By Tim Hendrickson

The “old way” of conducting private investigations is dead.

Typically, when a client requests surveillance, witness location, and similar field investigations, the investigative firm conducts a database-driven search on a people-tracking product, then immediately dispatches a field investigator to a last known location or residence. There is no problem in doing it that way if the information is current and precise. Unfortunately, the tracking information usually is limited, outdated, and inaccurate, so investigators wind up spending extra time in “ghost tracking” a subject—the way it has been done for years. For clients, that means the case cost more and takes longer to close—again, the way it has been done for years!

Clearly, a different mindset is needed. Consider “Pre-Investigation Intelligence Collection,” or PIIC, a process that combines analysis of multiple repositories with social media and open source intelligence (OSINT) collection to find and analyze information of critical importance to the case before dispatching field investigators. Investigative managers use this intelligence to perform a supervisory scope of each case first, so investigative resources are used smarter, more strategically, and more economically.

What does this mean for clients who need critical case evidence in less time? Game changer!

PIIC is an innovative concept born on the battlefield and in the detective bureau, and perfected by TruView BSI, LLC. Leveraging the past experience of our management team, we built PIIC on the foundations of the military intelligence-gathering process used in modern theaters of conflict. From there, PIIC was enhanced with the tactics and techniques proven through countless investigative hours conducted by NYPD detectives. Complete with the addition of the latest investigative technologies, the result is a comprehensive portrait that allows TruView to orchestrate investigations to the highest degree of probability for success.

TruView’s PIIC process has proven effective due to its “layering” approach of gathered intelligence. While many investigators may rely on a single data set when researching a subject, TruView pulls from multiple sources and integrates the results. The combination of several sets of data works to eliminate gaps in intelligence that may be present in any single source. From there, we conduct open source research and social media reviews, further enhancing our collection and giving us a full spectrum of the subject’s history and their current activity.

The collection process is only half of the equation. While the gathered data is robust, it can only become effective after it has been scrutinized. Our experienced analysts sift through the information obtained and develop a subject profile derived from their address history, motor vehicle records, habits and tendencies observed on social media, etc. The end state of this analysis is the most accurate picture of a subject’s current location and behavior pattern, from which an investigative plan can then be developed.

Armed with an investigative plan derived from PIIC, our field investigators are dispatched to locations analyzed to have the highest probability of acquisition, in turn giving us the highest probability of success in observing the objective. This maximizes the potential for a positive result, while at the same time minimizing investigative hours spent in the field. Whereas another investigator may take many hours or days in the field to develop the same information, our research conducted prior to every operation can help to reduce, or in some cases even eliminate, this expenditure.

TruView continuously works to evaluate and enhance the PIIC process through new technologies, the testing of data sets, and the exploration of new techniques. The proof of concept is in the results. In the three years we have used this process, we have been able to deliver more of what our clients want from our services: the highest investigative success rates in the quickest time and with the greatest cost-effectiveness.

Tim Hendrickson is Managing Director – Investigations for TruView BSI, LLC, responsible the company’s global investigative and risk-based intelligence operations. Tim is a former commissioned U.S. Army Officer with five years of active duty service, including two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he maintained a Top Secret Clearance as a Military Intelligence Officer and analyst, serving as a military advisor and liaison to the National Information and Investigation Agency, the Iraqi government’s equivalent of our own FBI.

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