Do Private Investigators Work With Police?
It is not uncommon for private investigators (PIs) and law enforcement agencies to collaborate in solving many different types of crimes or carrying out investigations. During complex criminal investigations, for example, PI’s apply their expertise in gathering and analyzing information to complement the resources and capabilities of the responding police force. PI’s and police have different strengths and capabilities, which makes for a powerful combination when it comes to solving an intricate case that tests the boundaries of conventional law enforcement.
Private investigators can have more flexibility in their approach to gathering evidence than police officers. This is because PI’s operate outside of the constraints of the law enforcement system (while still subject to the same state and/or federal laws that regulate all investigative activities which civilians can carry out) and can use unconventional methods to gather information. For example, PI’s can conduct covert surveillance, interview witnesses, and obtain other forms of evidence that police may not attempt to acquire. PI’s can also provide insights and perspectives that law enforcement may not have considered, given their exposure to various “assets” or personnel involved in an investigation.
When working with police, PI’s can assist in a myriad of ways that directly contribute to the resolution of all sorts of cases. PI’s can provide actionable and insightful information on suspects, witnesses, and motives that can help lead to an arrest or the discovery of previously concealed or unattainable evidence.. This information can help the police build a stronger case, leading to a more successful prosecution.
PI’s and law enforcement agencies can also collaborate on investigations that are beyond the scope of police resources. For example, a police department may not have the manpower or financial resources to conduct a full-scale investigation into a complex case, despite the demand from a business or family. In these instances, PI’s can provide additional support by conducting additional interviews, performing surveillance runs, and collecting other relevant evidence. By “pooling” resources, both PI’s and the police can work together to make progress on a case that would otherwise be difficult to solve with just one group acting alone.
It is an important distinction that PI’s are not part of the law enforcement system, and cannot conduct themselves as members of the law enforcement system – while that does create limitations in terms of the scope of their abilities, it also means PI’s are not immediately restrained by the same restrictions and regulations. This allows them to conduct their own investigations and gather evidence in ways that might not be possible for police.
Working with a PI can also help law enforcement agencies save time and resources, or “free up” those resources to focus on other components of a case. PI’s often have specialized expertise and access to databases that can speed up the investigative process, while police are often inundated with dozens if not hundreds of cases that are ongoing. By partnering with PI’s, or working collaboratively, law enforcement agencies can focus on their core responsibilities, such as making arrests and conducting interrogations, while PI’s handle surveillance aspects of an investigation. This can help law enforcement resolve cases more quickly and effectively, which allows those seeking justice to see results faster.
The partnership, and occasionally symbiotic relationship, between private investigators and law enforcement agencies can be an inherently valuable resource in solving crimes. PI’s often bring decades of expertise, knowledge of a community, and expansive understanding of investigative best practices in gathering and analyzing information to complement the resources and capabilities of the responding law enforcement agency. Do private investigators work with police? The bottom line is – yes. Private investigators do work with police. Quite regularly. Through a dynamic collaboration which combines the determination of independent investigators with the full force and scope of a government regulated law enforcement agency – , both PI’s and law enforcement agencies can achieve results more effectively. It is important to realize that even though private investigators do work with police, that PI’s are not part of any federal or state law enforcement system, so they must operate within the bounds of the law and ensure that their methods are legal and ethical.