Glamorous Life of a Surveillance Investigator

surveillance investigator

So You Want to Be a Surveillance Investigator?

So you’ve seen all the James Bond movies and every episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, and have decided that being a surveillance investigator is the life for you? 

You think you have what it takes to lead the glamorous, dangerous, and dead sexy life of a surveillance investigator? Well, maybe you do but…

Here are a couple things Hollywood won’t show you about being a surveillance investigator.

Sometimes you get pissed and occasionally people pull guns on you!

surveillance investigator

One thing they definitely leave out in the movies is how our heroes use the bathroom during surveillance.

They make a big deal of how the heroes have been in the car or other fixed location for 12 hours, just waiting for the perfect time to get the video they need. Have you ever wondered how people sit that long and never use the bathroom?

Let me tell you how you often need to use the bathroom as a surveillance investigator… Bottles! I’ll skip the details, but let me just say that when you’re trying to finagle an empty soda bottle or coffee cup inside a car sometimes you get a little “splash”. Usually you splash yourself, sometimes you get splashed by your partner.

When you just can’t leave where you are and are on your third cup of coffee to keep your eyes open, you do what you have to do.

Another scenario you don’t see on TV or in the movies is what often really happens when people pull guns on you. 

As a surveillance investigator sometimes you get “made” or “burned” (pick your terminology). Well, for the occasional violent sociopath, that is a really big deal and they may decide to pull a gun on you when you don’t expect it. Most macho guys think that they’ll just pull their gun and get into a shootout in the middle of downtown traffic, just like in their favorite action movie.

Let me tell you what really happens… Or at least should.

If you are a surveillance investigator and a subject pulls a gun on you, get out of there!

The subject has caught you by surprise, you are likely in a crowded area or downtown traffic, and have no tactical advantage. There is no world in which a shootout under those circumstances ends well.

We had it happen to a PRMG surveillance investigator the other day and he did exactly what he should have done, he blew the stoplight and got out of there. As a business owner, I couldn’t have asked for a better response.

Thankfully, no one was hurt and I didn’t have to call my insurance agent to tell her that my surveillance investigator had just been in a shootout in downtown Detroit.

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