chapter  9
16 Pages

Records Checks

Records checks are probably the easiest investigative resource available to an investi-

gator; however, many investigators fail to use them to their full potential. The fact is, every

government agency, civic group, educational institution, bank, private company, utility,

and nonprofit organization maintains written records in one form or another. These

records involve what they do, who they contact, with whom they have business dealings,

and their employees. The records check investigative technique involves surveying all

entities that can provide information on the subject of an investigation. Very often an

investigator can assemble an extensive profile on a subject through agency checks without

ever leaving his or her office. Indeed, technology has made the process even simpler for

investigators. A modern investigator can access numerous records by simply pressing

a few keys on his or her computer keyboard. If that cannot be accomplished, many

departments have the ability to communicate with other agencies for records via a tele-

phone or facsimile (fax) machine. Many larger agencies have clerical employees who

can be assigned to research records at various agencies. For many good investigators,

the first few hours of time that they devote to a new case involves records checks.