First, we hope you and your families, friends, and co-workers are doing well in physical and mental health, as well as financially. This virus event is considered a 'pandemic outbreak' (new strain, and global). These terms sound alarming – and thus begins physical, mental, and emotional distress in many.
Distance Learning Resources from AFI-LLC
We links of distance learning available (also at www.InvestigativeCourses.com) - some were published in this issue of the NCISS Your Advocate at www.nciss.org/your-advocate-april-2020 (which also has some helpful information for members on COVID-19 resources. Some may not have time for webinars, and we have articles previously published available to PIs - email us firstname.lastname@example.org for the confidential link.
Special Information and Resources for the Corona Virus
We have also published all state of emergency resources we have found at www.PrivateInvestigations.org/corona-virus-resources.
- What is the COVID-19?
- Who is at risk?
- What are the precautions?
- As a small business owner, what can I do?
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- What can I do for my family, friends, co-workers and neighbors?
- What resources are available for those at risk in mental health?
As family, friends, neighbors and business partners – we are concerned about you. If we can help in any way, please contact us and we will do our best to find the help and resources needed. Also, support your community and businesses. The potential future financial impact is unknown, and will be significant. It is important to now be part of your community.
Business Continuity and Networking – Yesterday, Today, and the Future!
Your agency and firm should be prepared for technical and environmental contingencies. The current state of emergency has left households and businesses uncertain. The following will help you adapt to a more streamlined business process, and adapted as part of your business continuity plan. Since 1987, our agency has grown and adapted to clients, judicial practices, legal investigation practices, business practices, and technology.
1987 – There were no cell phones or emails. Payphones and courtesy phones were everywhere. Fax machines were becoming common. How did we start business and stay in touch with clients? We used an answering machine which would page a beeper after a message, the message was retrieved, and clients called back within 15-30 minutes. pages me for return calls. Not much later, a numeric pager was added in which clients could enter their office number and then a code indicating their need and urgency.
1995 – Cell phones and email were becoming popular, and the used of beepers and pagers ended; however, emails were mostly personal and not business use. We added a fax machine and then used technology to enhance our communications capabilities on a single phone line – call waiting, selective call answering (assigned its own phone numbers and would ring the fax machine, cell phone, business calls, and home calls). A colleague in England shared how to tether a cell phone to a laptop for wireless access of databases and email. This was so unique, the law enforcement did not yet have Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) and the local police department asked how we communicated in this way. Being the first agency in Colorado to offer this, our clients were pleased to have near instantaneous communications and answers.
In 1996 – just one year later, the first ability to add web-based fax sending and receiving was added (not via email). We were able to add this to our process serving – receiving pleadings with immediate urge needs to serve (with a mobile printer). We were able to forward our fax number to the web-based fax service and use the fax line as our data line for the online databases.
Jump to 2012 when we sold our home and traveled 27 states in our RV – and always making sure our clients were taken care of, and even improved. How did we do this? Learn more on these two blog articles, written during our travels.
This brings us to 2015 and today, as we were fully adapted to a 95% paperless office and also 95% cloud based with redundant data and communications backup. When the state of emergency was declared in Colorado and nationwide, we literally started work without any change to meeting our clients’ needs, and those of the associations and members we work with (Karen is also the Executive Director of NCISS and Administrative Manager of WAD – we were prepared and ready as a matter of our standard business practices. How did we do this?
Learn how we efficiently multi-task and maintain our daily activities for clients using these tools. Visit this article on our blog at www.DeathCaseReview.com/afi-llc-blog/time-is-money-multi-tasking-is-time-recovered!
- DropBox - http://DropBox.PrivateInvestigations.org
or OneDrive - http://OneDrive.PrivateInvestigations.org
- Right Inbox for Gmail - www.RightInBox.com
- Desktop Texting - www.MySMS.com
- Ring Central Faxing - http://Fax.PrivateInvestigations.org
- Ring Central VOIP - http://RingCentral.PrivateInvestigations.org
- Toll-Free Numbers - http://Kall8.PrivateInvestigations.org (PIs - contact our office for more uses)
- Split View - www.SplitView.com
Part of daily activities and business continuity includes finding assistance outside of your area – location and specialties. Here are steps to take to find a vetted and reliable Professional Investigator:
1. Reach out to someone you professionally know and trust in the area or expertise.
2. Reach out to the state or specialty associations - join them.
3. Reach out to a national association - NCISS and NALI vet their membership to be in compliance with licensing and ethics - join them.
