Covert, Mobile Surveillance – Trust And Capabilities Are Everything: E-Newsletter Article
Many U.S. based private investigative agencies promote covert, mobile surveillance operations as a service offering, but how many of these agencies are genuinely committed to achieving surveillance excellence in each assignment? How do you know with confidence that the agency you’ve just retained for surveillance has genuinely embraced your case objectives and is taking every critical measure to ensure that the operational goals are achievable? How do you know if the field Investigator that has been assigned to your case is a veteran surveillance specialist or a rookie working one of their first assignments? The truth is until you have established an effective working relationship with an agency, you really don’t.
Retaining a professional, private investigative agency can seem like a daunting task, considering all the options out there. Whether you choose Texas Investigative Network, Inc., or another agency for investigative support, the below-detailed criteria should serve helpful when retaining an agency.
As a best practice, an investigative agency should have a categorial, objective-oriented case-intake process to ensure a client’s assignment expectations are clear, realistic, legal, and achievable before surveillance can begin. Once a baseline for the pertinent Subject information has been established, a formal proposal should be developed and submitted to a client for review and authorization. Subject/Identification information, the type of investigative operation requested, the scope for the case objectives being considered, the case expenses projected, etc. should be accurately outlined within the cost proposal for covert, mobile surveillance. This level of detail is necessary in order to implement a field strategy that aligns well with the stated case objectives.
Once the formal case proposal has been approved for investigation, the initial case workup – the upfront due diligence – is necessary and crucial to beginning any assignment. Through on-line and propriety database research, an agency is to verify each Subject’s current residential address, property and vehicle ownership, and the existence of any active social media accounts. This initial case work-up is conducted in order to provide the Investigator with photos of the Subject, potential insight into their daily life, and relevant identification/vehicle registration details so that surveillance may be effectively initiated.
The implementation step includes assigning the fieldwork to a vetted, covert/mobile surveillance Investigator(s). It is important that an agency employ surveillance Investigator(s) that have an impeccable reputation, extensive experience, an uncompromising level of professional integrity, and an active Private Investigator registration issued through the appropriate state regulatory agency.
As technology has enhanced our professional capabilities, Investigators must possess the ability to utilize high-definition camcorders/covert cameras, capture and send still images and video from the field, communicate updates in a timely manner and safely operate a surveillance vehicle with dark tinted windows. Investigator CVs, bios, and resumes should always be made available for a client upon request.
During an active operation, a crucial and often overlooked key to a successful surveillance operation is management. Identify an agency whose field personnel report directly to a Case Manager. This level of communication accountability ensures that case objectives are being addressed and a client’s assignment is being efficiently worked.
After a surveillance operation has been completed, request that all surveillance video is processed and reports are generated in a professionally detailed, court-admissible manner. As a reporting standard, every investigative agency should have the motto, “If a client has just one (1) question as to the facts within a report, the document should be viewed as incomplete.”
If unsure as to how an Investigator can be of great support in a pending lawsuit, or you haven’t had great experiences working with investigative agencies in the past, call TIN offices at (713) 807-8811 and request a free consultation. Allow us the opportunity to demonstrate how Texas Investigative Network, Inc. has become a leader in the profession and is prepared to deliver impactful results in your current client matter.
About the Author:
Bill Pellerin is the founder and President of Texas Investigative Network, Inc., a Texas Corporation founded in 1994. The company employs licensed investigators in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, and San Antonio, Texas, and conducts investigations for several major Texas corporations, law firms, insurance companies, and financial institutions. Learn more