Why a Private Investigator?

 By: Thomas Nickels
Here I am once again trying to explain things to people. But I have to tell you don’t expect excellent writing since that’s not what I do. I am a Private Investigator. Answering questions and putting pen to paper, for a writer is easy if one is familiar with the topic or wants to learn about a certain topic. Or so I am told. Some may even have resources and methods they alone have access to of how they can gather information. However writing about Private Investigations and what exactly does a private investigator do becomes a daunting task if this is your field of expertise and industry.

Let me first engage you in a small history class of Private Investigations. The first known private investigations firm was founded in 1833 by a French crook, soldier, and criminal privateer by the name of Eugène François Vidocq. It was called Le Bureau Des Renseignments (Office of Intelligence). Needless to say most who worked there were also criminals. Vidocq is known for making the first plaster casts as well as introduced record keeping, ballistics, and criminology. It was not until 1850 that Allen Pinkerton established the first detective/security guard agency in the US that this form of discipline was born then slowly perfected around the world.

In the United States this is a thriving industry. There are more Private Detective agencies here than anywhere else in the world. Sadly enough it’s due to lack of good police work, the desire to have answers if you are a suspicious spouse or partner and the demand in high profile cases where there services are required. In most cases Private investigators specialize within certain industries. Whether they are working in criminal cases or civil cases. This is where specialization comes into play. I personally have been working on high profile cases which I am not at liberty to discuss, however suffice it to say computer forensics and due diligence have played a major role in my success rate. In today’s market technology is key. Access to top surveillance equipment along with strategic thinking and many years of experience are but a few disciplines one will master throughout their career.

In order to understand what why and how we do things one must consider what type of personality would want to do this for a living. Consider your sense of adventure and your sharp Sherlock Holmes thinking throw in a little bit of espionage and charm shake it around with some criminal background and an understanding of how criminals and law breakers think and you have a successful Private Detective.

A normal day for a private investigator or as most like to call them a PI can verge on the extraordinary, fascinating, mind blowing, and yes even boring. We are hired to locate people, to serve people to protect them, sometimes to just watch them. That in itself can be fascinating or absolutely boring, but it’s a job that has allowed me to travel the country and the globe that I enjoy.

In conclusion my expertise and 30 years of working in this industry has given me some happy memories and some not so happy ones. I get involved with each case personally, from small details to finding new ways of using the resources available to me. The breakdowns for specializations are best described in 4 categories. From Criminal Investigations to Corporate Investigations, Insurance Investigations, and last but not least Civil Investigations.

If you were interested in Criminal Investigations, then you would be dealing with Homicide Robbery Sex Crimes Racketeering. If you want to get into Corporate Investigations, then you would deal with Security issues to Consulting on Sexual Discrimination, Acquisition, Profiling, and White Collar Crimes. For years I worked as an Insurance Investigator and had to work on cases that involved Workers Compensation, Liability Accident – Auto/Fire. The last is the bread and butter of this industry Civil Investigations, this involved Divorce, Child Custody/Recovery Statements to name a few.


About the author: Mr. Nickels expertise as a Deputy Sheriff was gained while working for New Hampshire’s Strafford County and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department from 1982 thru 1987. In 1987, Nickels Professional Investigations was established in Manchester, NH and is licensed in Maine (ME), New Hampshire (NH), Vermont (VT) and Massachusetts (MA). We’re always ready to help you with your investigative needs.
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