4. If international, reach out to WAD’s vetted membership - join them.
5. Vet your decisions, including through your associations network.
6. Don't throw your request for assistance out to unvetted groups in social media or generic listservs. Why trust your business and your client to the unknown?
Through our memberships we have a trusted network of thousands in almost every state and almost 100 countries. We have a very personal network of over 2000 PIs we personally know and trust.
Don't just join - be active! We are involved in every association we belong to - not just as members, but from committees to the board, and Karen is the Administrative Manager or Executive Director of two.
Here some of our memberships and recommendations, and members of these associations get preference for direct referrals - www.DeathCaseReview.com/Associations.
Special Distance Learning Opportunities
Due to the current state of emergency, all associations and training events have been canceled through June. The following are resources available for distance learning.
- PI Education offers courses for continuing education requirements. We have arranged with www.PIeducation.com for discounts on the death investigation course we developed, and a general discount for all of their courses. Please use these discount codes:
Coupon Code: DeathInvestigator for 20% off this course (expires 04-30-2020)
All other courses - Coupon Code: FriendsofDean for 10% off (expires 06-30-2020)
- The Hetherington Group (HG) has updated their OSINT webinar content into packages of core and advanced skill sets. These are now recorded sessions at your own pace and gain quality CEU's during quarantine. The packages offer 4 hours of continuous training. HG is offering a bonus 20-minute individual consultation for each participant.
- Criminal Defense Investigation Training Council is offering discounted distance learning during this time. Primarily for criminal defense investigators, al investigative disciplines are welcome.
- Investigator Ethics for the PI, Consumer and Client offered by Udemy and presented by AFI-LLC informs the student - from consumer to attorney, and interested to veteran private investigator - there are ethics which must be followed and apply to both investigator/consumer and investigator/attorney relationships. Ethics serve both professional and consumer protection. Only facts obtained ethically can be evidence - facts without ethics is not evidence.
- Basics of Skip Tracing, Backgrounds & Assets Investigations offered by Udemy and presented by AFI-LLC is designed for the person interested in becoming an investigator, and the new to intermediate experienced investigators. All general investigations use these basic concepts - making this an excellent beginner course. In the course will be taught how to the student will also be able to improve and increase their results of successfully closed cases. The goal is to introduce strong fundamentals to understand and apply the basic investigative concepts for skip tracing, background and asset & liabilities investigations.
- Basic Forensic Scene Photography offered by Udemy and presented by AFI-LLC is designed for the new and veteran private investigators, law enforcement, insurance adjusters and attorneys with an interest and need to document, or analyze, scenes and evidence using photography. This course covers the equipment and selection, processes and protocols, and legal considerations. This is important for any investigator conducting, or expert analyzing, photographs for litigation - forensic photography.
- Equivocal Death Investigations offered by PI Education and presented by AFI-LLC. This training course is designed to provide a basic introduction into the concepts of the official investigation of death, such as by a coroner or medical examiner office, and the role the private investigator may play in an equivocal death investigation. As might be expected, there are similar roles, overlapping roles and, of course, different roles and responsibilities.
- S2 Distance Learning Portal is offered by Associates in Forensic Investigations in partnership with the S2 Safety & Intelligence Institute. These courses are specifically developed for distance learning.
- NW3C provides a nationwide support system for law enforcement and regulatory agencies tasked with the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of economic and high-tech crime.
- National Institute of Justice On-demand events include online, self-paced training, and recordings of past events.
- National Association for Public Defense provides weekly training and information webinars primarily for attorneys and investigators working criminal defense cases.
When we learn of new schedules, we will include them on our agency Facebook page and in future agency newsletters!