators received a bucket-load of comments about the draft rules for licensing experience, surety bonds, a licensing exam, standards of practices and rules of professional conduct. But how much licenses will cost over the next three years and the refunds due to those who paid for voluntary licenses dominated much of the 2.5 hour session.

“You guys have to make this palatable,” investigator Dean Beers pleaded, adding that the escalating fees was a key reason the voluntary licensing program failed. He said he’s received “dozens and dozens of emails” about the issue. He said regulators should anticipate costs over the next three years and set a licensing fee that won’t escalate dramatically year-to-year, as the fees for the voluntary program did.

 

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7 thoughts on “Private Investigator Licensing Fees Top Issue as Regulators Hear Comments From Investigators

  1. The Colorado Legislative Council drafted a “Final Fiscal Note” consisting of six pages dated July 23, 2014. On page 2, “the following assumptions are made:”
    • 400 licenses to be issued
    • $300 license cost
    • $30 applied to the $70,000 deficit (ouch)
    • $22.50 CBI background check
    • $17.25 FBI background check
    • $100 bond (best guess at this point in time; not part of the Fiscal Note)
    Total Cost: $469.75

    Those in favor of licensing have outdone yourselves with the open book, feel good, all winners / no losers, politically correct test – NICE

    Then there is the fact that we get to print our own licenses – sent to you by email, no official paper with watermark, no official seal, and no photo identification… what an absolutely brilliant idea! This new cost-saving feature is the new private eye license, a.k.a., the pocket card. That might work for the electrician or plumber who has an appointment to meet you at your home. But show that to the cop on the street while conducting surveillance or when trying to see an inmate at a county or state correctional facility. Instead of a pocket card, perhaps we should refer to it as the amusement card. Tell me again how this license is about public confidence?

    The Colorado taxpayers (all of us) are out $70,000 as a result of the reckless and irresponsible voluntary licensing program. It’ll take six years at $30 per license issued to repay the taxpayer. Some of you paid $1,094 for the voluntary license during 2014 and apparently are due a refund of about $800. You are the same group that created the deficit in the first place, how can you demand that DORA reimburse you before the Colorado taxpayer is reimbursed $70,000?

    Mandatory licensing will not change the fact that Colorado private investigators themselves must establish with the public and their clients professionalism and credibility; it won’t come from the government (which has more than its fair share of embarrassing public trust issues). Education, training, and just plain, good business practices are far more effective tools than government regulations.

    Thanks guys for bringing licensing to Colorado to satisfy the need for consumer protection (yeah right), along with the highest licensing fees in the country, the open book test that a potential client can test, and let’s not forget the entertainment card-photo not included. For those of you concerned what pi’s around the country think about us here in Colorado, you have filled their Christmas stocking with enough ‘stuff’ to last for years-the gift that just keeps giving.

    Sincerely,

    Rick Johnson

  2. Fellow professionals,

    This is not an article or even a blog – its a comment to a distorted blog about a licensing rules hearing that the actual leading professional investigators from around the state (40 or so) attended and provided valuable feedback; he did not show – but felt informed enough to comment. To show complete impartiality, the blogger even comments how glad she is to hear from him – a first.

    It is unfortunate that a PI blogger, who has long opposed licensing, has resorted to posting comments of a disgruntled PI (not a leading PI) that has continually lost his battle to oppose licensing after his own attempts at the same failed a few times. No one wanted these to fail and there was full support. This was while on the board of PPIAC, which he left very disgruntled to start a fledgling group for the sole purpose of opposing. It is unfortunate previous attempts failed, they were all hard fought – no one wanted these to fail and there was full support. It should be noted that he continues to be licensed in Kansas (over a decade) because, as he testified while opposing licensing, he has one client that expects him to be licensed. Yet, he now opposes any licensing in Colorado.
    I should note that KS is also an open book test and they also only provide a pocket card. KS is a cheap license, but CO – unlike other states – requires all licensing programs to be funded only from collected fees and no taxpayer funds can be used.

    So, let’s see what he has said about his support of licensing in Colorado, and including his own efforts – back to 2000 (this is only the tip of the iceberg):
    http://www.denverpi.com/sunrise.php
    http://www.denverpi.com/degette.php
    http://www.denverpi.com/journaled.php
    While you’re viewing these, feel free to look at the recent ones in which he opposed – and why. It will leave you shaking your head.
    (the above comments are my own, and do not reflect those of any other person, group or association)

    Respectfully, Dean
    —–
    Dean A. Beers, CLI, CCDI
    Cheyenne WY Licensed Private Investigators (No. OL-15-31146)
    Board Certified Legal Investigator / Expert Consultant (national)
    Board Certified Criminal Defense Investigators
    Certified in Medicolegal Death Investigations / former Deputy Coroners

    Associates in Forensic Investigations, LLC
    A Rocky Mountain West Agency
    Expert Consultants and Legal Investigators
    Personal Injury, Negligence & Death in Civil, Criminal and Probate Litigation

    http://www.DeathCaseReview.com ~ beersda@DeathCaseReview.com
    WY – (307) 222-0136 Office and (307) 222-0138 Fax
    CO – (970) 480-7793 Office and (970) 480-7794 Fax
    ‘Quaero Indicium’ – To Find The Evidence

    Keep informed – visit and ‘Like’ us on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/4N6Associates and our agency blog at http://www.MedicolegalPI.com
    Listen to Facts & Forensics at http://www.GIMG.tv

    This issue with a large price tag is not about personalities, it simply is about a difference of opinion, as it relates to licensing Colorado Private Investigators. I have listened to the nonsense for 4 years now and simply don’t agree with those that want licensing-what is the big deal?

