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Mistook
08-10-2005, 04:38 AM
I can't find any info out there on the web. My understanding is that licensed private investigators can carry badges. Does the state issue those badges? And are they assigned badge numbers?

I have a scene where a cop needs to verify my PI's status. He doesn't believe the badge is real (because she's so young). Would he run a badge number, or the PI license, or what?

This would be the state of Illinois, by the way.

icerose
08-10-2005, 04:51 AM
I don't know anything about this, but you can try this place. Look at the experts profiles and find one that suits your question then ask. At least one is a PI, I skimmed.

http://allexperts.com/getExpert.asp?Category=1612

Jamesaritchie
08-10-2005, 06:26 AM
I can't find any info out there on the web. My understanding is that licensed private investigators can carry badges. Does the state issue those badges? And are they assigned badge numbers?

I have a scene where a cop needs to verify my PI's status. He doesn't believe the badge is real (because she's so young). Would he run a badge number, or the PI license, or what?

This would be the state of Illinois, by the way.

I suggest you call an Illinois police department. They can answer your questions.

In many states, mine included, it's against the law for a private detective to carry or display a badge of any kind. No one wants a private detective confused with a police officer. In some states, such as Wisconsin, a private detective can't even be licesned to carry a concealed weapon.

I'm sure it varies from state to state, but in the states I'm familiar with, a private detective carries no badge, but has a photo ID license issued by the state, which anyone can use to check his credibility.

In my state, a private detective can also work on the license owned by another private detective, which means he doesn't have to have five years of police training to get the license, but can still do questioning and stakeout work for a icensed PI.

I believe there are states that allow a private investigator to carry a badge, but most I've talked to think doing so is a very bad idea. If the state issues a badge, then carry it. If not, carry what they give you, which is almost always a credit card sized license, much like a driver's license.

This alone is not a carry permit, and there's a separate license for this, either laminated and much like a driver's license, or simply a piece of paper that you fold and carry.

But call the Illinois police department. That's probably the easiest way to get you answer for that state.

Mistook
08-10-2005, 06:33 AM
Thanks Icerose :) I've sent the question to a PI on the list.

icerose
08-10-2005, 06:37 AM
I hope he is able to help you. :) Wow James, how do you hold in all this knowledge??? :)

Mistook
08-10-2005, 06:47 AM
Yes, thanks James.

Writer2011
08-10-2005, 07:44 AM
I know in North Carolina you can carry a badge and must be licensed!!!

kristie911
08-10-2005, 07:54 AM
My husband "moonlights" as a PI/security (day job is sheriff deputy) and he does carry a badge as a PI that was purchased by the company he works for. He does not have a license but is covered under the owner of the company who does have a license.
This is in Michigan...

Jamesaritchie
08-10-2005, 08:11 AM
My husband "moonlights" as a PI/security (day job is sheriff deputy) and he does carry a badge as a PI that was purchased by the company he works for. He does not have a license but is covered under the owner of the company who does have a license.
This is in Michigan...

My brother in law is also a police officer who moonlights as a PI. You should listen to some of the arguments he and his friends have about whether or not to carry a badge. As a police officer, he carries his LEO badge at all times, but says he knows of too many instances where PIs were arrested for impersonating a police office just for flashing a badge to warrant the risk of carrying one.

State law always apply, of course, but even with twenty years experience as a police officer, he still had to work for a year under someone else's license before he got his own. He actually spent that year working for a divorce attorney.

The good thing about this is that I can moonlight under his license, though I haven't done so in a long time. It's incredibly boring work, for the most part. At least what he does usually is. Roughly 99.9 percent of the time is spent watching someone, taking photos, making phone calls, or searching various online databases. Mix in some knocking on doors and asking the same questions over and over, and that's about it.

I have some experience in missing persons, from runaways to bail jumpers, and either of those was more exciting than what he does. But he gets paid pretty well, and that's what keeps him at it. Plus the fact that when he's out on a case, he doesn't have to be home mowing the yard.

He also works part-time for the government, also carrying a gun and a badge, and now and then hires out as private security. I'm not at all sure when he sleeps.

The funny thing is he's one of the worst shots I've ever known. If he ever has to use his sidearm, the safest place to be is probably right in front of him. He's a great guy, but a truly lousy shot.

