Starting Spokane Private Investigations
Having worked for 25 years in municipal law enforcement, moving into the field of private investigations seemed a natural progression for a second career. Investigating was always at the heart of my law enforcement career.
As a patrol officer, I was able to get the jump on an investigation by being the first on the scene and by seeing everything and everyone while the situation was fresh. Through this, I learned a lot about the need to preserve evidence. It would have been easy in the excitement of the situation or of the “chase” as the case may have been to try to rush and get everything I could done as fast as possible. Though the need to gather evidence and information in a timely manner can be important, the need for speed must be tempered with legal procedures, safety, proper evidence collection and other factors. The importance of a coordinated effort between professionals cannot be overlooked. “Many hands make light work,” my mother used to say and I found this true in investigations. One of the downfalls of patrol work in respect to investigations was that often I was not able to see my work through to its completion or I wasn’t informed of what the ultimate outcome was. Often I would not find out whether someone was charged with a crime or how the case was ultimately resolved. Patrol officers are inherently always on to the next crisis very quickly.
As a detective, I was able to see my own cases through to completion. It is a good feeling to be in control of the progress and direction of an investigation. For me, the more important the case, the more I was motivated to pursue it. That is why I spent so much of my career in the Major Crimes Unit. The stakes were high, the details were important and everyone involved cared about the results. As I gained experience, I learned more and more of the importance of relentlessly pursuing varied angles on an investigation. Investigations must be thorough. Every angle not pursued creates a later challenge to an investigation’s results. It is so important to look forward and anticipate these challenges. This was critical to completing investigations I was proud of and others appreciated.
I spent the last year of my career as a sergeant, first in Patrol then in Investigations supervising the Special Victims Unit. I found it rewarding helping patrol officers understand principles of investigations and the need to preserve evidence and prepare their initial street cases for the detectives. Their investigative role is just as important to case completion as the detective role. I challenging and rewarding steering the direction of the Special Victims Unit and coordinating the efforts of the group with other parts of the system such as the Prosecutor’s Office, Forensics Unit and social service agencies.
Starting a private investigations firm after retirement made sense to me. It is exciting putting to use the skills and experience I developed over the years in the private investigations field. The clients are different, but the need for thoroughness, drive and professionalism are still the same. My goal is to give my best to everyone I work for. My clients see and experience this commitment. When you find your niche in life, you run with it. I’m off and running!
Chet Gilmore Spokane Private Investigations, LLC