We have all seen private investigators in movies — long trench coats, sunglasses, and an air of mystery. Many wonder what qualifications and skills this career require. On the other hand, most people are under the impression that retired police officers can become the best PIs. But, in reality, a background in law enforcement is not a requirement to qualify for a private investigator, which means being a trained police officer automatically means you will make a great PI.
However, it is true that a police officer has the training and foundation to thrive as a private investigator. So, do retired police officers make good private investigators?
Essential Police Officer Skills Beneficial as a Private Investigator
Police officers learn some skills during their time in the service that set a strong foundation as private investigators. While being an ex-cop is not a requirement to become a PI, here are some reasons why they can be successful in the field:
- Skills & Experience
Police officers acquire investigative skills that are quite similar to the ones required to be a private investigator.Proficient investigations, gathering crucial information, and interviewing possible suspects are something law enforcement personnel do — this means that a police officer has years of expertise in these skills. Therefore, they can easily apply these skills when they step into the private investigator’s shoes.In short, these transferable skills, as well as expertise, is a good place to start.
- Know-How of the Legal Process
Generally, police officer remains employed for almost two decades before they decide to make a career switch. This means the officers get enough time to become familiar with the legal process. Moreover, they can utilize their understanding of the legal process while working on investigations. That’s not all — cops have experience as court witnesses, which may be helpful if they decide to become a private investigators.
- Networking & Contacts
If police officer chooses to become private investigator, they have one major benefit: all the years of networking, sources, and contacts!With the help of their contacts, retired police officers can have a familiar place to start in their new careers. This way, they have known sources to get advice or retrieve information. This could be a lawyer working on a similar case or a fellow cop with access to the important databases that can help with the investigation.
- Training, Skills & Professionalism
Professionalism is a defining characteristic that can make or break the career of a private investigator. Since they have already spent years being professional, police officers have no trouble adapting to the new role. As for training, they already have some experience while the rest they receive on the job.
Being a private investigator requires one to have good investigation skills, training, and expertise to successfully complete the tasks. So, an ex-police officer makes a good candidate for this position — their knowledge of the legal process, professionalism, contacts, and experience can make it a successful career.