As a private investigator, do you view the police department as friend or foe? For me, as a former police officer, I have a unique perspective on the job of officers and the private and public scrutiny that goes with it. I support our guys and gals in blue, because until you have walked in someone's shoes....you know how the saying goes. With that said, frequently a lot of people I meet during the course of my work discount what the police department and its members have to offer in the way of help during an investigation. I think that is a mistake. Here's why:

Many people are familiar with the traffic ticket and the traffic accident report. When you get these reports, it is imperative to review these reports for accuracy, including the diagram. I have gone out to many a scene and found that the boxes checked could not have happened that way or information provided to or taken from by the officer are inaccurate.

Besides the accident report or traffic ticket, do you know that there are at least 12 other report type items that I check and get access to in order to properly complete my investigation? Yes, you read correctly, 12 more reports. I find them, review them, and usually find a treasure trove of information. It's these things that make the difference in my cases. 

Having been a police officer, I know the areas within the department where officers or police personnel will come into contact with someone and where it will be (or should be) documented. This may be a reporting party or complainant, witness, suspect or another police department. These can be critical in your investigation. And, along with obtaining these items, it is important to understand how to interpret what they say and what they don't say. Sometimes you should read between the lines.

A few years ago I was working an insurance fraud case and I was able to obtain the initial police report. It was chock full of information that the insured had conveniently NOT told us. I could tell by reading the report that it seemed just not right or that more was going on. I then placed a call to the officer and was able to gather much more information about the officer's experience while he was on the call and interacting with the parties while taking the report.  Sometimes it's not what you say but how you say it. 

When thinking about the police department and the various reports, please ensure that you don't pigeon-hole "types" of incidents with their various reports, i.e. ticket with accident. Sometimes events not related, and descriptions provided within, shine a new light on credibility, personality, and actual facts. 

I am happy to provide consultation and/or training for continuing education on what, where and how to find and interpret these reports and other subjects related to investigations. Please reach out to me here or through my websitewww.StrategicIntelligenceServices.com