Private Investigator or Private Detective?

In the State of Connecticut

The terms ‘private investigator‘ or ‘private detective‘, are interchangeable. The state issues several types of private detective licenses. Some of these licenses are restricted to a particular area of investigations for example ‘ Arson’.

A private investigator (detective) should be a professional that is trained in investigations, surveillance, and information gathering, to name a few areas. The investigator should have contacts and professional associations with members of law enforcement, private sector investigators, the courts, attorneys and other individuals that can supply information when needed.

Every Private Investigator or Detective agency in Connecticut is licensed, bonded and insured either through the company they work for or as the licensee. If they are not, they can not practice as private investigators in this state. There is a minimum requirement that all private investigators and detectives in Connecticut have to meet.

Applicants for a Private Detective License must be at least 25 years of age, have good moral character and have at least 5 years Full Time experience as a Licensed Private Detective, or 5 years Full Time experience as a registered Private Investigator, or 5 years Full Time experience operating a Proprietary Detective Agency, or 5 years Full Time experience as an investigator with any Federal State of Local Government, or 5 years Full Time experience as a Detective with a Federal, State or Local Police Department or, Any other recognized 5 years Full Time industry related investigative experience or have had at least 10 years experience as a police officer with a federal, state or organized municipal police department. If the applicant is a corporation, association or partnership, the person filing on behalf of the business, must meet all the qualifications detailed above, and shall be an officer of such corporation, or member of such association or partnership.

The commissioner may, at his discretion, substitute up to one year of experience for a private detective license applicant upon proof of satisfactory participation in a course of instruction pertinent to the license. Employment as a security officer, does not qualify as time earned to obtain a private detective license. No license shall be issued to any person who has been convicted of any felony, (2) convicted of any misdemeanor under section 21a-279, 53a-58, 53a-61, 53a-61a, 53a-62, 53a-63, 53a-96, 53a-175, 53a-176, 53a-178 or 53a-181d, or equivalent conviction in another jurisdiction, within the past seven years, (3) convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude, or (4) discharged from military service under conditions that demonstrate questionable moral character.

If a private detective or private detective agency license is granted to an applicant based on the applicant’s experience as an investigator with an organized municipal fire department, such license shall restrict the licensee to performing only the type of investigations performed for the municipal fire department. It does not grant a general investigation license.

No license may be granted to an applicant currently vested with police powers. The license of a corporation may be denied by the commissioner, or suspended or revoked, if it appears that ten percent or more of the stock of such corporation is held by a person who cannot meet the character standards required of the license applicant.

This is where choosing an investigator becomes important. The ability to take photos of an accident scene does not make an investigator an accident investigator. Just as taking a couple of statements and reviewing a case does not make a person a homicide investigator. Investigative knowledge and abilities requires years of practice and learning. When choosing a private investigator ask questions and take your time. It will make a world of difference.