Now is the time that I will talk about ethics and honesty. I always keep my clients up to date on where the investigation is. I also tell them about the cost effectiveness of this to do in the investigation. I do not give play-by-play or real time updates on surveillance cases of any type. Doing so would just be asking for trouble. I give a thorough report the following day. This is for obvious reasons that the client may want to confront or catch the subject of the investigation “red handed.”
Remember when you are interviewing people, if their lips are moving they are lying. OK, that is an exaggeration, but I have often found that people tend to tell lies, even when they don’t need to do so. Do not get angry or frustrated by this, just be aware of it. Also, do not decide how much information is enough information before you start the investigation. Let the information and evidence speak for itself. What may seem to be the opposite of this is – find out what the client is expecting. Do they expect to see the subject “caught on tape?” Do they expect the subject to confess? Do they think there will be irrefutable evidence found out? These are things to be decided between the client and investigator before you have started to conduct the investigation.
One of the things you should always be doing is developing informants and sources of information before you need them. Never underestimate the power of being a friendly patron and a good tipper at any place in the service industry. Stop in at bars and restaurants – you don’t have to order expensive meals, just be friendly and leave good tips. It more than pays off in the long run. People are often happy to give you information when they see you as a “good customer.” Treat the people you deal with in the public records places with dignity, respect, friendliness, and honesty. I try to keep the people I deal with in the Clerks’ offices at the courthouse happy to see me coming. They have often done little things as a favor, because I am a good customer.
Whatever you do - stay safe!