Mistook
08-10-2005, 08:22 AM
Well, my PI is nineteen. Assuming it's legal to have a badge, she'd be carrying it, because she's exactly that foolhardy, which would play into my plot point pretty well. The cop sees the badge and instantly thinks it's a fake / wants to bring her in on charges of impersonating a something or other.

But now I'm a little worried about the possibility of a person that young getting the license. Is it required to work on the police force? From my limited understanding, a gun licence and other training can be had from 16 onward, and it's vaguely possible to have passed the test and gotten the license at 18.

Of course, that would be nearly ridiculous, but that's kind of the point of my character. Her conviction borders on the absurd. The intent is kind of to show a teen super-sleuth, and her transition into professional life as a detective. It's meant to have a humorous edge to it, but I'd like to stay just this side of a flat-out comedy. I'd like it to be marginally possible that a nineteen year old girl could actually be a licensed PI.

Me thinks I need more research.

If necessary, I can update her age to 21 or 25.

Writer2011
08-10-2005, 08:31 AM
Mistook....Each state is different...In NC it's 21 (at least from what I remember reading)... My story also involves a private investigator...I love those kinds of stories.

Mistook
08-10-2005, 08:41 AM
Mistook....Each state is different...In NC it's 21 (at least from what I remember reading)... My story also involves a private investigator...I love those kinds of stories.

Sorry for the blatant lenght of this post, but... to give you and idea what I'm dealing with. I've kind of got the cop-talk down, but then again, in critical areas, I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I swear I read somwhere that it was possible to get a PI licence in IL at 16, but I can't find that source any more. The age is just one sticking point. The badge stuff is another. Then there's some cryptic cop-talk that I don't quite get. I have a chicago detective whose car is called "Ocean Twenty". I have no idea at all what "Ocean" denotes.

From listening to my police scanner, I know there's a lot of quizzical guys out there - "Lincoln", "Zebra", "Ocean"... anyway, I think I can make this scene sparkle, if I just get the facts right.




An officer by the name of Dublonski, with a beer gut hiding beneath his leather jacket, and a mustache obscuring his mouth, flipped open Adrianne’s wallet to have a look at her ID. The first thing he saw was the circular badge, “Whoe! What’s this?” He looked closer, “Private Investigator? Miss, do you have any idea, the penalty for carrying something like this?”

“Relax. It’s real.”

“It’s real, huh?” He held up a flashlight and examined her drivers license, “Well if you wanted me to believe that, the least you could’a done is get the fake ID to match. Says here you’re barely nineteen.”

“So what’s your point?” She folded her arms, wincing as she accidentally crunched her pinky.

Dublonski grabbed the mike off his leather collar and brought it to his mustache. “Three ninety four.”

Dispatch said, “Three ninety four, go ahead.”

“Requesting code twenty-seven on a PI license, possibly ninety nine. Illinois state, bravo four four zero. Bravo four fourty.”

“Ten four.”

Dublonski looked back to Adrianne, “You wanna give me the truth, before I hear it over the radio?”

She gestured to the ambulance, “What’s the matter? You haven’t figured it out yet? That’s the Metra Mugger! Are you responding to a 10/31 or what?”

Having loaded the stretcher into the back, the paramedics climbed into the bus. The driver finished his conversation with Dublonski’s partner, “Ha ha, catch you later Billy!” He rolled up the window and the ambulance rolled to the head of the alley. After a horn blast, the sirens sounded, and the bus made a right into traffic.

Billy finished the last sip of coffee from his Styrofoam cup and tossed it into the dumpster. He called back to Dublonski, “They said there’s some kinda briefcase down there. I’m gonna check it out.” He strolled over to the stairwell and descended into the pit.

Dublonski looked at Adrianne, “What do you know about a ten thirty one?”

“At Morse? I was ****in there! I chased the bastard down here. We fought. He fell. End of story. You should be giving me reward money. Mayor Dailey should be giving me the key to the city by now, she-zus!”

Dublonski put his hand over his pistol and stepped back, “Ma’am, I need you to stand up, face the wall, and spread your hands.”

“What?”

Dublonski shouted, “Billy, a little help up here!” He looked at Adrianne, “Ma’am, a little cooperation would be wonderful.” His face was all business.

