11.29.2011

The Many Roles Of The Private Investigator In Investigating Child Sexual Abuse Allegations Part III

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The Many Roles Of The Private Investigator In Investigating Child Sexual Abuse Allegations Part III
By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc
Many people want to be a private investigator, but it is a risky business to become involved in. In order to get established in the field of investigations, an investigator must expend the time networking not only with other investigators but with attorneys who work in specialized areas of law.
In discussing what someone does for a living is an interesting conversational topic. The television shows and movies depict a private investigator as someone who gets all of the exciting and complex investigations they want, are wealthy and get all of the beautiful and wealthy women.
There have been many television shows which have portrayed private investigators as the tough and adventurous heroes. These roles have the investigators involved in representing murderers, rapists and chasing the general bad guy. The problem with these characters for the most part is unrealistic and they try to enhance the role of the investigator as the key factor of the case in chief.
The reality of the many roles an investigator has the opportunity in being, depends on the interests of the investigator. If the investigator has law enforcement experience and specialized in the traffic division it is more than likely that upon retirement the law enforcement official would be retained by insurance companies to investigate traffic accidents.
The strategy of making a lifetime decision of what route the investigator will take to ascertain if the specialty the investigator has chosen will work will depend upon the market and the demand for the type of investigator he/she is.
In the child sexual abuse investigation field the investigator needs to possess several skills and professional education and training to be a serious contender in the investigative market.
Let us review what criteria the investigator needs to have in order to be competitive in the child sexual abuse investigative field:
1.       The investigator should have an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, criminology, psychology, behavioral sciences, forensics, and so forth.
2.      The investigator should have expended time with a law enforcement agency as a staff member, law enforcement officer, crime scene technician, and so forth.
3.      The investigator should attend workshops and seminars which deal with a variety of courses i.e. forensics, interviewing, investigations, case analysis, case action planning, pre-trial strategies, and so forth.
4.      The investigator should seek a graduate degree dealing with child forensics, psychology, criminology, behavioral sciences, and so forth.
5.      The investigator should volunteer with a private investigation agency where they can obtain the necessary experience in dealing with policies, procedures, processes, and protocols on child sexual abuse investigations.
6.      The investigator should conduct extensive research projects on the child interview protocols utilized around the world in how to interview child victims.
7.      The investigator should write articles about their research and investigative issues they will deal with as an investigator of child sexual abuse investigations.
8.      The investigator should interview professional individuals who are experts in their specialized fields such as interviewing children, medical personnel, crime scene technicians, and so forth.
9.      The investigator should have a private investigator associate that they can bounce ideas off of as the theory of two heads are better than one is definitely applicable in investigating child sexual abuse allegations.
10.  The investigator should create an evaluation protocol, procedure, policy, and process where they or another investigator evaluate the investigation conducted by the investigator. This will provide a level of improvement identifying their investigative strengths and weaknesses. Each time the evaluation takes place the investigator being evaluated will be given credibility for their openness to being evaluate. This should be seen as a positive aspect of the current and future investigations.
The investigator who wants to be a competent and an intelligent child sexual abuse investigator has to be committed and aggressive in their approach to becoming a specialized and credible investigator. A lack of commitment and passivity has no place in any type of investigation.
It is probable that the investigator will obtain experience by working for the indigent agencies in the county they are located in as well as the surrounding counties. Indigent investigations will not bring in the large sums of money that an experienced investigator is paid; however, they will obtain the necessary exposure and experience necessary to pave their way to becoming a competent and intelligent investigator.
Tomorrow, the need to be qualified in a field which requires an investigator to be creative, innovative, having common sense, being aggressive when necessary, using alternative hypothesis when applicable and so forth will be explored further. All of these characteristics are necessary for the inexperienced investigator to seek legitimacy. In the pursuit of greatness we will continue to examine the many avenues an investigator will take in seeking their place in the investigative world. 

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