Home > news, Uncategorized > Private Investigators’ Interrogation Leads to Questions About School Policy & Safety of Children

Private Investigators’ Interrogation Leads to Questions About School Policy & Safety of Children

If a couple of policemen walked into a school and asked to speak to a student, would you have a problem with it?  What if the persons wanting to speak with the student were not policemen but, instead, were private investigators?

According to a recent article published by 9News.com, a couple of private investigators from CSI Consulting and Investigations were looking for a missing child involved in a civil custody case.  Donning custom-made badges and baseball caps that read “CSI,” investigators showed up at Shaffer Elementary School and  showed a picture of the missing child to school principal, Gina Rivas.  After some time, Rivas volunteered the name of a student whom she felt most resembled the one on the missing child flyer.

Investigators wound up interviewing 8-year-old student, Lily Findley, about the missing child and the custody case.   So, what was the problem then?  Apparently, the principal never asked the investigators for any identification, relying solely on appearances and trusting that they were some sort of law enforcement officials.  However, John Sampson, one of the private investigators and owner of CSI Consulting and Investigations, was quoted as saying that the principal was informed right up front that the investigators were from a private investigators company. Sampson further stated that sheriff’s deputies as well as the little girl’s parents were not involved at all until Sampson insisted that they be present.

The article goes on to state:

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Jim Shires said authorities were first notified of the situation at the school by the private investigators. Deputies called the Findleys, he said.

“We were told by school staff that they thought these gentlemen, these private investigators were police,” said Shires. “We do not believe any police impersonation took place.” [source]

While there may have been no harm done, this incident raises many questions about the judgment (or lack thereof) that school officials exercise as well as the possible ease with which someone might impersonate a government official in order to manipulate children…or possibly kidnap them.  What do you think about this situation?  Do you think that the principal is wholly to blame?

For more information about criminal investigations, contact Cat’s Eye P.I. today at 919.878.9988.

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