law enforcement

When Not to Call the Police

Chuck HurstBackground Investigation, Theft, Embezzlement, and Fraud

officerI used to be a cop. Served proudly, retired and kicked back, all set to enjoy my pension. Any cop who tells you they have seen it all and done it all would be prone to exaggeration, to put it politely. During my career, I shared a multitude of experiences —- from outright hilarious to downright heartbreaking. While I was struck by many things during 30 plus years in law enforcement, perhaps the one that stands out the most is just how often people call the police for things that…..well, really have nothing to do with the police.

There are many among us in society who view the police, and to a certain extent the 911 system, as all things to all people. Their personal helpline, if you will. They could be the lonely, the forgotten, the forlorn, the mentally ill, the elderly, the infirm or just some lost soul who veered off course during the great journey of life. Admittedly, this was a part of police work that I simply was not prepared for and yet it left an indelible impression on me. The gist of this article is not to denigrate, criticize or even discourage them from calling the police. They will always be there and they will always call. And the police will always come.

Instead the intent is to focus on those who think they are in need of the police due to a crime or perceived crime or to seek “legal” advice about something that “allegedly” happened. (Allegedly is a great lawyerly word, by the way.) Consider for a moment the following three scenarios:

Do you own a business? Are the books out of whack? Is the accountant, who happens to be your brother-in-law, skimming? Should you call the police?

It depends primarily on the scope of the loss and what you hope to achieve in the end.

Option # 1 is to go the police route. Typically a uniformed officer will come out and take a report. It will be assigned to a detective, and in a week or two, the detective will make contact. If the case is assigned for follow-up investigation (yes IF), the detective will most likely have a caseload and handle cases on a priority basis. What might be the most important thing in your business life may not be the most important case in the detective’s world. Remember, cops are law enforcement, so their goal is clearing the case by arrest. That is the gold standard for most police agencies.

Option # 2 is to contact Protus3 and request investigative assistance. You get a company with 30 years in the business, a stellar reputation, and a true advocate. We can help you determine if you even have a case, discuss potential eventualities, and bring the necessary investigative resources to bear. We do this all at a personalized level and without undue delay. In addition to investigating the issues or concerns and providing a detailed report of findings, Protus3’s motivation is to seek the best possible outcome for the client. There is no “one size fits all” during the course of an investigation and the facts are what drive the eventual outcome. Rest assured, the end result will be within the framework of the law and can include exoneration, termination, insurance reparations, and or civil/criminal prosecution. We often partner with law enforcement and have worked diligently to build lasting respect in the law enforcement community. Our services are not free, but in the end will bring value to your business. And discretion.

Have you ever wondered about the competency and veracity of the employee you hired a few months ago? You know, the one that came highly recommended by your old friend from the neighborhood. They never say a word about the college they supposedly graduated from and cannot even spell the name of the town it’s located in. The package delivery person knows more about the business and its functions than they do. Other employees are scratching their heads in puzzlement. Are you getting that innate feeling in your gut about the person being a fraud or a phony? Is this a police matter?

Leave the police out of it and contact Protus3. At a minimum, we can verify education, professional credentials/licensing, previous employment, criminal history, and a wide variety of other facts about the individual. We will also work with your legal counsel to make sure that all investigative work on a current employee complies with the FCRA. These are all the things that should have been done before the person was ever hired in the first place! And, yes, we will help you to set up a customized, thorough, and fully FCRA compliant background investigation process. There is nothing cookie cutter about it. Our services are tailor-made to fit your identified needs. If at any time it is determined a crime may have occurred, then the police can be brought in at the appropriate juncture.

Do you have a colleague, co-worker or worse, a manager, who just creeps you out? Maybe they are just a little bit too “touchy-feely” and make you feel uncomfortable. Do they purposely try to get you alone? If they are management, do they make promises of advancement and then threats of censure all at the same time? Do you ever go out of your way to avoid that person? Or ask for reassignment? Do they make unwarranted advances and attempt to contact you after work hours? Can the police help?

If an employee feels unsafe, threatened or assaulted by the actions of another employee, then police involvement may be warranted from the outset. This is particularly true if it involves actions occurring away from work. Much investigation must be done – either by HR, the police, or Protus3, maybe even by all three. HR working in conjunction with Protus3 would most likely be the best practice method for on-site issues. Do not dismiss or rationalize the reported actions under any circumstances. Actions of this nature could meet the criteria for sexual harassment and even criminal assault.

It should be evident by now that Protus3 is here to help. By no means is this article a slight toward the police or law enforcement. I bleed blue. Never have so few been called upon to do so much under such scrutiny. (Life in a fish bowl? How about life in a blender set to puree!) If you take way anything from this article, then let it be this – the police have finite resources and need to focus on true emergencies and acts that impact public safety. There are resources available in the private sector, such as Protus3, who can help bridge the gap.

Plan. Protect. Prosper.

Protus3 specializes in security system design, security consulting, corporate investigations and other investigative services. Partner with Protus3 and we will examine each situation to identify threats and develop solutions for your best outcome.

919-834-8584 or 800-775-8584