As any attorney knows, potential jurors are required to self-report on their data sheet. The issues this data sheet explores are extremely important and your client’s fate could rest in their hands. So, if a juror has an ulterior motive or an agenda contrary to being fair and unbiased, this violates the very soul of the criminal justice system. With access to an unending source of media outlets and electronic mediums, a "dorm room reporter" is born every couple of minutes. If these bloggers or tweeters make their way on a jury, they could purposely sabotage or inadvertently damage criminal proceedings. So, what’s the answer? How about hiring a competent Private Detective to conduct a social media background check on the jury pool or on sitting jurors. And, during the trial conduct periodic checks of their social media to assure their not broadcasting information on social media that only a juror should know. In this age of self-serving denial, and spotlight seeking 15-minate-of-fame-ers; you need to protect your client more than ever. Some have no conscious and lying is almost as easy as breathing, so who’s naive to think they wouldn’t lie on a questionnaire in a jury pool? Not me, and neither should you! Call Suburban and go the extra mile for your client!
As a licensed private investigator I receive calls from prospective clients who need personal situations investigated. It's always interesting to hear some of the questions people have about what I can and can not find out. As always, I'm as truthful as possible and explain that I've never looked for this or that, but know another investigator who would be able to find what they're looking for. Oftentimes there is an awkward pause on the phone as I'm staring off into space thinking about their question and this type of investigation. But this got me thinking, how does a prospective client determine that I'm the private investigator to hire? Is it just I'm willing to help or even make the effort to listen, or is there something more? Hiring a PI is not as easy as one might think. Consider this: If you were hiring a contractor or painter for your home the first thing you'd ask for is pictures of recent work; or if you were hiring a nanny or daycare you'd ask for references. Unfortunately, in the PI business we are very protective of our clients’ information and our classified information is just that: classified! So, I decided to make a post with the three of the things I think are important when hiring a private detective.
Number 1: License: This one is obvious, but the first thing you need to look for is licensing. The Private Detective business is highly scrutinized, especially in Massachusetts. The licensing agency is the Mass State Police and there is nothing cops hate worse than people pretending to be cops. So they have very strict requirements and procedures that one must follow or their license is in jeopardy. In addition, the special licensing division of the Mass State Police keep good records of complaints and/or subsequent suspensions or non-renewals. Most licensed PI's welcome this kind of scrutiny because it keeps investigators honest and keeps those wannabe PI's from taking advantage of someone who just needs help. If there is even a question of a Detective license status call the Mass State Police Special Licensing Certification Unit in Davers at: (508) 978-6127.
Number 2: Initial Conversation: One thing that irrates me to no end, (and this goes for any profession) is someone who takes work that they're not qualified for or has no training for this type of work. We call this the Starving Artist syndrome: they need the work so bad they say yes to anything. So, during the initial conversation does the investigator "yes" you to death? Are you asking them to do something that may be inappropriate or even criminal and their response is 'oh, yeah we can do that'. Or, are they asking you questions in return? This person is supposed to be a professional investigator and a red flag should go up when he asks you no follow-up questions. I cant tell you how many times I've been asked to locate someone and after my series of questions, (that include their relationship with the person, any restraining orders, and of course WHY they want to find this person), I told them sorry, that's not something I can do. And, how can I go without talking about the people that try to lie to me: 'I don't know if she got a restraining order against me..." Sorry Buddy. So, if the investigator's only response is “yes,yes,yes...what's your credit card number?” you need to look elsewhere.
Number 3: Specialization: Does this investigator or company specialize in the type of investigation you're requesting? Several years ago the PI landscape was covered in so-called Generalists who would conduct any type of investigation under the sun. One day their following a cheating partner the next they're conducting a corporate investigation of an employee stealing company funds. Even though these types of agencies still exist, (and are more than capable), investigators today are specializing in certain types of investigation. Several of my colleagues only conduct cheating spouse and domestic investigations, and make a very good living at it. However, even though I have a lot of experience in this type of investigation I do not specialize in it. My humble opinion is that a specialist conducts their type of investigation day in and day out, and her brain is constantly trained on its approach, sequence and conclusion and that experience is invaluable.
