On October 1st, 32 years ago, after leaving his high school job at a local family run grocery store in 1987, Dean filed his business tradename registration - Investigative Services. Karen joined him in 1996. October holds additional importance, as it is the month of our anniversary. This year, on October 15th, we celebrate 20 years of marriage and 28 years together. As one friend recently put it, “two Beers are better than one” and for as long as we can remember, we have been “Team Beers”.
How Dean came to found our agency, as with all things, was about timing. At the time, Dean had been working at a local family grocery store since high school. He was moving up and being prepared for management at age 20. Always keeping his ear to the ground, he became aware of some troubling issues affecting the grocery business – and the economy. With that, Dean decided a different career was due. What career? Having no detective experience – other than finding old friends from his family moving with his Dad’s Navy career; or business experience – he decided to form his own agency – at least something to hold over for about six months, until he found something more career oriented. Filing a business tradename, and then having business cards printed, designing some marketing materials and purchasing an answering machine that would call his new beeper – Dean was in business.
The Learning Curve (1987-1997)
Dean realized he could offer something more to clients – Finding People and Finding Out About Them! By the early 90s he became one of the most sought after private investigators specializing in the areas of locating people and background checks. He gave his first presentation in 1993 to the Larimer County Young Lawyers – many would become clients, and are reading this newsletter now. In 2000 he would then give his first national conference presentation. Shortly after, he developed the ‘Skip Trace Seminar on CD’ sold nationwide – and has since become a book and several training lectures on Individual Locates, Backgrounds, and Assets & Liabilities.
In 1996, his Wife Karen joined the agency part-time. Beepers were replaced by pagers, and voicemail replaced answering machines. Soon, cell phones – large and cumbersome – became available. Then databases became available, although very limited. In 1995, Dean did some research and found how to use a cell phone – much smaller now, and still large by today’s – and laptop to communicate from the field – long before public safety agencies had the ability. In fact, a law enforcement friend had needed help finding someone wanted on a warrant. After being successful, he asked Dean about his mobile setup. In the following years, local law enforcement agencies began working with the largest provider for mobile communications to equip supervisors’ patrol vehicles; now every patrol vehicle has a ‘Mobile Data Terminal’ or MDT and remote access to data and communications.
The Middle Years (1998-2007)
The late 90s continued with adapting to new laws, new resources and new demands of clients and their growing needs. Then, on September 1st 2000, tragedy struck our family and business. On a personal trip Dean took his Dad to Colorado Springs to see his aunt / Dad’s sister, they were hit by a drunk teenage driver. It was an experience that would change everything. Months of recovery for both Dean and his Dad, as well as Karen – from hearing the collision while talking to Dean on his cell phone (and headset), they had much to be thankful for and work on together. Like Dean’s 1991 motorcycle collision from a vehicle making a left-turn, Dean was unable to work – other than at home – for several months. His Dad remained at his sister’s for a year to rehabilitate. As before, friends and fellow private investigators offered to help and took care of their clients. They, again, truly showed friendship and professionalism. Even as recovery progressed, multi-tasking and running a business – it was either work or run the business – both had become almost impossible. Shortly after Dean’s Dad returned home, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened. Another round of a difficult nationwide economy would follow.
Based on some occupational therapy and testing at the local university, Dean’s testing showed his primary skills were in law enforcement and investigations related fields. Having an interest in forensics, in the summer of 2002, Dean contacted the local coroner’s office. He spoke to an investigator who shared they were accepting applications for their reserve investigator / deputy coroner training program. Dean applied and was one of five accepted for the group that would start in September. He was the first to complete all the required modules and was recruited to join a newly appointed forensic pathologist in a neighboring county, who had just been appointed the county coroner. Dean would work part-time for the next couple years. In the interim, the group completed the modules and graduated from the program in June of 2003. To this day, Dean and Karen hold a close relationship, as this forensic pathologist remains the agency’s consultant and direct referral. Dean was recruited from a volunteer reserve investigator / deputy coroner to part-time. In 2004 Dean was offered a full-time position, contingent upon him completing a required Colorado Peace Officer Standards Training law enforcement academy. Dean attended in 2005 and graduated with honors in November, and was hired full-time.
Karen also had the desire to learn more about forensics and death investigations. Still being the only training of its kind in Colorado, Karen was accepted for the 2004 investigator / deputy coroner program in June and also completed her modules. She was also recruited as a volunteer reserve investigator / deputy coroner, and also part-time office administrator, then hired as a part-time investigator. This would continue to mid-2006.
Their experience includes scene investigations, interviews, assisting with autopsies, photography, and all aspects of death investigations. In January 2003 Dean also introduced digital photography to the coroner’s office. Through a grant, the county became the first agency – of any kind – in Colorado to issue and use digital cameras for their investigators. Dean left the coroner’s office in the summer of 2008, having a strong need to return to the private sector. Before leaving, he developed policies for retention of digital files, as well as on-site and off-site backup, converting to paperless and digital formats, and investigators use of enhanced communications and remote access to files. These are processes Dean and Karen would adapt to their renewed private investigations agency. In 2006 Dean predicted a downturn in the state and local economy by 2007. This would become a national economic crisis, unlike any seen for decades – including 1987 and 2001.
