It appears that near-$4 gas prices are here to stay. Who knows, they may even go higher. If this is the case, all of us are going to feel the squeeze. But this does not mean that we can avoid uncovering spousal or domestic-partner infidelity, identifying employee misconduct among mobile workers, locating and serving subpoenas, documenting workers’ compensation fraud, and so on. It simply means, unfortunately, we must make (sometimes painful) adjustments to our habits in order to do business in an economy with higher energy costs.
Private investigators are feeling the pinch too. The cost of operating a private investigations business requires ongoing continuing education, state licensing, liability and auto insurance, office rent, database fees, advertising, and so on. High fuel costs, just like in most professions and business, means less money to pay for unforeseen personal or business-related expenses. Investigators have always charged money for travel expenses related to the cost of an investigation, but this only partly recaptures the full expense of vehicle wear and tear and fuel. In short, the investigators and their clients share the expenses related to “mileage fees.” However, due to high fuel costs, many investigators have been unable to absorb all of the additional expense and have had to raise their mileage rates, or institute special surcharged fuel prices go above $4 per gallon. This unfortunately is not good for the client, and therefore not good for an investigators long-term business interests.
In this blog, I would like to share with readers what they can do to save money. By working to save money for themselves, I believe clients will also help the investigator save fuel and vehicle maintenance. Though the tactics below may cost the investigator a few hours of surveillance time—savings passed onto the client—any lost surveillance or investigative work will be offset by saving on fuel. By sharing some strategies that will help our clients money, investigators will not only use less fuel (hey, it’s good for the environment), but will have better investigative outcomes. Thus, by heeding the three pieces of advice below, we believe our clients will help us create a win-win situation.
Equipment is important
Covert Investigations uses Gen-3 military grade night vision on all night surveillance. See a demo at:
Gen-3 equipment gives you facial recognition from long distances in the middle of the night and with little to no light.
The Gen-3 equipment is not to be confused with the inadequate night shot feature that comes standard with all video cameras. That video when produced only gives silhouetted images and is useless for evidence purposes.
If you have an assignment at night and you want quality identifiable evidence please call me or search a company that has similar equipment.
If an agency says they have Gen-3 equipment demand it be used and refuse to pay for the assignment if the it is not used. Covert Investigations will never bill a client for failure on our part.
Your evidence is important to your case. Be sure your Investigator has that equipment.
Observations & Interviews, a blog by Chet Engstrom
Chet Engstrom is owner of Covert Investigations Services, a private investigations firm located in Lewisville, Texas (DFW area). Texas license number: C10745.
4101 McEwen, Dallas, TX, 75244