“****! Fine!” She stood, limped around to the factory wall, and spread eagle against the bricks.

Billy popped his head above ground, “What’s up?”

Frisking Adrianne, Dublonski said, “Metra Mugger! You’re looking at his partner. I guess she double crossed him.” He pulled out the cuffs and said to Adrianne, “That about right? He stops to look at the take, you push him over the rail. Only problem is… he falls over the suitcase. You decide to play the hero and collect.”

Adrianne rolled her eyes, “So now it’s a suitcase? He’s stealing tighty whitey’s from tourists?”

Billy approached her, brandishing his nightstick, “Hey! Enough with the smart mouth, okay?”

As Dublonski cuffed her behind the back, a female voice came over the radio, “Three ninety four, info?”

Billy grabbed his mike, “Three ninety four! Go ahead.”

“Private investigator badge, bravo four fourty comes back to an Adrianne K. Benton. Female Caucasian. Five, four. Hundred twenty pounds. Blue eyes, black hair. Birth date: November six, of seventy six. Currently resides at six seven two six Glenwood, apartment two F, that’s two foxtrot. Detective license is clear and valid. Issued on November six of last year. Not reported stolen. Her record is clear and valid.”

A male voice jumped in, “Dispatch, this is Ocean twenty. Can you repeat the name please, on that last info?”

Dublonski looked at Billy, “Who’s Ocean twenty?”

Billy said, “Uh… not sure.”

Dispatch said, “Ocean twenty that name was Adrianne K. Benton.”

The male voice shouted, “Three ninety four, this is Detective Rodriguez, come back!”

Dublonski glanced over to Billy, “What the hell?”

Billy shrugged, “Better answer. Rodriguez is a ball buster.”

Dublonski grabbed his mike, “Uh… ninety four.”

“Ninety four, detain the subject until I arrive!”

Adrianne let out a sigh. “Don’t worry guys. Me and Rico go way back.”

Writer2011
08-10-2005, 08:45 AM
I liked it...:) It was very technical, which I like... Me..I'm one to be technical and stuff when it comes to something like this.

My story is a bit different in the regards it's about a p.i. who is just starting out... I do know you can perform database searches on people...anyone can do it :)

Anyway, I liked the post/story...Can't wait to see more.

Jamesaritchie
08-10-2005, 09:03 AM
If necessary, I can update her age to 21 or 25.

Be sure to check this. Many states have a requirement that you first be a police officer in some capacity for a number of years before you can be a licensed PI. In my state it's five years, though you can work under someone else's license at age 21.

But it's pretty tough getting a PI license in most states, and the requirements disqualify the majority of people.

Writer2011
08-10-2005, 09:06 AM
Yes you do have to be careful...In North Carolina you can work with a P.I. while obtaining your license (at least that's what I read...) I could be wrong though.

Jamesaritchie
08-10-2005, 09:31 AM
Oh, and carrying a firearm is a federal law that states can't override. I believe you still have to be at least eighteen for this.

Last time I checked, only four states did not allow private citizens to carry concealed firearms. Illinois is one of these states. There is no provision in Illinois law for any private citizen to carry a handgun, either openly or concealed. Chicago is even than the state at large.

In fact, you need a FOID card just to own a firearm in Illinois.

In most states, a PI is regarded as a private citizen, not as a law enforcement officer, so it's hard to say how Illinois handles this.

As for the Chicago police codes, you may just have to ask. Codes are not only different in every state, but often with every department within a state. But many police departments will give you the codes just for asking.

If you want a suggestion that should answer most of your questions, I suggest you call The Illinois State Police Public Information Office at
(217) 782-6637.

Mistook
08-11-2005, 04:00 AM
Thanks for the number, James. I'll try to call tomorrow on my lunch hour.


In the mean time, here is what the guy from AllExptert.com wrote back:


Illinois reguires licensing so they could easily check with the State Division of Professional Regulation to see if she is current. The badge could be something she made up for herself (her agency) so that is no big deal and could have any number she wanted to use so your premise is fine but if they had any doubts they would simply make a call to she if she is licensed. To read more about this:
http://www.ildpr.com/WHO/dtct.asp