July 24th is Private Investigators Day!
This is a special occasion where the contributions of private investigators in their communities get recognized worldwide. After all, Private Investigators provide an imperative function in society. It is also the day that commemorates the birth of the first private investigator who in 1833 started operating his own detective agency, and thus forever changed the modus operandi the government or private investigations are carried out to this day.
Part 1: History
Eugène-François Vidocq was born in Arras, France on July 24th, 1775. He was clever, daring, a habitual womanizer, and had a way with people of different social statuses. His long and diverse career, he started off as a criminal and has been imprisoned on multiple occasions for theft, fraud, forgery, assault, battery, etc, but managed to escape on more than several occasions. He then became a chasseur, then a deserter, then a police informant, where he gained trust with criminal groups and even used disguises and false identities to turn criminals over to the police afterwards. Finally, he became the first private detective operating a private detective agency.
At the age of 37 he was formally accepted into the French Police as a leader of the Security Brigade, a plainclothes unit where all of his agents were ex-criminals, whom he hand-picked and trained himself. However, after twenty years (with a short break of being a failed businessmen) of successful service, due to animosity from his newly appointed superior and recoil from employing some questionable tactics, he resigned.
In 1833, Vidocq established a private detective agency and hired ex-convicts once again. Evidently, he was just as effective in his private investigative work as he was in the government employment, but questionable tactics and illegal means got him and his agency in trouble with the local police constantly. The agency only endured for about ten years, but Vidocq continued to work on small cases until his death at the age of 81.
Despite Vidocq’s infamous reputation, he contributed considerably to the fields of criminology, ballistics, record keeping, undercover work, identification of criminals, crime scene investigation, reformation of police force in several countries, and wrote many papers on different subjects related to the investigative profession. His life story inspired many literary characters and laid the foundation for indisputably the most famous private investigator, Sherlock Holmes. Vidocq’s 18th century legacy continues to motivate both men and women around the world to become private investigators.
Although there were many others who inspired our industry in Europe along the way, two names from Northern America occupy a special place in our history as well. The first person is Allan Pinkerton, a pioneer of the private investigation profession at this end of the ocean. He established the Pinkerton National Detective Agency and was a master at running it and many of his investigative, ethical and business practices are still mirrored today.
The second person who definitely defined the narrative, is Kate Warne. Back when female detectives were unheard of, and 64 years before women could even vote, in 1856, Kate Warne was hired as America’s first female private investigator. Generally speaking, women were unable to work in official capacity in law enforcement until 1891 and they were not promoted to be investigators until 1903.
Pinkerton assumed that Kate wanted a clerical job, however, she demanded to be an investigator, and persuaded him that women had an eye for detail and were excellent observers. He didn’t regret it, and pretty soon, he put her in charge of the newly developed Female Detective Bureau that employed strictly women for the detective job.
Kate is most famous for helping to prevent an assassination attempt on president-elect Abraham Lincoln, and basically saved his life; and for successfully infiltrating the Maroney family in the case of Adams Express Company embezzlements, which led later to Mr. Maroney’s conviction and imprisonment, and almost 80% of the stolen money was returned. Kate’s strength and efforts paved the way for many other women to be able to gain equality in the industry.
Part 2: Recognition
Bob Mackowiak, the publisher and editor of PI Magazine at that time, in October 1996, recognized the first Private Investigators Day. A bit over a decade later, Arthur Athas, a private investigator from Melbourne, Australia, re-established an international and professional day as it is known today, on the 24th of July to commemorate Vidocq’s date of birth. The date was popularized and is since written as 24/7 to symbolise the typical hours of private investigators’ work.
Part 3: Private Investigators Matter
Throughout the almost two-hundred-year history of our existence, we’ve come a long way. From ex-convicts, questionable tactics and unethical conduct, we’re now incorporated, licensed, well-trained, well-educated and experienced, law-abiding professionals. We bring our unique talents from various backgrounds, such as law-enforcement, intelligence services, and military; criminal justice and information technology; insurance and corporate organizations; and even from banking and scientific institutions. We’re insured, bonded, and comply with privacy laws and industry’s ethical standards. We’ve established global partnerships and professional associations, tightly knit networks and cooperation bridges to be able to offer assistance in almost any place in the world. Most importantly, we’re committed to provide vital services to the society helping establishing truth and justice.
Whether you’re a private citizen, a small business, medical or financial institution, a Fortune 500 company, a government branch, a law firm, or an international client, we’re here to protect your interests and deliver customized solutions in response to any legal matters you may be facing.
Since private investigators are not restrained by government bureaucracy, politics, backed up court files, inefficient procedures, budget cuts, or jurisdictional borders, we can efficiently and discreetly assist you in a myriad of ways:
- locate missing persons, victims of human trafficking, witnesses, and family members
- perform background checks for employment and court purposes
- conduct due diligence and asset searches for corporations and law firms
- gather evidence for criminal and civil litigation
- investigate insurance and other kinds of fraud
- investigate theft, corruption, and various illegal criminal activities
- investigate digital crimes and offer computer forensics
- conduct surveillance and provide conflict resolution services
- protect rights of people harmed by discrimination, neglect and other injustices
Private investigators don’t have days off, and while on vacation with family, they attend to many responsibilities of their occupation. Even if they specialize in certain domains, they still have broad spectre of knowledge into other spheres of expertise. They’re meticulous, brave, intelligent, well-read, creative, well-versed in law, investigation, interviewing methods, forensics, computers, technical gadgets and IoT, report writing, surveillance and countersurveillance techniques, people and communication skills, and have many other abilities related and unrelated to the profession which they constantly sharpen, multiply, and engage day and night of every day of the year to bring perpetrators to justice, and to their clients, bring the so much needed results.
On this note, we would like to thank all our clients, fellow investigators, confidential sources, legal experts, law-enforcement officers, technical aces, insurance adjusters, medical wizards, accountants, and everyone else who has been so essential in our pursuit of objective results, justice and truth. We are so proud to be able to work closely with you and you are an integral part of our investigations. And of course, we would like to thank our families (for being patient with our schedules) for supporting us on this special day of Private Investigators!
We appreciate your hard work and dedication, and we look forward to continuing working with you!
Highlight this day in your calendars, and if you wish to express appreciation to your favourite private investigator, you may do so in a number of positive and constructive ways: hire them on your next big case (on small cases too); share a cup of tasty beverage (when they are not on surveillance); bring them chocolate chip cookies (in fact, any cookies, cakes, pastries, etc., and any time will do); assist in whichever way you can to help right the wrong in the cases they are working on; or even donate to their participating charity; but most importantly, be vigilant and stay safe! All things considered, remember, kind and sincere words of gratitude is always the best place to start!
If you have any comments about this article or wish to engage us professionally, please reach out at email@example.com