PI Licensing

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BY Rick Johnson

June 23, 2006


The Honorable Diana DeGette
1527 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Private Investigator Licensing

Representative DeGette:

I’m writing as President of the Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) to thank you, on behalf of all responsible private investigators in Colorado, for your commitment to the licensing in Colorado of Private Investigators.

Your statement before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee during a second day of hearings on Pretexting and related issues… that you will work with the Colorado legislature to try to enact state regulations… was most welcome.

Right now, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is reviewing a licensing proposal put forward by the PPIAC. If approved by DORA, the proposal will be eligible for consideration by the legislature. But the primary hurdle at the moment is the DORA consideration. Any assistance you can provide in support of our proposal at this stage, as well, would be greatly appreciated.

You would think that, in any reasonable world, an unregulated industry engaged in the gathering and dissemination of personal, financial, and commercial information would generate wide-spread support for minimum standards of conduct and performance… but, except for the effort by the PPIAC to educate and monitor our own membership, Colorado has been without such standards for more than 25 years.

And, most critically, a licensing proposal put forth by the PPIAC several years ago was killed by DORA officials at the time, who asserted that there is a risk to public health and safety, but that the risk did not rise to the level whereupon licensing was required.

How the risk to Colorado citizens is any less than the risk that has required licensing in Arizona, California, Kansas… indeed, all but a handful of states… is a question with an obvious answer. It isn’t. Unethical, incompetent, even illegal conduct by private investigators are real threats in Colorado, with real personal and economic consequences.

Something that opponents to licensing in Colorado don’t understand or recognize is that, because of a lack of licensing, even the industry, itself, is threatened.

The issue is the security of personal information and legislation, primarily at the national level, that would control, even restrict, access to information that investigators depend upon. Unlicensed investigators need not apply, even investigators, like myself, my staff, and many members of the PPIAC who are licensed in other states.

If we are denied access to key sources of information that we need, our clients in Colorado also will be denied access to the information they need.

Without the licensing of private investigators in Colorado, we all lose. That’s why your support is so important.

If it may be helpful, the person at DORA reviewing our proposal is:

Bruce Harrelson
Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
1560 Broadway, Suite 1550
Denver, CO, 80202


Rick Johnson

Contact Rick Johnson & Associates

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