Detectives

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Detectives

Individuals whose business it is to observe and provide information about alleged criminals or to discover matters of secrecy for the protection of the public.

Private detectives are those who are hired by individuals for private protection or to obtain information. A private detective is licensed but is not ordinarily considered to be a public officer. In cases where private detectives perform the duties and exercise the powers of public officers, the constitutional provisions governing such officers can be applied to them.

Public detectives are employed by the general community for the protection of society and, as members of public law enforcement agencies and police departments, are considered peace officers.

The incorporation of private detective companies or associations may be subject to statutory requirements. Detectives are regulated by legislation as well as the rules of the municipality where they are employed. In the absence of contrary statutory provision, private detectives do not have the same powers as public peace officers.

A private detective can be held liable for rough shadowing—the open and public surveillance of an individual done in an unreasonable manner that constitutes an invasion of privacy.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"It would make no difference, sir," the detective answered.
In a minute and a half the French detective was joined on the opposite pavement by an inspector and a man in plain clothes.
The yellow omnibus crawled up the northern roads for what seemed like hours on end; the great detective would not explain further, and perhaps his assistants felt a silent and growing doubt of his errand.
"Indeed?" Tell us about it," said the detective with careless curiosity.
"Bullock Street," said the detective, and shot up that thoroughfare as quickly as the strange couple he pursued.
So far the crime seemed clear enough; and while the detective pitied the priest for his helplessness, he almost despised Flambeau for condescending to so gullible a victim.
"Behind that tree," said Father Brown, pointing, "are two strong policemen and the greatest detective alive.
The other detectives followed him at a reluctant trot.
"I flatter myself that I have managed it rather neatly," the detective answered proudly.
He's a Scotland Yard detective, down here for these very villains!"
In front of us were "the detectives in charge of the case." The well-known glib phraseology passed rapidly through my mind in the interval before Poirot opened the proceedings.
I think every one was a little surprised that it should be he and not one of the official detectives who took the initiative.

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