The Recent Years (2008-2019)
The most current years were very busy – from re-starting their agency to a growing family! Their new agency was going to focus only on legal and death investigations – personal injury, negligence and death. Learning from experience, and wanting to share their experiences, they also became involved in state, national and international associations. These were to develop networking, experience, learning opportunities, and to give back to a profession that had been good to them and helped raise their family – through good times and rough times. Within days of contacting their client list, calls and cases came in. The struggling economy followed and created some setbacks, and were predicted to resolve by 2018. They adapted and overcame, and also grew.
In December 2008 their first grandchild, and only granddaughter, Jacee Sue was born to their oldest daughter. Jeberly had a very difficult experience after, and was hospitalized – they almost lost her. After she had recovered, they learned their youngest daughter was pregnant – with twin boys. In July 2009 their grandsons, Gage Alan and Cash Michael were born seven weeks early. Winter had a difficult pregnancy and was hospitalized weeks before their due date, then flown to Denver for emergency delivery. Their grandsons were in NICU for seven (Gage) and ten (Cash) days. The children’s hospital was fantastic and Ronald McDonald House took care of the parents. They still donate to both at every opportunity.
From this time, Dean and Karen sought specialized certifications to enhance the level of expertise offered to clients. Dean would go on to earn his board Certified Legal Investigator designation (CLI), and is the longest serving member of the CLI Committee. Dean and Karen would later earn their board Certified Criminal Defense Investigator designations (CCDI) – one of a handful of husband and wife teams. This was followed by earning their board Certified Forensic Interviewer – Forensic Testimony Evidence Recovery (CFI-FTER) designation. This year they have earned their board Certified Forensic Science Investigator designations (CFSI); they are among the fewest to be triple-board certified by the Criminal Defense Investigators Training Council (CDITC) and has a husband/wife team; Dean is also a Faculty Advisor and instructor. They continue to publish books and articles, Dean’s ‘Practical Methods for Legal Investigations: Concepts and Protocols in Civil and Criminal Cases’ (CRC Press) is in the process of the 2nd edition; and together they revised a second edition of ‘Professional Locate Investigations: Individual Locates, Backgrounds & Assets & Liabilities’ – many are distance learning and lectures.
Together Dean and Karen been continuously involved in multiple association boards and committees – from training to legislation for their professions. Karen is also the Administrative Manager for the World Association of Detectives (WAD), and the Executive Director of the National Council of Investigation & Security Services (NCISS). She continues to also be involved equally in the cases and consultations, which includes being administrative manager for the largest international association of private investigators.
Their agency has grown to focus on Legal Investigations and Expert Consultations in Personal Injury, Negligence and Death in Civil, Criminal and Probate Litigation in Colorado and nationwide for attorneys and fellow investigators.
Celebrating Over 30 Years - 32 - Thank You!
Today, and since 1996, they have worked together and independently. Karen has long brought a unique perspective of women’s intuition and insight to every case. Not only two sets of eyes and experience, but an additional sense of detail in reviewing the evidence found in records, reports and photographs.
Reflecting back, they have seen and done many great things and have been through many experiences. Everything used – from beepers and answering machines, to phones and fax machines, to cameras and video, is now held in a small phone. The Yellow Pages are all but extinct, and not long after finding ‘Detectives’, the category was removed – leaving ‘Private Investigators’ – now not a used category. Licensing of private investigators now exists in Colorado, to protect their profession and consumers.
Today their legal investigations and expert consultations are a passion for their clients – from attorneys and their injured or wrongful death clients, to private investigators and their family clients looking for answers, and their criminal defense. In each of these, they are passionate about assuring the rights of their clients are protected, and answers found to further their case or bring healing and closure to their loss. Their passion for helping those who have lost a loved one has also found us assuring that a person, often a suspect in a death, is not wrongfully accused, arrested and convicted – and at other times, the right person is brought to justice.
They never know where their paths lead us – or when they may cross with others. What the future would bring? Two things for sure – a growing family, with four grandkids (Jacee 10, Gage & Cash 10, and Jacee’s brother Lincoln (3), and a growing commitment to their business. Of most importance is their personal growth together and commitment to each other. They plan to simply continue. To continue taking care of their family. To continue taking care of their clients. To continue being involved in their profession as much as possible.
To continue working with you and making a difference – no matter how small – in the lives they touched. Just as you have made a difference and touched their lives.
They love and are passionate about their work, and hope to pass on something to any or all of their grandchildren. At the least, they will share the values and experiences they have learned.
Thank You! Dean and Karen
Dean A. Beers, CLI CCDI CFI-FTER
Karen S. Beers, BSW CCDI CFI-FTER
Associates in Forensic Investigations, LLC
A Rocky Mountain West Agency / National Consultations
Licensed Legal Investigators and Expert Consultants
Personal Injury, Negligence & Death
Civil, Criminal & Probate Litigation