The first known private investigator originated in France. This was Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857). He established some of the early methods of investigation. In the United States, it was Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884) who founded the profession. Like Vidocq, he made a name for himself in the business and introduced several methods of investigative techniques. The contributions by both men have been employed through the decades by a variety of men and women in the profession. This is true whether they operated in Hong Kong China or Fort Lauderdale. A private investigator then and now continue son in the tradition.
Throughout the decades, a private investigator, in fact, on television, in movies and in books has been given a variety of names. Among the most common ones are:
A major difference today is the variety of opportunities in employment. Today, like never before, a private detective can specialize in what he or she does. At one time most were generalists – although it could be argued, many specialized in providing enforcement services for wealthy individuals. Today, a private investigator may work for a large corporation, a legal firm, a technological company, a detective agency, an insurance company, a financial institution and even the government. He or she can even work privately, setting up their own agency.
The work they do may vary according to the nature of the client but the most frequent tasks they perform include:
Overall, the work of any private investigator involves research and the gathering of information. Information is knowledge and the PI compiles it. He or she orders it, placing it in a logical fashion so it makes sense.
It does not matter where he or she operates. It could be in San Francisco or Fort Lauderdale. A private investigator provides a valuable service for the clients. It may involve general or specialized research, but, in the end, it still requires a keen mind skilled in the ways or proper research.
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