I hope these tips help you in your search for the perfect Private Investigator. And, don't forget to listen to your gut feeling. Like anything else you need to like the investigator because you’re going to trust her with some very sensitive information. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about private investigations or how to find a detective. I have many friends in the business and if I don't specialize in the investigation you need, I'll put you in contact with one who does. Please contact me through my website SuburbanPatrol.com and good luck!
With all the recent snow in New England it's easy to determine which homes are occupied and which are vacant. My neighborhood has several so-called "snow birds" who have duel residences. In the summer they're in Mass and the winter they live in Florida. Oftentimes, these lucky people do not have their driveways plowed or their walkways shoveled; and why would they? Plow companies are expensive and since the home is not occupied they're paying for an unnecessary service.
Enter the criminal: these dirt-bags look for a home with the driveway not plowed or walkway not shoveled and target it. What's ingenious is its not uncommon for these low life's to bring a shovel with them and pretend that they're doing a good deed: this eliminates suspicion. Neighbors and people passing by would think its a family member or hired hand shoveling the property. What they don't know is that after about five minutes of pretend work, the dirt-bag goes to the back of the house and bam! makes his entry. It's only weeks or months later when the homeowner comes home to find their valuables gone!
At the fraction of the price of a plow company, Suburban Security Guard Patrol Service can make daily checks of your home and prevent this type crime. What's more, our patrol vehicle will make tire impressions in the driveway after the dusty snow falls to confuse the criminal element. Call today for more info! #proactiveprotection
The professional Security Guard gets a bad wrap. Oftentimes they’re viewed as minimum wage know-nothings who have no authority to tell anybody what to do. Common slang nicknames include “rent-a-cop” or “wannabe” (referring to one that wants to be a police officer). So, where does this lack of respect come from? From my experience I have seen substandard guards encourage this derision due to the way they carry themselves. Either their uniform is sloppy, with a dirty, un-tucked shirt, or the fact they look completely disinterested in what they’re doing. Now, these guards may be competent in their job, but the fact they do not appear to have it together gives the impression that they’re unprofessional and thus the target of ridicule.
So why is the industry plagued by this type of guard? In Massachusetts as well as other states, there are not too many requirements to become a guard. Most of the training and screening is dictated by either insurance companies who insure company, or by past litigation. Like any business, the security company wants to avoid civil litigation if their guard does something wrong or to minimize its financial impact. Thus, in order to save money most companies will do the bare minimum when screening and training their newest security personnel. Obviously, they’re in business to make money and in order to stay competitive they can’t spend hundreds of dollars training an employee who might not be with the company very long. In addition, the competition between companies in the Security Guard industry is fierce, and a company may be chosen simply because they were a dollar or two cheaper. Which means the security companies’ pool of candidates is limited to those who will work for a lower rate of pay. The guard who is hired is probably getting paid a dollar or two above minimum wage, doesn't see this job as a long term career and cares very little about his assignment. What’s more, guards are constantly looking for other opportunities to make more money so they jump from company to company frequently and employee loyalty is almost non-existent. What’s ironic is when the client who hired the security company complains that the guard at the post is lazy or indifferent to his assignment. And my response is always, “you get what you pay for!”
One summer when I was home from college I got a job with a local security company (which has since gone out of business). I remember answering an ad in a metro-west newspaper, (the internet was not the job search vehicle it is today), and met with the director the next day. I drove to Fort Devens and met with a very nice gentleman who represented the company very well. He wore the standard white shirt-black pants uniform and had a very comfortable office. Needless to say our pleasant conversation lasted about thirty minutes and I was hired. He made a copy of my license, I filled out a form for taxes and handed me a sticky note. On the sticky note were two addresses: one for a medical facility so I could pee into a cup for a drug test; and the other was the location of my first assignment. This was the extent of the screening process and orientation. What makes me queasy is many security companies still operate like this. At the time it was great for me because I was seventeen and wanted to work without jumping through a lot of hoops.