    I once was almost a democrat, now I am a conservative, I once preferred blondes over brunettes, I once favored licensing and now I don’t ,with age comes wisdom- at least for some of us. Simply put, I have changed my mind about licensing and yes I do have a Kansas license and a client that insists that I license in that state. That is pretty simple. By the way, if I were embarrassed about my pro licensing positions so many years ago I would have removed them from my web page-I am not, I have simply changed my opinion after giving the matter some serious thought.

    By the way the Kansas license is a professional looking photo ID card similar to law enforcement-not a pocket card, yes it is an open book test, I did not develop, unlike the Colorado test that those who favor licensing have some control-big difference here. The Kansas license is about $250.00 for two years, I have no control of the cost-you on the other hand much to answer for as it relates to the cost of the Colorado license. That and other issues should have been thoroughly vetted before this process started, but you and others had all the answers and would have nothing to do with non-believers of licensing.

    My post was one simple issue-the cost of a license -I looked hard for a response to that but didn’t see one, perhaps true to form and reputation you spent time attacking the ‘blog’ and me. So, a couple issues that many of that disgruntled, fledging group (really, who insults another association) would like answered:

    1-Why would you not debate me concerning licensing;
    2-List five examples of Colorado PI misconduct that licensing would have prevented;
    3-What is the purpose of the Consumer Protection of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office;
    4-What is the benefit of an ID without a photo;
    5-What is the benefit of a level 1 and level 2 license, if there is no requirement to disclose
    6-What is the benefit of an open book test?
    7-How many record keepers did you and others meet with during the voluntary program as it relates to accessing government records?
    8-Why not a simple registration program, application, a FBI background, modest fee and be done with it.

    These are legitimate questions for a guy that supported licensing you should be able to answer.

    To me, this about government control brought to our profession by you and others. How is it we haven’t licensed Colorado private investigators in forty years, and have very few issues? Some states are contemplating removing such laws, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is concerned that licensing will cause monopolies, keep folks from entering the profession and consumers will have fewer choices. Simply put, this is incompetence on steroids.

    Safe weekend to all.

    Rick Johnson, on behalf of CSPI and (most) all others who do not believe in licensing of Colorado Private Investigators
    http://www.denverpi.com

  3. I wanted to pass along some comments by Dean Beers as it relates to licensing that was posted to PInow@yahoo.com, on Wednesday, 12-31 in direct response to my comments made the day prior on this blog. I assume he did not want his comments observed by those in Colorado that are dealing with this issue. In part this is what he has to say:

    1-He attacks me (what’s new) on my current anti licensing position
    2-He attacks the Colorado Society of Private Investigators, referring to it as a ‘fledging group’
    3-That I maintain a Kansas license
    4-Why I left PPIAC-many of you know the truth about the nasty letter I received from Chairman Beers after I testified against the voluntary licensing program, perhaps he will share it with you, I will

    My response is below:

    This issue with a large price tag is not about personalities, it simply is about a difference of opinion, as it relates to licensing Colorado Private Investigators. I have listened to the nonsense for 4 years now and simply don’t agree with those that want licensing-what is the big deal?

    I once was almost a democrat, now I am a conservative, I once preferred blondes over brunettes, I once favored licensing and now I don’t ,with age comes wisdom- at least for some of us. Simply put, I have changed my mind about licensing and yes I do have a Kansas license and a client that insists that I license in that state. That is pretty simple. By the way, if I were embarrassed about my pro licensing positions so many years ago I would have removed them from my web page-I am not, I have simply changed my opinion after giving the matter some serious thought.

    By the way the Kansas license is a professional looking photo ID card similar to law enforcement-not a pocket card, yes it is an open book test, I did not develop, unlike the Colorado test that those who favor licensing have some control-big difference here. The Kansas license is about $250.00 for two years, I have no control of the cost-you on the other hand much to answer for as it relates to the cost of the Colorado license. That and other issues should have been thoroughly vetted before this process started, but you and others had all the answers and would have nothing to do with non-believers of licensing.

    My post addressed-the cost of a license -I looked hard for a response from Mr. Beers but didn’t see one, perhaps true to form and reputation you spent time attacking the ‘blog’ and me. So, a couple issues that many of that disgruntled, fledging group (really, who insults another association) would like answered:

    1-Why would you not debate me concerning licensing;
    2-List five examples of Colorado PI misconduct that licensing would have prevented;
    3-What is the purpose of the Consumer Protection of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office;
    4-What is the benefit of an ID without a photo;
    5-What is the benefit of a level 1 and level 2 license, if there is no requirement to disclose
    6-What is the benefit of an open book test?
    7-How many record keepers did you and others meet with during the voluntary program as it relates to accessing government records?
    8-Why not a simple registration program, application, a FBI background, modest fee and be done with it.

    These are legitimate questions and for a guy that supported licensing you should be able to answer.

    To me, this about government control brought to our profession by you and others. How is it we haven’t licensed Colorado private investigators in forty years, and have very few issues? Some states are contemplating removing such laws, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is concerned that licensing will cause monopolies, keep folks from entering the profession and consumers will have fewer choices. Simply put, this is incompetence on steroids.

    Safe weekend to all.

    Rick Johnson, on behalf of CSPI and (most) all others who do not believe in licensing of Colorado Private Investigators
    http://www.denverpi.com

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