My first assignment was a construction site on route nine in Framingham, MA where they were building a new car dealership. Needless to say this assignment did not require a lot of technical knowledge, equipment or special training. However, I didn't get so much as an employee manual, post orders or company policy and procedures, (which in retrospect explains why they’re no longer in business). I subsequently worked for several other security companies and learned both the good and the bad from each of them. As I sat on several different posts for hours at a time, I thought about the security company I would someday own and what I would do differently. Today, eighteen yeas later, I have that company and am dedicated to screening, hiring and training dedicated professionals. Also, it is my sincere obligation to give guards direction, job expectations and on-going training. Their duties and behavior are dictated by use of post orders and employee manuals. I believe assignments should not just be warm bodies watching the grass grow, but functions that provide a dedicated service to the client and reward professional demeanor and superior guards. To discuss how professional Suburban Guards can help you or your company, give me a call at 617-957-2248. #proactiveprotection
This is an interesting question that I was asked recently, and to answer it I think one needs to look at the totality of the circumstances of the arrest. First, let's examine how one learns about an arrest like this. Most commonly its from either word of mouth or local newspapers. Word of mouth is of course the least reliable because, like the game of telephone, the story gets distorted along the way. Local news is more reliable, however sometimes they either get the circumstances wrong, or do not get the complete story. This causes some neighbors to become nervous that the drug problem in their area is worse that it really is, or that it's even a problem at all. So, what is the totality of circumstances in any given situation? To figure this out you need to ask a series of questions. For example, what was the suspect doing right before he was arrested? Was he driving through your neighborhood as a cut through? Was he coming from or going to a friends house that lives in your neighborhood? Where is that friends house? Was the arrest the result of a traffic stop at all? What actions did the police take to make the arrest?
Let's take as an example a recent case in the Town of Norwood, MA. The Norwood Police Department executed a search warrant at a local residence in South Norwood. As a result they recovered a large quantity of drugs and cash (a common indication of drug distribution). In order to have been issued that search warrant the police would have had to establish Probable Cause: clearly defined evidence that drugs were present or that the occupant was dealing drugs. No judge, at least in Norfolk County, would issue a search warrant without it. I do not know the particulars of the evidence the police had, but my impression it was a lot of good, solid police work.
There are two ways to look at a situation of a drug arrest in your neighborhood like the example given above: One, the police are proactively seeking out and arresting drug dealers, which is great; or two, drug dealing exists in my neighborhood which is not so good. It should be noted that there are two types of drug dealing: Discreet and Indiscreet. If I, as a neighbor, am learning that drugs exist in my community by news outlets, word of mouth or by the police themselves, you have a clear case of Discreet drug dealing...This is good. The dealers are going out of their way to hide it from both the neighbors and the police. What you should be concerned with is when drugs are being either used or sold indiscreetly, meaning out in the open. Whats worse, is when indiscreet drug dealing is going on and not being checked on by the police. Two things should happen at this point, either pack up your bags, or get on the phone with your elected officials and tell them this is not tolerated in your neighborhood. This is not the case in South Norwood. Police know this type of dealing is going on and are doing something about it! For an assessment of your neighborhood, or to guard your home with Proactive Protection call Suburban Security.
I was recently consulted by the owner of a gas station/convenience store in Massachusetts who wanted to know why his store kept getting robbed. The owner was unsure if there was something unique to his store that made him the target of this type of crime. Plus, he wanted to know what he could do to minimize his attraction to robbers. So, the first thing I did was review the crime statistics for his community the neighborhood as well as other surrounding communities to see if it was just the store location that was the problem. It appeared that the crime rate in his neighborhood was consistent with crime rates in surrounding towns. Then I looked at a map to determine whether there were any major roads or highways that would attract a quick get away for a criminal; however this was not the case. There were no quick get away routes from his store. Next was my site visit. I got in the mindset of a criminal and as a robber, did I see anything about his physical store that attracted me. Bam! Right when I pulled into the driveway I saw it. In a haste to advertise what he was offering for sale he thought nothing of safety or security. Sitting in the parking lot, or stopped for the red signal in traffic, I could not see the clerk on duty. The owner had posted advertisements in the window blocking the line of sight. Therefore, if the public couldn’t see the clerk from the street neither could police officers patrolling their route. Perfect target for a robbery; the first thing anybody who is about to commit a crime does is glance over each shoulder. “Can anybody see what I'm about to do?” This is why most convenience stores and other businesses that hold a lot of cash, have big glass windows that face the street and the cash register as close to the windows as possible. To have your business surveyed call me at Suburban Security and Protect Yourself Proactively.
This Blog is written by Suburban's security experts, based upon their on-the-job experiences and professional training. Nothing in these posts should be considered binding between the reader and Suburban's security team nor should it be considered legal advice. Just fun tips to help "Protect Your Most Valuable asset".